When I got pregnant for the first time over 4 years ago, I was not ready for the sudden changes morning sickness brought to my life. I wish I had known then what I know now, since I just went through morning sickness for a third time.
I had no idea that morning sickness could last an entire day. That first full day of morning sickness was rough! I went through feelings of nausea, intense hunger, fatigue, and more nausea to bring it all full circle.
Since I can’t help my past self, I want to help you get through any morning sickness you may experience with 8 incredibly helpful tips!
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8 Amazing Solutions for Morning Sickness
First of all, you have to realize that everyone is different, and every pregnancy is different, and therefore, this advice may not work for you. But, if you have tried other things that didn’t work, perhaps one of these helpful tips will work.
Disclaimer: And, you know, don’t get this confused with medical advice, because this is just mama to mama advice. If you have specific questions, direct them to your physician.
#1) My number one tip is to always, always, always eat your meals with some kind of protein. I’m not just talking meat here. You can get your protein in many different ways – cheese, yogurt, beans, nuts, and eggs are all great sources of protein.
I noticed in my current pregnancy, that if I ate a meal without any protein, I became hungry only an hour or less later. Hunger mixed with morning sickness is a recipe for disaster! When I was nauseous and hungry at the same time, I ate poorly because I wanted to eat what sounded good to me, not what was going to make me hurl. Then I felt even worse because the cycle would repeat itself.
When I would eat a small meal with some protein about 1/2 hour before bedtime, I woke up feeling much, much better. Again, that’s just my experience, and it may be different for your body.
#2) Next, if it’s possible, sleep in. With my first pregnancy, I could choose my work schedule so I chose the latest start time of 9 AM, which wasn’t too early, but I still had to wake up around 7 AM. That was too early for me. I often felt better after 9 AM, which is why with my second and third pregnancies, I took the opportunity to sleep in whenever I could. For this pregnancy, my girls were awake around 8 or 8:30, and that really helped me wake up feeling less sick overall.
Sleeping in can also help with the major lethargy you might experience in the first trimester. I was tired around the clock, but when I got a good night’s rest, I often felt better and more up to doing things during the day.
#3) Take your prenatal vitamin at a time of day when you are the least nauseous. If you feel worse after taking it and end up vomiting, it’s probably best to just not take it for a while. It’s better to keep the nutrients in your body that will go down rather than lose them by trying to take your prenatal vitamin (be sure you check with your doctor on this one).
I personally never had an issue keeping my prenatal vitamin down (my problem with my first pregnancy was getting it down in the first place!). I really believe that the brand of prenatal vitamin can be a factor. I have always taken Rainbow Light Prenatal One*. It has probiotics and a prenatal blend with ginger. The only downside I can find is that it doesn’t have the total amount of calcium you need, but most prenatal vitamins don’t, which is why eating a healthy diet along with a prenatal vitamin is so important.
#4) When you wake up, eat right away, preferably something packed with protein. If nothing sounds good, do your best to eat something. Something is usually better than nothing (unless you turn to carbs and bad fats (cough…doughnuts), in which case you will probably feel even worse). Throughout the day, have small meals and snacks that you can eat before you start feeling nauseous. Sometimes I would wait too long between meals, get really hungry, and then feel really sick and not want to eat anything because I had waited too long to eat. So eat when you don’t feel especially hungry, just at normal intervals (like every 2-3 hours).
#5) This is one tip that I will give, but I rarely followed it myself, because it’s HARD. If you are feeling crappy/nauseous/tired, get up off the couch and do something. When I pushed myself to actually get up off the couch and get the dishes done or sweep the crumbs off the floor, my nauseous/crappy feeling went out the window. The problem is, you have to be motivated to do this. Just do what you can to MOVE. The more you rest, the more time you have to think about how crappy you feel, too, so it’s good to try and get out of that habit as soon as it starts in the first trimester.
Don’t feel bad, though, if you can’t get yourself to do much around the house. Everyone experiences varying degrees of nausea during pregnancy, and if you are on the end of the spectrum that just has it worse, there’s no way you are getting up off the couch.
#6) This should be a given, but it’s not always easy to do when you feel sick: drink water. Water will help you feel better overall, and you need plenty of it to avoid dehydration, especially if you are constantly running to the toilet.
Try not to drink water with meals, though, since you want to get food down and not fill up on liquids during meals. Water would give me terrible indigestion during the first trimester if I drank it too close to a meal or with a meal. Just try to drink water in between meals and in small amounts.
#7) If you are the cook in the home, make sure you plan meals that are extremely simple that either someone else can prepare or you could prepare at a time of day when you don’t feel sick. Be aware of the smells that make you sick and avoid cooking foods with those smells. If you tend to be sick at dinner time, do what you can. Maybe you can ask your spouse to take over for you while you are dealing with morning sickness. But don’t feel bad if you can’t plan out healthy meals for your family. It’s just a short season of your life, and everyone can chip in to help you out (unless of course they are just little kids).
This pregnancy, many of our meals consisted of foods that I enjoyed as a child. They were comforting to me, and I could actually cook and eat them. Although these meals were not ones I would make on a regular basis, because many of them contained processed ingredients, I was fine doing that because I knew it was just a couple of weeks and then we could go back to a healthier diet.
#8) My final word of advice is especially for those pregnant during the winter. I experienced the first trimester in the winter twice, and this one tip saved me from a lot of toilet bowl runs. When you start to feel overheated, do something about it right away.
Let me explain. With my first daughter, I would take a shower in the morning, and when I got out of the shower, the heater would kick on. The heat from the steam and the heat from the heater became overwhelming, and I would often get terribly sick and just lose everything right then and there.
This pregnancy, the very first day of my morning sickness, I woke up early, not knowing that I would soon feel sick. I went downstairs to work, and the basement is fairly cold, but I have a small heater to keep me warm and I had on my robe. After about 20 minutes, I started to get really hot. I felt a bit nauseous and thought I might throw up. So I went upstairs, and it was even warmer there. Well, the overwhelming heat got to me and I lost it. That was the ONLY time I threw up in this pregnancy. After that, I just knew better (and I found out I was pregnant!).
Even though I followed all these tips for this third pregnancy, I still wasn’t able to get rid of my morning sickness. That’s just not possible! But these tips did keep me from vomiting and helped me feel better than I would have if I hadn’t done them.
So you tell me, what do you do during pregnancy to ward off vomiting and really bad nausea?
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