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For Mom-to-Be

Managing Morning Sickness

Managing Morning Sickness

In the midst of all the joyous feelings about your pregnancy, you also may be feeling a bit queasy. Nausea or vomiting is called morning sickness, but it can happen at any time of the day or night. Some women experience an occasional episode, some never have morning sickness at all, and others are sick several times a day for months on end. Usually, the problem goes away after the third month.


What causes this condition?

It's currently believed that nausea is related to the "pregnancy" hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin). Your lifestyle also can affect the severity of your morning sickness. Women who don’t get enough rest seem more prone to attacks, as do women who are under stress, as they are also more likely to experience nausea and vomiting.


How to ease the quease

  • Get out of bed slowly. An abrupt change from laying flat to standing will only increase the feeling of dizziness.
  • Eat frequent small meals. Taking little meals throughout the day will help keep your blood-sugar levels steady and will keep your stomach filled to minimize that queasy feeling.
  • Snack on easy to digest foods, such as crackers, whole-wheat toast, a hot baked potato, cooked pasta, cooked rice, or fruit.
  • Avoid greasy foods, such as butter, margarine, mayonnaise, bacon, gravy, pastries, fried meats, and french fries.
  • Go easy on spicy foods, especially those cooked with pepper, hot chili peppers, and garlic.
  • Keep your kitchen well ventilated to exhaust lingering cooking odors. Pregnant women often have an exaggerated sense of smell.
  • Try eating cold foods. They have less odor and may be easier to swallow.
  • Drink water or suck on ice to avoid dehydration if you’ve been vomiting. Contact your doctor if you vomit more than twice daily.
  • Exercise. It will help you relieve the stress that may be contributing to your morning sickness and it also will help you sleep better at night.

Combating constipation
Your growing baby and uterus are putting the squeeze on your intestines, causing an uncomfortable slow-down in your digestion. Also, the hormonal changes during pregnancy relax your muscles so they can accommodate your expanding uterus. This relaxation also slows down digestion. One result is constipation and another is flatulence. The best way to deal with the problem is to increase your fiber consumption and fluid intake. Try eating a high-fiber cereal for breakfast, increasing the amount a little each morning. Snack on a few dried prunes or a handful of raisins. And drink 8 glasses of fluid every day, preferably water, to keep your stools soft. As your constipation goes away, so will the gassiness. You can speed the process if you avoid beans, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and fried foods.

Eating a few graham crackers, some melba toast, plain popcorn, or a handful of dry cereal before you get out of bed can help control morning sickness. These carbohydrate-rich foods will slowly elevate your blood-sugar levels to combat feelings of nausea.

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About The Author

Topeka, Kansas native Jill Tomlin writes about health issues for Your Baby Today. Her work appears in national publications.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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