Tips to Prevent Morning Sickness
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While there is no guaranty that you can prevent morning sickness all the time, there are several things that you can do that may limit the morning sickness you have – either the frequency or the severity morning sickness that you may suffer. Some women have found that they can avoid morning sickness symptoms altogether with these simple tips:
- Try to prevent morning sickness before you start your day. If you start the day queasy, you most likely won’t feel well the rest of the day. The best way to do this is take preventive measures before you even get out of bed.
- Keep some snacks on your bedside table. When you get up to go to the ladies room at night, you can nibble on a few crackers. This will help absorb stomach acid and help keep your blood sugar from getting to low.
- Before you get out of bed, nibble on a few more crackers – or
have your husband bring you some dry toast, granola, or other bland to munch on before you start the day. The same principal holds true: you need to get something in your stomach to bring your blood sugar up and absorb some of the stomach acid that may cause you to get queasy as soon as you are on your feet.
- Ease yourself into your day. Once you have nibbled in bed,
slowly get up, and nibble a little more in the kitchen. If your stomach will let you, try to take in a little protein (peanut or almond butter on toast, or maybe a little yogurt). Take it slow. Hurried and rushed movements on an empty stomach can cause morning sickness to make a sudden, dramatic, and unwanted appearance.
- Instead of eating three meals a day, try to eat a snack or mini-meal every two hours or so throughout your day. As mentioned, low blood sugar can cause a queasy stomach, which is why many women experience morning sickness in the afternoons – several hours after they last ate.
- Don’t forget your bedtime snack! Dairy foods act as natural antacid foods and can neutralize stomach acids while you sleep (I personally recommend a Dairy Queen blizzard). Fruit and crackers, or other complex carbohydrates, will help keep your stomach from filling with nausea triggering acid.
- Learn from Moms of Toddlers: Keep crackers, a baggie of Cheerios, or veggie sticks in your purse or at your desk to nibble on through out your day. There are now ‘single serving packs’ of crackers that you can buy at the store. I use to buy the Ritz crackers with peanut butter snack packs and keep some at home, in my purse, in the rig, and at my desk. Even if you can’t sit down and eat a mini meal, the snacks will help keep your blood sugar up.
- Eat morning sickness preventive foods. You’re probably already watching your pregnancy diet, but preventing morning sickness is another reason to eat plenty of fruit-filled smoothers, and low-fat, high-carb foods. Some morning sickness preventive foods include:
- Protein – meat and eggs are a great source of protein, as are nuts (raw or dry roasted are best, avoid the honey roasted nuts as the sugar can upset your stomach) and black beans or kidney beans
- Dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt (watch the sugar content in the yogurt, as sugar can trigger a queasy stomach)
- Spread Peanut Butter or another Nut butter (like almond or cashew butter) on crackers, bread, apple slices or celery sticks
- Complex carbohydrates like whole-grain pasta, crackers, bread and brown rice
- Avoid eating foods that can trigger morning sickness. This can vary from person to person, but some of the most common triggers are:
- Fried and greasy foods (like fried chicken, French fries, fish, etc.)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Caffeine – especially partnered with an artificial sweetener – can really trigger that dreadful morning sickness feeling!
- Sweets – while I am a strong proponent of chocolate in moderation, sugars – especially in large quantities – can cause a stomach to turn queasy in a matter of minutes. It’s much better to have a bagel or plain scone than to indulge in a maple bar, glazed doughnut or iced scone. Cookies, cakes and pies are other foods to avoid. To satisfy my sweet tooth (which has never been easy!) I would buy a bag of Hershey kisses (or splurge and get a bag of miniature chocolate bars) and limit myself to one piece whenever a craving hit me.
- Watch the “hidden” sugars in juice, yogurts, puddings and other comfort foods as well.
- Stay hydrated! Not only is drinking enough water essential to your baby’s growth, it’s one of the best ways to avoid morning sickness. While you should be drinking at least twice your normal water intake while you’re pregnant, eating water-rich fruits and vegetables such as grapes, melons, apples, and celery, are a great way to prevent dehydration.
- Avoid drinking large amounts of water or other beverages during a meal.
- Take your prenatal vitamins with a meal, or before bed. This is especially true if you were prone to have an upset stomach while taking birth control pills.
- Dress coolly – being overheated is a trigger for a queasy stomach in most everyone, especially in pregnant moms whose hormones are raging and whose body’s thermostat can fluctuate in a matter of minutes! In the same token, avoid warm and crowded places if at all possible.
- Avoid smells that trigger nausea. The sense of smell becomes highly tuned during pregnancy. Avoid strong odors that act as triggers for you. Some of the smells that are most likely to make a pregnant stomach queasy include (but of, course, are not limited to):
- Fumes from gasoline or solvents
- Cooking or food odors (especially fried cooking! I know that I
couldn’t step into a Chinese restaurant because of the smell of the fried foods)
- Cigarette smoke
- Wet dogs
- If cooking odors bother you, delegate cooking duties to your husband (you can remind him that he loves to bar-b-que!), or ask a friend or relative to help you out on days that your morning sickness
makes even the idea of what to cook unbearable. Other tips:
- Pre-cook, freeze, and fill the freezer up with meals on the days that you do feel well enough to cook. Don’t worry – there’s no such thing as “overcooking”, all those pre-made meals will come in handy once the baby is (or babies are) born!
- Microwave cooked meals have a fraction of the odors associated with them that foods prepared in the oven or on the stovetop do.
- Remember: There’s nothing wrong with sandwiches, or even cold cereal and milk for dinner.
One of the most important thing you can remember is that what works for someone else may – or may not – work for you. Don’t get discouraged. If you try something, and it doesn’t work, try something else. Visit our article on Morning Sickness Cures and Remedies for some more ideas on how to make yourself more comfortable during your pregnancy.
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