What you can do to avoid morning sickness

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As any pregnant woman or mother knows, “morning sickness” is a misleading term. Yes, some women feel nauseous or vomit early in the AM, but most women suffering from these symptoms–a whopping 75 percent of expecting moms–experience them throughout the day.

Things you can do to avoid morning sickness

So what can you do? In severe cases, some women do ask their doctors to prescribe medication. Others are understandably reluctant to take extra medications during pregnancy and prefer to stick to natural solutions. There’s no surefire way to avoid nausea during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, but there are a few tricks you can use to minimize it.

Herbal remedies. Traditional cures for other kinds of nausea can also help ease morning sickness. Ginger, chamomile and mint are all thought to have a calming effect on the digestive system. Try steeping freshly cut ginger in boiling water (with or without a tea bag) and adding a little honey. Alternatively, sucking on candied ginger or mints, or sipping a Moroccan mint tea may help.

Try to move after eating. Tempting as it may be to nap after a large meal, this can slow digestion. Try taking a gentle 10 to 15 minute walk after meals and refrain from eating for at least two hours before sleep.

Pay attention. Almost all pregnant women experience aversions to different smells or flavors. For one woman, a whiff of seafood might turn her stomach. For another, it might be coffee. Whatever it is that bothers you, steer clear, even if it’s a food you normally enjoy. Forcing yourself to eat “normally” during your pregnancy isn’t going to do you any favors.

Eat small snacks rather than large meals. There’s a good deal of evidence to suggest that humans digest better if they eat small meals of around 200 to 400 calories each. Try to keep snacks on hand at all times and nibble throughout the day.

Brush your teeth immediately after eating. Any lingering food aromas aren’t going to do you any favors, and they certainly aren’t going to improve with time. Brush, floss and use mouthwash if necessary as quickly as you can after a meal.

Avoid fatty or spicy foods. Pregnancy may not be the time to try that five-chili som tam or braised pork belly. Delicious as they may be, chilies can irritate the digestive track and fatty foods take a long time to break down. Stick to simpler, blander foods that are relatively easy for your body to process.

Try acupressure bands. Though not scientifically proven, some women swear by these for fighting off all sorts of nausea, including the pregnancy-induced variety. Sea-Band (sea-band.com) is one of the more widely available brands.

Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated is essential anyway, especially if you’re vomiting frequently. Sip liquids, preferably room temperature ones, slowly throughout the day.

Get enough rest. We know, easier said than done while pregnant. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re demanding a lot of your body right now and you need to give it sufficient time to recover daily. Understand that no matter how busy you are, sometimes you will need to prioritize your health and just take it a bit easier.

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku via Compfight cc


Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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