Just a few weeks after staring at those double lines, you may discover the true meaning of the phrase “morning sickness.” Or, if you're anything like me, you may even end up renaming it “all-day sickness.” Whatever you decide to call it, nausea during pregnancy can be severe enough to prevent you from going about your regular routine. But, since you are growing a tiny human inside you, it's best to avoid medications if you can. Here are a few tricks to easing morning sickness without medicine.
Most women experience the worst nausea in the morning because there's nothing in their stomach but a bunch of hormones. Eating several small meals throughout the day instead of three big meals can help. Keep a box of crackers by your bed, and if you wake up in the middle of the night (perhaps for that other lovely side effect -- frequent bathroom trips), munch on a few. You can even eat a few crackers before you get out of bed, since motion tends to enhance nausea.
Peppermint is great for easing nausea and works for a lot of people. Often, just the scent can help ease upset stomachs. One of the best parts of this natural remedy is that you can find it in many different forms like candy, tea or even toothpaste. However, use caution; if you use it too often it may loose its effectiveness, so try mixing it with a few other options.
Sure, Coca-Cola isn't exactly all-natural, but many moms swear by it. For me, the fizz made nausea worse, so I used the frozen version you can pick up at most gas stations. Don't overdo it, though. Since it does contain caffeine, try to keep it at 32 ounces or less.
Ginger has also been used for a long time to ease upset stomachs, including nausea caused by pregnancy. You can find it in many forms, like ginger ale (make sure it says it's made with real ginger) or ginger cookies.
Flavor with Lemon
The easy-to-find yellow citrus can help nausea, too. Add lemon to your water for a little taste. Often, simply smelling lemon can help. Try combing lemon and ginger with tea.
Find Your Food
Some foods can also help with nausea, but the same items don't work for everyone. Bland foods tend to work better (like toast with peanut butter), but that's not always the case. Pay attention to food aversions—which are the opposite of cravings and quite common during pregnancy. Often, just the smell of these foods can trigger nausea, so stay away from the scents that bother you, too.
Find Your Triggers
Some things can trigger nausea, but it's not the same for everyone. Pay attention to when you start to feel sick and note the potential triggers. Certain smells are common triggers, and often even prenatal vitamins can make nausea worse. Do your best to avoid your triggers. If you usually feel sick in the evenings, avoid scheduling anything during that time if possible.
Find What Works for You
What helps one expectant mother isn't going to have the same effect on others. Try a few things and see what works for you. If you find more than one option that works well, keep switching it up to avoid burnout (after using just peppermint for nausea for a while, eventually the thought of peppermint made me sick to my stomach).
When morning sickness prevents you from eating throughout the day, talk to your doctor. Sometimes, medication is necessary. If you can't keep even liquids down for 24 hours, be sure to call your doctor; you're likely to get dehydrated, which can be dangerous.
Morning sickness can be minor, frequent or severe. Do your best to stay positive—morning sickness often subsides after the first trimester, and before you know it you'll be holding a tiny little person that makes it all worth it.