How to deal with morning sickness

If you’re suffering from morning sickness, don’t worry, most pregnant women do.

It’s just your body dealing with the increase in pregnancy hormones. As long as you’re looking after yourself, it doesn’t harm your baby.

What is morning sickness?

Feeling sick and vomiting is a normal symptom of pregnancy in your first trimester. It’s usually caused by the changes in hormones as your baby and your placenta develops. It can also be caused by low blood sugar, stomach acid, your newly increased sense of smell and feeling tired.

It is called “morning sickness” because this is often the time of day when you experience nausea the worst, but you can experience symptoms at any time during the day or night, its different for every expectant mum.

How long will I have morning sickness?

Morning sickness can begin from around week 6 and in some cases can last up until week 20 of your pregnancy. Usually, symptoms will start to ease off by weeks 12-14.

The length of your nausea varies between women. Some experience nausea or vomiting for a couple of hours a day, while some can feel sick for the entire day. You’ll quickly start to learn your own morning sickness pattern.

What can help with morning sickness?

Try to remember, you won’t feel like this forever and there are ways you can manage it. It’s just about finding what works for you.

Here are some tried and tested ideas that might help:

  • Ginger is a great natural remedy. Try sipping ginger tea or nibbling on a few ginger biscuits when you are feeling sick
  • Take things slow. Try and relax, take beep breathes and have a sit down
  • H2O is your friend. Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel like eating
  • Drink a glass of milk to help neutralise your stomach acid
  • Eat plain foods that are rich in carbohydrates, such as dry wholemeal toast, nuts and pasta
  • Carry a mini toothpaste and toothbrush in your handbag (just in case).
  • Try acupressure wrist bands to ease the nausea

Can I prevent morning sickness?

Although there’s no cure, hopefully one or more of the above will help ease your symptoms. And remember, you’re not going through this alone. Talk to mum friends, pregnant friends, online forums and local prenatal groups for extra support.

Other things you can do:

  • Eat little and often to help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Instead of three meals a day, aim for five or six smaller ones
  • Avoid greasy and spicy foods
  • Eating cold food reduces intense smells which can be a trigger
  • Get plenty of rest because feeling tired could be making your symptoms worse
  • Try eating some dry crackers or plain biscuits 20 minutes before getting up on a morning
  • Get out of bed slowly

Should I see a doctor?

If you're being sick more than 4 times a day and find that you can’t keep any food or drink down for 24 hours or more, this could be a sign of hyperemesis gravidarm - a form of severe morning sickness.

If this is the case, you should contact your GP or midwife straight away, as you can become dehydrated or malnourished very quickly.