Guest Blogger, Miriam Erick, is a licensed registered dietitian, researcher-author and nationally known perinatal morning sickness advocate. Miriam also just launched her e-Book: Take Two Crackers and Call Me in the Morning! A Real-Life Guide for Surviving Morning Sickness
Most women suffer from morning sickness at some point during pregnancy, usually in the first trimester. Symptoms can range from mild queasiness to severe nausea, weakness, and weight loss. When the symptoms include steady weight loss, consider a request to a Registered Dietitian who specializes in pregnancy.
While the cause of morning sickness is not known for certain, research points to hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy. Keep track of your weight situation during this time – weigh yourself on your home scale before and after a visit to your provider. Not all scales will give you the same results but you’ll have a trend.
Things to try:
1. Ginger ale and crackers are a traditional remedy. Ginger ales with a stronger “bite” seem to work better. Drinking lemonade (or smelling a lemon) may help settle your stomach if ginger ale does not work.
2. If crackers don’t seem to be effective, some women react well to potato chips, which are a good source of potassium.
3. Quench your thirst and settle your stomach – often with solid foods- with anything you are craving. You need the fluids and nutrients.
4. Aim to drink 8-10 cups of fluid a day to avoid dehydration. A cup of ice chips or a cup of watermelon cubes counts for about a half a cup of fluid. Pace yourself with keeping track. If you make a chart with 16 (1/2 cup) portions spaced out over 16 hrs—1/2 cup an hour, it helps to know where you are on the daily goal.
5. Odors often trigger nausea. These can be from food, fragrances- perfume or cologne- items you might have previously enjoyed. You may want to get help with tasks like grocery shopping which have many triggers.
6. Summer heat, humidity and stale air often increase odors and aromas. Try to stay in an air-conditioned room whenever possible.
7. During winter months if you are chilly, put on an extra sweater and also a hat –instead of turning up the heat. An overly warm house will make you lose fluids through perspiration as well as increase household aromas.
8. Every season and location has potential triggers so keeping a journal can be helpful.
9. If your prenatal vitamin is difficult to take regularly, ask if you can cut it in ½ and take part of it in the morning and then before bed. If that fails, consider a chewable children’s vitamin with folate.
10. Not all morning sickness ends at the first trimester mark; there are no markers.
Estimates are that 50-90% of women suffer some of these issues—so you have lots of company!