If you’re pregnant and are feeling a bit (or even more than a bit) green around the gills, you’re in good – but pretty queasy – company.
It’s estimated that around three quarters of pregnant women get morning sickness, which tends to start in the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy and can go on for around 6 weeks.
And no – as some of you have probably discovered – it’s not confined to the mornings (alas) but can strike up at pretty much any time of the day.
So, is there anything you can do to ease the symptoms? We ran a poll on this topic and we have to say – brace yourself – that around two thirds of those who took the poll said they didn’t find anything that really helped. Bluergh.
On the up side, there were a fair few who found some tactics that eased their nausea and sickness. So, here we share their tips – plus some extra ones from our Facebook and Chat forum mums.
1. Eat smaller meals
For loads of us, eating the same-sized meals we managed before we got pregnant doesn’t work out so well once we’re expecting and that once-satisfying full feeling ends up making us feel nauseous.
Katy P, on our Facebook page, advises: “Eat little and often, even if you think you don’t want to.”
And Julie H agrees: “Eat little and often rather than a big meal.”
2. Go for anything with ginger in it
Ginger’s come up time and time again among our mums as a being a good soother of morning sickness. Ayshea D suggests eating ginger biscuits, and Rebecca G told us that sipping on (non-alcoholic) ginger ale really helped her.
3. Avoid strong smells
It might not be the sight of a plate of food that gets you feeling a bit off, but the strong smell of something – perhaps a particularly pungent fish or even alcohol – that gets you feeling a wee bit queasy.
And while you might be able to monitor a bit more easily what smells come into your home, that’s easier said than done when you’re out and about.
If you do find yourself feeling sick when you’re out and there’s nothing you can do, at least know that you’re not alone and that it’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.
4. Suck on an ice cube
“I found ice helped get fluids into me,” says Becky R, and we agree it’s important to make sure you’re hydrated, especially if you’re being sick all the time. Kirsty E agrees: “Ice pops!!!! Only thing I could keep down!”
And one of our mums, Lisa W, suggests combining this tip with tip number 2: she pops ginger extract into ice cold water and sips.
5. Eat plainer food
As well as going for the little-and-often approach, a fair few of our mums have suggested it might be worth skipping the fancier meals for something plainer, like toast.
Ayshea D suggests nibbling on plain digestive biscuits: worth a try if you’re having a really bad day and can’t stomach anything else.
6. Wear travel sickness bands
A number of you mentioned that these little bands you put on your wrists proved helpful when you had morning sickness.
Katy P says: “I used Sea-Bands. These helped the feeling of nausea a lot of the time.”
7. Have a small snack at both ends of the day
Some of our mums say that having a small snack before bedtime helped with their nausea, and many nutrition experts will tell you that the the same goes at the other end of the day too: that eating as soon as you wake up can help with sickness during the day.
Check out our recipes for great pregnancy breakfasts
8. Get a foot massage
Some of our mums agreed that a foot massage helped their morning sickness – perhaps because relieving muscle tension also eased the nausea. To be honest, even if it doesn’t totally work– it’s still a nice thing to have, right?
9. Try acupuncture
Some of our mums swear that acupuncture helped them when morning sickness got them down. H2525 in our forum says she: “… found it to be brilliant and had a session each week for 3 weeks… It worked almost immediately. I only threw up once a week instead of 24/7. I really recommend this…”
10. Sugary tea
We can’t say this is one lots of our mums have mentioned, but we thought we’d throw it in anyway – anything’s worth a try at some point, isn’t it? Teri B told us sugary tea (along with ginger biscuits – so maybe that’s the secret?) helped.
And if nothing really works…
Alas, a fair few of our mums said that nothing they tried really worked, so the best thing they could do was simply get used to the fact they were in for a tough few months.
Nanu C says, “I had [sickness] all through pregnancy. I tried everything and nothing helped. Tell everyone so they know and don’t be ashamed to be sick in public.”
And Becky R adds, “Don’t suffer in silence. Vomiting lots, weight loss and dehydration is not good for you or baby, so go to the GP for help.”