For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fear of vomit. Everything about it bothers me – the sound, the smell, the worry that it will travel across the room, up my leg, down my throat, and make me sick…. Everything. So it’s no surprise that I suffered from endless weeks of morning sickness when I was a pregnant with my daughter. Only, I wouldn’t call it ‘morning sickness’ because it started at about 3 pm and lasted until I threw up my prenatal vitamin the following morning.
It was so much fun!
Fortunately for you (not me), it lasted long enough that I had time to talk to my OBGYN, a nurse, all of my friends with kids, a gal in the elevator, the chick behind the counter at the pharmacy, and anyone else who would listen to me whine about how unwell I was feeling, and they all gave me some great tips for coping with morning sickness. And because I cannot bear the idea of another human being lying in bed swallowing her own vomit every night for 10+ weeks, I decided to write them all down.
But before I start, have you heard of Preggie Pop Drops? I have never tried them myself, but my BFF said they were a LIFESAVER to her when she was suffering from morning sickness, so I thought I should at least mention them. What do you have to lose, right??!
1. EAT FREQUENTLY
I know, I know. The last thing you want to do is put food in your mouth, let alone swallow it when you feel unwell. But I speak from experience when I say that an empty stomach is the worst thing that can happen to a woman when she’s suffering from morning sickness. So make sure to nibble on something every hour or so, even if it’s just a couple of saltine crackers.
2. EATER SMALLER MEALS
If you’re perpetually queasy, you probably don’t want to eat more than a few bites at a time, but just in case you have a sudden increase in appetite (unlikely), make sure to eat smaller portions over a longer period of time. Your tummy will thank you.
3. AVOID ACIDIC AND SPICY FOODS
One of my girlfriends suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum and warned me that tomatoes and curries were the devil with morning sickness. Not only did they upset her stomach, but they burned like anything when they came back up. So I avoided them both until my 39th week of pregnancy, when I downed a bunch of Indian food to try and induce labor.
Spoiler alert: it worked.
4. DRINK GINGER ALE
Did your mom ever give you flat ginger ale when you felt sick? Mine didn’t. But I drank a lot of ginger ale when I was in my first trimester, and it really helped settle my tummy. I personally found the carbonation helped, but if the bubbles bother you, all you need to do is stir in some sugar to get rid of the fizz. Pretty genius, right?
Have you ever heard of Sea-Band Mama? It’s an accupressure bracelet that offers immediate relief from nausea, and it’s safe for pregnant women. I personally didn’t find it CURED my morning sickness, but it did help take the edge off.
6. EAT BEFORE BED
After a long day of trying not to puke, the last thing you want to do is eat something before crawling into bed and falling into a nausea-induced sleep, but since you’re more likely to feel sick if you have an empty stomach, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you have a piece of toast before hitting the hay.
7. GET PLENTY OF REST
I know this isn’t always easy to do, especially when you’re working and/or caring for other children, but do yourself a favor and grab some extra Zs whenever the opportunity presents itself. It might not get rid of the queasies, but it’ll definitely give you the energy you need to cope.
8. KEEP CRACKERS BY YOUR BED
This is one of the oldest tricks out there because it actually works! Simply nibble on a couple of crackers as soon as you wake up in the morning (before you even sit up), and it should take the edge off.
9. SUCK ON LEMON DROPS
I must’ve gone through 50 bags of lemon drops during the first trimester of my pregnancy, and I always had at least 3 canker sores in my mouth, but at least I wasn’t puking, right?
10. TAKE YOUR PRENATAL VITAMINS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
This was a life-changer for me. For weeks, I took my prenatal vitamin as soon as I woke up, and then waited the recommended time (2 hours?) before having breakfast, and I almost always ended up dry-heaving in the shower. It was really, really sexy. And then one night I decided to try taking it when I got up to pee in the middle of the night (which I always did), and it actually helped! I sometimes felt like I was going to hurl, but if I counted quietly in my head, I could often get through the feeling without actually puking.