Your new life with your new bundle of joy will soon begin, but in the meantime, you may experience some degree of pregnancy sickness. According to Dr. Anna Kaplan, a physician of Family Practice and writer for PlanningFamily.com, eight out of ten expectant mothers experience pregnancy sickness. Some experience only mild nausea in the morning, while others experience severe nausea and vomiting throughout the entire day. Keeping food down is vital for the health of you and your baby.
Many women with pregnancy sickness gravitate toward bland foods. Start by trying mashed or baked potatoes, using little or no butter to prepare them. If the potatoes sit well in your stomach, try a little gelatin or broth next. You should also try a brown or white rice, made plain or with a minimal amount of butter. If you feel too sick for anything substantial, however, try nibbling on a few crackers until the nausea calms down enough for something heavier.
Common Nausea-Relieving Cravings
Many women find that citrus and ginger help ease their nausea. When you feel too nauseous to eat anything substantial, try easing your symptoms with lemon-flavored hard candy or ginger tea. Some women feel better after eating salty snacks such as chips or pretzels, while others swear by cold foods like fruity popsicles. Vitamin B6 also works well for many women, so try eating tomatoes or other foods that contain high amounts of B6. Lastly, if you have a craving for a specific food, eat it. Even eating a food that provides little nutrition still provides more nutrition than eating nothing.
Pregnancy sickness can easily lead to dehydration. Vomiting causes your body to lose fluids, and a lack of fluid could harm you and your baby. In order to increase your odds of keeping fluids down, avoid drinking fluids during meals and drink small amounts of fluid at frequent intervals instead of large amounts all at once. Some women feel better after drinking ginger ale or other bubbly sodas, but others do better with flat drinks like juice or water.
Most women with pregnancy sickness keep more food down by eating frequent small meals throughout the day instead of the standard three square meals. If your stomach feels especially sensitive, try eating only one type of food at each meal. Eat protein before going to bed in order to prevent low blood sugar and low energy in the morning. Keep a few crackers next to your bed and eat them in the morning while still lying down. Get up slowly and eat a few more crackers or dry toast.
Stick to less spicy versions of your favorite dishes, dressings and snacks. Stay away from excessively greasy foods, because these trigger pregnancy sickness the most. Avoid any smells that increase your nausea. If smells associated with cooking bother you, ask someone else to do the cooking and stay out of the kitchen or restaurants while your pregnancy sickness persists. If your nausea prevents you from keeping any food or fluid down, then seek medical attention.
- "Planning Family"; Foods that May Help Curb Morning Sickness; Anna Kaplan; 2011
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada: Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy
- Parents - American Baby: Pregnancy Symptoms and Complaints - Morning Sickness and Nausea
- Parents - American Baby: Morning Sickness Foods
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images