Suffering from morning sickness? Read our tips on what to eat while pregnant that can help ease the nausea
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy affects as many as 50% of all women in the early weeks of their pregnancy. Commonly known as morning sickness it generally starts at around six weeks after your last period and continues for around five to six weeks. Whilst some women experience nausea and vomiting for longer the symptoms often disappear completely by the third month of pregnancy.
The effects can vary from a mild feeling of nausea without actually being sick to the extreme ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’ – severe sickness which can result in dehydration, weight loss and in some cases will require specialist treatment and hospitalisation.
‘Morning sickness’ is a bit of a misnomer for many women as the symptoms can come on at different times of the day or night or can even be present constantly.
It can be a trying problem, especially during the early stages of pregnancy when people around you may not even know you’re pregnant. The early weeks can be surprisingly tiring as your body adjusts to pregnancy and if you’re suffering from morning sickness as well it can have a significant impact on your quality of life – but be reassured that for most women it doesn’t last beyond the first trimester!
Why do pregnant women suffer from morning sickness?
The exact cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is unknown – which is little comfort if you need to head for the bathroom the moment you wake up!
Some sources suggest that the symptoms may be linked to increased levels of oestrogen and possibly low blood sugar levels. A lack of Vitamin B6 in the diet is also thought to be a possible cause of morning sickness.
Avoiding morning sickness
A few tips to help you to avoid the symptoms of morning sickness:
- Get plenty of rest
- Ginger can help reduce the symptoms – try a cooling lime and ginger sparkler and keep a packet of ginger biscuits handy
- Make sure you stay hydrated with plenty of water and small sips little and often
- Avoid foods and smells that you know will make you feel sick
- Eat small, more frequent meals, nourishing soups or savoury snacks
- Simple savoury foods such as toast, crackers, baked potatoes or pasta are often better than sweet, rich or spicy foods
- Boost your Vitamin B intake with foods such as bananas, wholemeal bread and cereal, brown rice, vegetables, soya beans or Brewer’s Yeast
- Some women find that replacing regular tea with peppermint tea is helpful