Feeling sick through the early stages of pregnancy is not pleasant, but not unusual. In fact, up to 80% of women have mild to moderate nausea and over half of these will also experience vomiting.
Once you’re through the first trimester (first 12 weeks) of pregnancy, symptoms will usually start to fade; although some women may continue to feel unwell through to around 20 weeks and even later into their pregnancy. Oh, hormones.
There are a number of things you can do to feel better that are relatively easy to slip into your daily routine.
Eat up – might sound like strange advice when you’re feeling nauseous. However, keeping your blood sugar level by eating regularly can really help. Getting to the point of feeling hungry tends to increase nausea. Eating little and often is the key here – especially good quality protein and complex carbohydrates e.g. eggs, avocado on rice crackers, natural yoghurt, fish or chicken with a small salad, legumes (such as in a lentil soup), baked beans, soaked muesli…
Starting the day with a small snack before getting up and moving around can also help – some gals will have crackers (or something similarly plain) by the bed to nibble on. If you have a lovely partner, they may even bring you a cup of tea and snack to bed (you can only ask!)
Ginger – this doesn’t work for everyone (and for some unlucky women makes things much worse), but for those it does: GOLD. Ginger tea, first thing in the morning (with your pre-movement snack) and/or throughout the day is a winner. If you can pulverise some fresh ginger and steep in water, that’s ideal… but teabags will also do the trick. Tablets and capsules can help too. Use what works for you.
Freshly chopped / crushed ginger + a generous squeeze of lemon + some shredded mint leaves = delicious, aromatic, stomach settling tea. (optional additions: cinnamon and cardamom)
You can also make up a big pot and put in the fridge to have a cool drink later in the day. Win.
B6 – supplementation can significantly help some women quell pregnancy nausea, either on its own or in a good quality B-complex.
Supplements should be additional to diet however, and B6 can be found in particularly high amounts in the following foods: chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, trout, tuna, spinach, broccoli, peas, asparagus, sunflower seeds, cashews, chickpeas and lentils.
Acupuncture – I cannot recommend this enough! Acupuncture throughout your pregnancy, and particularly in the lead up to birth, is an excellent inclusion in your healthcare at this important time. Acupuncture is excellent for morning sickness, digestive upsets and low energy that can categorise certain stages of pregnancy.
These are my top tips, but there are many more options available to help you feel well and enjoy your pregnancy.
What have you found most effective from your own experiences?