Morning sickness—though it can happen any time of day—is common among pregnant women. In fact, four out of five pregnancies are accompanied by frequent episodes of nausea, and more than half of pregnant women have more than three episodes a day. It’s mostly a feature of the first trimester, as the body adjusts to the hormonal changes pregnancy brings, though the exact mechanism is not clear.
Here are some tips for avoiding or minimizing morning sickness:
- Drink lots of fluids. Liquid is easier to keep down than solid foods, so as long as you’re getting proper nutrition, you may find it easier to drink your meals than to eat them.
- Mint and ginger are good things to eat—or drink—if your stomach is in a roil. Ginger’s anti-nausea properties have been demonstrated, and it is often used for motion sickness. Mint is another common remedy for nausea. Both of these natural remedies are safe for pregnant women.
- The flickering of your computer monitor can exacerbate nausea. If you can’t get off the computer entirely—if you need to read well-written, informative medical blogs or something—make adjustments for easy visibility to reduce eyestrain.
- Eat bland foods, and small portions. It’s not just a Woody Allen joke, it’s a good idea. Bland food will go down more easily, and if you avoid a completely empty stomach, you can actually lower the likelihood or severity of morning sickness.
- Complex carbohydrates such as starches are easily digested. Saltines and potato chips are particularly good choices, because the salt will help you maintain your electrolyte balance.
The good news is that morning sickness rarely lasts past the 12th week and is generally harmless, if unpleasant. It has few long-term effects on the mother’s health and doesn’t mean you won’t have a healthy baby. On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a morning-sickness medication.