Morning sickness may be one of the few times you’re thrilled to feel a bit queasy. It’s an early symptom in 70 to 85 percent of pregnancies, typically rearing its nauseating head around the sixth week and ending after week 14 or 16. For some mothers-to-be, it should more accurately be named “morning noon and night” sickness because it can really strike at any time of day.
Although its exact cause is unknown, theories include changing hormone levels, low blood sugar, and that it’s nature’s way of protecting the fetus from potential dangers. It’s often triggered by the smell, taste, or even sight of certain foods or chemicals, such as perfume.
Try one of these techniques to keep the queasiness at bay:
Eat to beat it.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends starting your day by nibbling on saltine crackers—or a few salty potato chips if that’s what settles your tummy—before you even get out of bed. Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day so your blood sugar doesn’t dip too low.
Avoid spicy or fatty foods, and opt instead for high-protein choices that won’t cause blood sugar spikes. Try apple slices with peanut butter, yogurt with nuts, or cheese and whole-wheat crackers.
Treat it “ginger-ly.”
For some reason, ginger can have a soothing effect on an upset stomach. When morning sickness strikes, sip a glass of ginger tea or ginger ale, or suck on a piece of ginger candy.
Put it under pressure.
Research shows that acupressure helps ease nausea. One key acupressure point, called the Inner Gate, is about three finger-widths from your wrist on the inside of your forearm. Apply pressure between the two tendons with the thumb or forefinger of your other hand for about three minutes. You also can wear a special bracelet that applies constant pressure to the point.
Avoid strong smells such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, or perfumes, and open a window or use a fan if cooking smells bother you.
Take your prenatal vitamin at night instead of in the morning.
Stay upright after meals.