Having morning sickness during pregnancy is probably one of the worst symptoms ever! You feel nauseous and weak when it hits, and the tiniest of smells might trigger another retching episode where you’ll probably spend the better part of the hour on the bathroom floor, less if you’re lucky.
Morning sickness is actually a wide term to describe pregnancy nausea. Despite having the word ‘morning’ in its name, morning sickness may happen in the afternoon, evening or night depending on the individual. While this symptom usually is the most rampant in the first 3 months of your pregnancy, it usually peaks around the 8th or 9th week and starts to subside as you enter your 2nd trimester.
One thing for sure — it’s an inescapable symptom that all mums-to-be face, so it doesn’t hurt to learn how to keep your morning sickness under control earlier on in your pregnancy.
What causes morning sickness?
First, you need to know why morning sickness happens. During pregnancy, your hormones are thrown off balance, especially the feel-good hormone, oestrogen, with levels at an all-time high. Since oestrogen is a smell-sensitive hormone, that explains why you’re so easily triggered by the slightest whiff of scents while pregnant.
#1 Avoid strong smells — bring your own
As explained earlier, the high oestrogen level in your body causes your olfactory senses to go into overdrive. You might even think that once-pleasant scents now make you want to puke, so it’s best to avoid strong, triggering smells altogether.
One pro-tip that doctors always advise expectant mums is to carry around a small vial of a fresh scent you like, such as citrus, ginger, or lemongrass scents. Whenever you feel nauseated, just spritz a bit of the scent onto your hand and inhale deeply to replace the triggering scent until you feel better.
Looking for a good lemongrass scent? Try our Herbal Medicated Oil (Roll-On) for a convenient, refreshingly pleasant smell anywhere you go.
#2 Never skip breakfast
It’s easier to get sick on an empty stomach, which is probably why we’re often told not to skip breakfast every day. If you’re worried that you aren’t able to stomach too much food in the morning, at least keep some saltine crackers by your bedside so you can munch on them whenever you want to. Try not to eat foods that are too watery or soupy — bread, dry cereal, nuts, cookies, or granola should do the trick.
#3 Eat less, but more often
Instead of obsessing with maintaining a balanced diet while pregnant (which is important, but not so that it stresses you out both mentally and physically), there are doctors who advise pregnant women to go along with their impulses and eat the food they really want to eat. Pregnancy cravings are real, and besides, pregnant moms may already be having a hard time with their wonky appetite, so as long as the cravings aren’t too bizarre, you should just go for it.
In the case you can’t even bear the thought of eating anything while having a bout of morning sickness, you can try breaking up your meals into smaller portions at regular intervals throughout the day. This helps keep your blood sugar high and prevent your stomach from being empty. Stash some fruits, crackers, granola bars, and cereal at home so you’ll always have something to snack on at any time of the day.
#4 Keep peppermint handy
Peppermint has soothing a calming properties that are great for helping to reduce nausea. You can try peppermint products in many ways, such as teas, candy, gum, essential oils, balms, and more. Besides having a refreshing scent and taste, it is an all-natural herb that will neither harm you or your growing baby. However, do be careful not to sniff peppermint oil directly from the bottle as it has a very strong scent that may cause you some discomfort.
#5 Add more ginger into your diet
Ginger is every woman’s best friend, whether during pregnancy, in confinement, or even in their daily lives. Ginger has a naturally calming property that eases nausea, soothes the stomach, and whets the appetite. It’s also a great ingredient that helps your body stay warm and fuzzy when the temperature gets colder.
As a versatile ingredient, you can add ginger into your dishes, soups, drinks, even baths, to reap the wonderful benefits of ginger. In fact, we’ve got ready-made ginger drinks, spices, and baths that are extremely simple to prepare.
#6 Lie down and have a good rest
When your morning sickness gets a little too overwhelming for you, sometimes the best solution is just to lie down and get more rest. Grab your favourite pillows and blankets (made with breathable cotton, of course!) and just have a good, long nap. Your body deserves it, with all the work it’s doing creating a little human inside of your body.
Maternity pillows have just the right shape and material to help make your sleep more restful. If it helps, get blackout curtains too. The darkness they provide, even if in the middle of a bright, sunny day, helps your brain to relax faster and more effectively. Try not to take any sleeping pills either, unless specifically prescribed by your doctor, because any medication you take will directly affect your baby.