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How To Prevent Nausea During Pregnancy

Updated on April 4, 2013
baby scan
baby scan

A nine month pregnancy is split into three trimesters to indicate changes the growing baby affects hormones and the body.

During the first 12 week trimester it is common for the pregnant woman to suffer from nausea. This is often known as Morning Sickness or Nausea Gravidarum.

Although there are no known causes for morning sickness, there are thoughts that new changes in hormones or an imbalance of blood sugar levels may an have affect.

There are many theories relating to the causes ranging from high oestrogen levels, an increase in stomach acid leading to nausea to the body rejecting foods containing potentially harmful toxins to the fetus.

The severity of sickness will vary from woman to woman, and will be different for each pregnancy. This could range from feeling slightly nauseous for the first few weeks, to physically vomiting. It could last throughout the first trimester, come and go throughout the whole pregnancy, or just last for a matter of days.

Because of the changes in hormone levels, the expectant mother may become rather sensitive to certain tastes and smells. Something she would normally find unoffensive could suddenly be very noticeable and even trigger off the nausea. It could be the smell of shampoo, or the taste of tomatoes.

Just because it is known as morning sickness, it isn't strictly experienced in the mornings. Nausea and sickness can come on at any time of the day.Some mothers to be also have cravings for certain food or even non food items in some cases! The need for the food craved can sometimes help to 'take away' the sickness feeling.

drink plenty of water
drink plenty of water
ginger is good for nausea
ginger is good for nausea

How to prevent the nausea

An expectant mother can try different techniques to ease the symptoms depending on the time of day she feels unwell.

Sickness in the morning

If sickness is felt first thing then take your time getting out of bed. Sit up first and rest for a while. Try to eat something small before getting up.

Ginger is known for it's anti sickness properties, so try a ginger biscuit or warm water with ginger and honey to settle the stomach.

Keep some food by your bedside to avoid getting up for it. Ginger snaps, biscuits or plain crackers will help.

Sickness throughout the day

There are many different ways to try to ward off that dreaded feeling and get on with your day.

Acupressure wrist bands

These are usually tended for travel sickness and can be purchased at your local chemist. They are bands worn on each wrist with a bead on the inside. The bead should rest against a particular acupressure point which in turn relieves the symptom.

Sips of water

Keep your fluid levels up to avoid dehydration. It will settle the stomach and help your energy levels. It will also help against headaches and low blood pressure.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint is also said to have it's calming affects on the inside. Try this when you feel unsettled.

Eat little and often

Not always easy when you look a little green but try to eat something small every couple of hours. If your tummy is rumbling because you are hungry it will only add to the discomfort. High protein food is good such as peanut butter on toast.

Get some fresh air

Go for a walk or just sit outside for a while to relax and get some air. Take in some deep breaths and your sickness could subside.

Try flat lemonade

Suggested to help against the symptoms of sickness and diarrhea, this could just help.

Eat healthy!

Snack on foods which will benefit both mother and baby. Try fruit and vegetables high in water content as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Stay away from sugary cakes, puddings and artificial sweetener. Have something to steady the blood sugar level such as wholemeal bread, rice or even snack on a bagel. This is much better than having sugary stuff which may make you feel sick in the long run.

Avoid smells that make you feel nauseous

This isn't always possible but if you are aware of the smells or foods which are triggering the feelings, try to avoid them. Stop using products that you can't tolerate and going to restaurants if you can't stand the cooking smells.

Take it easy

Make sure you rest plenty and sit down whilst you eat. Take your time when you have meals, don't overeat and sit for a while afterwards.

Other ways to help

  • Keep your home or office well ventilated by keeping a window open.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth when you are feeling sick. Wait for it to subside.
  • Don't eat a lot of spicy food which can upset the stomach or very acidic food or drink.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, such as tea, coffee and cola.
  • Eat before bed. Try a high protein snack and a glass of milk.

Being sick whilst pregnant does not tend to be harmful to your unborn baby, but do consult your doctor if you are experiencing a lot of vomiting. If it contains blood or it is 'coffee ground' or you are losing more liquid than you can keep down, seek medical advice straight away.

Generally pregnancy sickness is just a temporary thing and it could be trial and error to find what suits you best to get rid of that queasiness!


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    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Please do Simone! Hope it passes for her.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I know someone who is suffering from morning sickness- er... Nausea Gravidarum (I love that word!)- right now. I should share this Hub with her!

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Hi JillKostow - What a nightmare it was your favorite food! Think of the calories you saved though ;)

      Hi leahlefler - I personally was never physically sick during my pregnancy, but everything made me feel sick. It ranged from the smell of toast to my deodorant. Mine didn't last long either.

      Hi Giselle - all pregnancies are different. I'm hoping my next one will run smoothly (although I'm in no hurry!)

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 5 years ago

      Great article! Very interesting, I'm sure a lot of expectant mothers will find the tips here helpful. I did not have morning sickness with either of my pregnancies, but my neighbor had a rough time of it with all of her ones.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      You have great advice, Emma! I remember working in the office when I was pregnant with both of my boys - I would sip peppermint tea to help quell the nausea. Fortunately, my morning sickness resolved by about 12 weeks, and then I was fine!

    • JillKostow profile image

      Jill Kostowskie 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Very useful hub for those suffering with nausea during pregnancy. Luckily for me I only had "pizza sickness". During all three of my pregnancies the only food I could not tolerate was pizza, worse part was that is my favorite food to eat.. Voted up!

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      It's such a bad time when you are pregnant. Hopefully it won't last long. All the best to her.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 5 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Wow, I'll have to share this with my sister as she is pregnant now and always has such bad nausea! Voted up and shared!

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      I think it's the freshness of the citrus - it takes away the sickness or 'tinny' taste some women have.

      A pregnant friend of mine craves lemons right now, but another friend wanted brie cheese to take away the feeling (ripened cheese is not recommended for a pregnant lady!). I on the other hand wanted mashed potato!

      Thanks for stopping by :)

    • PenHitsTheFan profile image

      Amy L. Tarr 5 years ago from Home

      I've heard that citrus can help. My friend said she carried lemon sugar free candies and it helped with her kids.