Morning sickness is a real curse in early pregnancy. It can take away the enjoyment and excitement of early pregnancy. There are many ideas about what to eat if you are suffering from morning sickness. Below you will find some of the most useful dietary tips to help reduce nausea, vomiting, food aversion and food cravings in pregnancy
o Odour plays a major role in morning sickness. Cold food tends to smell less so you might find cold foods easier to tolerate than hot food.
o Morning sickness is definitely affected by your blood sugar levels. Therefore it is important that you keep them as stable as possible. Eat plenty of protein at each meal and have a protein based snack before bed and even during the middle of the night if you wake. There is some evidence to suggest that the reason morning sickness is often worse in the morning is because your blood sugar level has dropped overnight.
o Try to avoid foods that make your blood sugar rise to quickly and subsequently fall. Foods such as fruit juice sugary snacks, highly processed foods including cereals and any food that contains white flour.
o Eat small meals frequently with lots of protein.
o Don’t worry if the foods you are choosing do not seem too balanced. It’s better to keep it down, than have a perfectly balance meal down the loo!
o Keep a snack next to the bed and have it 20 minutes before getting out (not always feasible, when you are bursting for the loo!) Avoid foods that are fatty as they are harder to digest. Best to avoid rich, spicy, acidic and fried foods.
o Foods that are high in fat are more difficult to digest and can make nausea and vomiting worse. Other common culprits include, rich, spicy, acidic and fried foods
o Stay hydrated. This is so important. Try and have regular small drinks (tea, soup, cool drinks) as gulping down large volumes of water can also increase the feelings of nausea. If you have been vomiting consider sipping an isotonic sports drink as it will help to restore balance to your blood sugars, glucose and electrolytes. It is much better to have some fluid in your stomach if you are going to vomit.
o If you are taking prenatal vitamin, your system will handle it much better later in the day and even at bed time than it will in the earlier part of the day. It is also worth using one, just for a few weeks with less iron, which can be particularly harsh on your digestive system. Please do not reduce your iron supplementation if you suspect or have been confirmed to be anaemic.
o Ginger can be really helpful to ease morning sickness. It can be chewed or used in tea. Some women find other products such as candied ginger, ginger beer and stem ginger biscuits.
o Although it may seem obvious avoid any food (or non food) that you find triggers your nausea
o Some ladies find Brewer’s yeast capsules help to relieve morning sickness
o Vitamin B6 has been demonstrated to reduce morning sickness and can be found in cereal grains, legumes, eggs, fish, chicken, nuts and avocados.
o Suck or sniff a lemon when you hit a wave of nausea
o Mint tea and mint chewing gum can be very calming to the digestive tract. Chewing gum can help if excessive saliva is a problem.
Overall it is best to listen to your instincts. It is there for a reason. If you are driven to eat a certain food, then eat it. If the thought or smell of a food makes you feel sick then it is best avoided. Try to be as balanced as possible but do not worry if you cannot. If you are unable to keep anything down it is important to speak to your health care provider.