When does morning sickness start?
A surge of pregnancy hormones arrives in your first trimester. Unfortunately this can trigger a feeling of nausea, commonly called morning sickness. It generally peaks around week 10, and it should settle down by weeks 12-13.
While it’s named ‘morning sickness’ it can actually hit you at any time of the day. You might find yours is more like ‘after lunch’ or ‘early evening sickness’. There are also some mums-to-be who experience morning sickness right through till the very end of their pregnancy. Try to remember – morning sickness will pass. In the meantime here are a few tips to help you along your way.
- Easy does it - get up slowly in the morning and try a plain snack like a cracker or piece of toast before getting out of bed
- Rest up - being really tired can sometimes make your nausea worse. Try to get plenty of sleep - if there’s ever been a time to take it easy it’s when you’re pregnant
- Snack away - eating small amounts regularly over the day (so you always have a little food in your tummy) can help improve feelings of nausea
- Sip on a smoothie – having a chilled smoothie made with milk, yoghurt and fruit in the fridge can give you something tasty and full of calcium to sip on over the day if you don’t feel like solid food. If you are concerned you are missing out on important nutrients, talk to your health professional about finding a suitable nutritional supplement drink to help provide some extra energy and nutrients in your diet.
- Hydrate – drink enough to keep you well hydrated, it will help you feel better and also replenish lost fluids if you have been vomiting. Cold water, diluted juice, glucose drinks, or flat soft drinks can be good choices
- Hold your nose - avoid smells that make you feel worse such as cooking odours, perfume and cigarette smoke which are common triggers for morning sickness
- Get a kitchen helper – if you can, have someone cook for you when you’re not feeling so great
- The more bland the better – if you’re having trouble keeping food down, go for plain high carbohydrate options like pieces of toast, crackers, plain pasta or rice dishes. Be wary of spicy, fatty and highly flavoured meals as they can make you feel worse
- Grab a bite before bed – having a light, plain snack before you go to bed can sometimes help. Don't overdo it though as late meals (especially if large) can also give you a bit of heartburn.
- Get your stretchy pants on – go for comfort all the way and wear loose waist bands. Clothing that’s tight around your middle can worsen nausea.
A few things that might help relieve your morning sickness:
- Food or drinks containing ginger (gingerale, ginger and lemon tea, gingernut biscuits)
- Sparkling water
- Natural yoghurt
- Plain crackers or biscuits
- Salty snacks
- Ice-cold diluted fruit juice, glucose drinks or flat soft drinks
- Raw vegetables like carrot and celery sticks
- Chamomile or peppermint tea
- Lollies or chewing gum
There’s ill… and there’s ill. How much is too much?
Even if you can’t eat much, it's important you stay hydrated. Your baby will take the nutrients they need from you even if you don't manage to eat much solid food. Keep sipping on drinks throughout the day and taking in small amounts of food.
If you’re being sick several times a day, and you can’t keep any decent amount of food or drink down, it’s time to see your GP or lead maternity carer.