The word morning sickness is a misnomer – after all, that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach in the early days of pregnancy can hit at any time of the day or night. Suffering from a stomach that refuses to settle? Fear not, here are some tips from Jordana Smith, Licensed Dietitian, Genesis Healthcare Centre, to help.
1. Keep the balance: Eat small, more frequent meals and meals. Essentially you never want to be too full or too hungry.
2. Work on cutting out sugar spikes: Balance your blood glucose levels. In all meals it is important to include protein and fat, even if it's a small serve. Eating protein, particularly at breakfast, can help. Sometimes, eating before you even get out of bed can ease the feeling of nausea for the rest of the day. Have some nuts or protein balls available that you can munch on before you sit up in the morning.
3. Eat slowly and mindfully. This will help you not overeat at meals, which can exacerbate the feeling of nausea.
4. Try salty, sour or cold foods. Things like unsweetened dried cherries, with salted almonds can really settle the feeling of nausea.
5. Avoid drinking too much water, tea or soda with meals. This increases the volume within the stomach and can cause discomfort.
6. Avoid strong odours.
7. Consider a supplement of ginger and Vitamin B6 (in the form of pyridoxal-5"-phosphate). You can have this every eight hours at a dose of 10 to 25mg. If taking ginger, ginger ale or ginger sodas do not have enough actual ginger to have an effect. Magnesium can sometimes help, though it hasn't been clinically studied. You can take a supplement, use a magnesium spray or have a relaxing bath or foot bath with Epsom salts.
8. Nibble on nosh. If you really don't feel like you can eat in the morning, at least aim to have a couple of sips of a protein shake, or two bites of an egg.
9. The use of essential oils has been shown to help. Try four drops of lavender with one drop of peppermint oil in a diffuser.
10. Acupuncture and acupressure are effective for some women too.
11. Be sure to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes if you do throw up. Bone broth can be helpful as can drinking coconut water, or anything salty.
Smith explains to mums-to-be need to put aside the mum guilt that come from not managing to stomach nutrient dense foods. “Remember that it is temporary and to not beat yourself up for not managing to eat nutrient dense foods. Sometimes a bag of salt and vinegar crisps are the only that will work. Your body has reserves for the short term,” she says.
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