by Deirdre Wilson
If you are expecting a child be it your first or third you need to know it is possible to manage or minimize the effects of morning sickness.
“A severe case can disrupt a woman’s career and family life and even threaten her long-term health,” says Miriam Erick, a registered dietitian and nationally known expert on morning
sickness. “For such women, the old ‘crackers and jell-o’ mantra isn’t going to cut it.”
Managing Morning Sickness: A Survival Guide for Pregnant Women (Bull Publishing Co., 2004), covers the triggers, possible causes, and remedies for this very common condition.
She offers this advice to pregnant women:
1. Try lemons. “Eating lemons has been noted as a remedy for seasickness,” says Erick. “In my clinical experience, I’ve observed a strange but real therapeutic effect of lemons. You can sniff them, suck on them, or sprinkle them with salt and lick them. Lemon is a fragrance that works about 99 percent of the time! Not only is it effective in relieving nausea, it has been proven to relieve depression.”
2. Track your triggers. Do certain smells, medications, foods, eating or drinking at certain times of the day make you nauseated? There are many potential triggers for morning sickness. Identify yours and avoid them.
3. Realize that bland isn’t always best. While bland foods, such as tea, toast, crackers and Jell-O™ can help many women suffering from morning sickness, there are others who swear by “fireballs” (cinnamon candy), sour-cream-and-onion potato chips, even carrot or celery sticks dipped in vinegar. Try whatever you think might work; everyone is different.
4. Pay attention to your cravings and stomach sensations. Women seem to crave certain tastes and textures when they’re feeling sick. If the thought of sweet food makes you nauseous, but something tart seems better, give your queasy stomach what it wants.
5. If junk food appeals to you, don’t feel guilty. Although it is true that you’ll have a better pregnancy if you improve your eating habits, morning sickness is another matter entirely. Eating a few junk foods and not vomiting is often better than eating well and not keeping it down for five minutes.
6. Consider “alternative” remedies. Managing Morning Sickness gives the lowdown on other remedies, such as an anti-seasickness wristband, hypnosis, acupuncture and foot reflexology, as well as numerous herbs known to combat nausea. Of course, you should consult with your doctor before taking any substance, Erick advises.
7. Finally, be glad that you weren’t born 70 years ago. “As bizarre as it sounds, in the early 1940s a woman who suffered from bad nausea and vomiting may have been given injections of her husband’s blood, with the theory that there was something inherent in the spouse’s blood that could reduce the problem,” writes Erick. “This was not medical management from voodoo men but rather a practice from the United States, if you can believe that!”
Updated August 2012