Navigating pregnancy can be difficult for many reasons, but one of the toughest parts is dealing with nausea. Nausea during pregnancy affects up to 80% of expecting mothers, varying from mild discomfort to total exhaustion. There are plenty of ways to ease the symptoms, so that you can focus on the most important task at hand: creating a healthy baby!
The first step in understanding nausea during pregnancy is understanding why it happens. Hormone levels increase during pregnancy, and these hormones can affect the digestive system. In particular, progesterone slows down your digestion, which can cause nausea. It may also lead to constipation or acid reflux, especially during the second trimester. Other pregnancy-related issues include increased sensitivity to smell, which can worsen nausea.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to reduce nausea during pregnancy. The most important thing is to maintain good nutrition. Eat small meals throughout the day, to keep your stomach from becoming too full. Avoid foods that are spicy or heavily seasoned – they can aggravate nausea. Keep some crackers or dry toast nearby, to help settle your stomach if you start feeling queasy. Drinking lots of fluids is also important, since dehydration can make nausea worse. Try drinking some ginger tea, or lemonade with mint, to help settle your stomach.
It’s also important to get enough rest during pregnancy. Fatigue can make nausea worse, so make sure you take time for yourself every day. That could mean getting into bed early, or just taking a warm, relaxing bath. Exercise can also be beneficial; even just 10 minutes a day of low-impact exercises like yoga or walking can make a big difference. If you have specific tasks that make you feel nauseous, like cleaning or painting, make sure you take frequent breaks.
If nausea persists, talk to your doctor about medications that are appropriate for pregnant women. Vitamin B6 and doxylamine have both been proven to reduce nausea, though they should only be taken as directed by your healthcare provider. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe drugs like Zofran. While no medication is 100% safe during pregnancy, working together with your doctor to find a solution can make your pregnancy much more comfortable.
Nausea can be a challenge during pregnancy, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. With good nutrition, rest, and a few tips and tricks, you can manage nausea without sacrificing your health or your baby’s. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; with a little bit of help, you can make sure your pregnancy is as smooth as possible.