How to prevent morning sickness?

morning sickness blog

For many women, a bout of morning sickness is when they first realise they are pregnant. 

It's also one of the reasons women stop exercising in their first trimester - that and the exhaustion you feel in the early weeks of pregnancy.

It's worth nothing that that tiredness can also be a factor in morning sickness, so it's important to prioritise rest whenever you can - avoid bright lights, loud noises and rapid head movements too

Hopefully some of the tips below will help you so that if you want to continue exercising you can. But listen to your body and change up your routine where necessary.

1. Food

It's thought that the change in blood sugar volume in your blood is one of the reasons for morning sickness.  So try eating smaller meals more often instead of three main meals.  You also don't want to get hungry, as this often brings on a bout of nausea. So although you may not want to eat, try to eat a little of whatever you can tolerate. Also try eating first thing before you get up - ask your partner to bring you tea and toast or some cereal/porridge.  If that's not possible, have some biscuits by your bedside.

Other things to try:

  • chew slowly
  • try dry biscuits - ginger biscuits may help although not much evidence
  • fennel settles the stomach 
  • slowly chewing a handful of almonds - the milk they release is calming to the stomach
  • sucking ice cubes

2. Drink

It's really important that you are drinking enough water throughout pregnancy - but it's especially important if you are actually being sick. 

  • drink between meals not with meals
  • small and often
  • suck on ice cubes
  • fizzy drinks may help
  • or fennel tea

3. Smells

In early pregnancy your sense of smell becomes really heightened and that can be what brings on the nausea - I still can't cope with the smell of salmon to  this day!  It's not just food either - I also found a certain washing powder unbearable

My midwife suggested cutting a fresh lemon and rubbing some of that on my hands to sniff when I felt a bout of nausea.

  • avoid strong cooking smells
  • cold food or meals at room temperature will smell less
  • get fresh air into the house

4. Alternative methods

Things you can also try:

  • acupressure - sea sickness bands
  • acupuncture
  • hypnotherapy
  • osteopathy
  • mindfulness
  • breathing
  • keep a diary - to help work out when you can eat

And ask for help - if you're trying to avoid smells, you may need help from other people to do the same, or help with cooking etc

The other thing to be mindful of is your pelvic floor - if you are being physically sick or retching, you will be putting a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor if it doesn't work the way it should.  So it's worth getting pelvic floor fit now - and it will stand you in good stead for the rest of your pregnancy!  I can help with that - my Easy Squeezy course will help you learn how to strengthen your pelvic floor and get it ready labour!

Morning sickness is really common - more than 85% of women get it.  It usually hits it's peak at 9 weeks and for many it is gone by the time you hit your second trimester at 14 weeks.  Then you should have renewed energy and be ready to start exercising again!

One of the things you want to be aware of is hyperemesis gravidarum - this is a constant sickness throughout pregnancy and can be very dangerous if you get too dehydrated.  So if you find you are being sick a lot, or it's going on for a long time, make sure you tell your midwife or GP. There are anti-sickness medication that you can be prescribed

You can find out more and get further help here:

Pregnancy Sickness Support Charity


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