My top 5 tips for coping with morning sickness!

Morning sickness can feel like a bit of a paradox in pregnancy. On the one hand those first twinges of nausea can be such a welcome relief in knowing your body is reacting to pregnancy. The build up of the HCG hormone is what causes mamas to feel sick and it is a positive sign that the pregnancy is developing. Unfortunately, the side effect for a lot of women is a certain amount of weeks or even months of feeling pretty groggy and this can at times be gruelling to manage alongside the daily grind.

Admittedly, I think I have managed to get off quite lightly in the grand scheme. With the boys, I had all day nausea for about eight weeks. However, it did come and go and never actually made me throw up, I just felt queasy a lot of the time. This time around has definitely been easier. My sickness came on later than ever before and seemed fairly mild again. I definitely think past experience helped me to tackle the morning sickness head on and quickly work out the most effective way to minimise and ease my own symptoms.
I've been thinking about it recently and have been especially remembering back to the first time around when I was pregnant with Noah and it was all brand new. It can be a daunting, difficult time and so I decided to create a 'top five' list of my tips for coping with morning sickness in the hopes that it might be of use to other expectant mamas out there and especially for any first timers!

1) Keep hydrated & well fed!- This is pretty obvious but I have definitely found from experience that when I don't keep drinking water consistently my morning sickness has peaked and become quite unpleasant at times. The same goes for eating frequently! If ever I allow myself to become hungry when I'm going through morning sickness, it seems to peak again and makes me feel a million times worse! By eating small snacks every couple of hours; be it a piece of fruit, a ginger biscuit...whatever works; I have learnt to control my sickness and keep the worst of it at bay.

2) Problem smells- When I'm pregnant I swear my nose becomes as effective at picking up scents as a dogs! Not a very nice comparison but honestly, I just notice smells way faster and they always seem far more intense. Funny as it is sometimes, there have been moments where my sense of smell has made my sickness feel unbearable.
 For example, I cannot bear the smell of the fridge at the moment and when I had morning sickness this time around, I literally had to  keep holding my breath when opening it to avoid having to run upstairs to the toilet! I've learnt to avoid housing particularly strong cheeses in there or anything that is going to offend my clearly very sensitive nostrils. I also clean it out a lot more at the moment to keep it as fresh as possible and one less thing to feel sick about! With problem smells, my top tip after identifying them is to simply avoid them at all costs. If for example, the smell of coffee is bothering you, just avoid anywhere that you're going to run into it. Maybe hold back on the Starbucks runs for a few weeks until you're completely sure you have your sickness under control!

3) Forget the diet: In early pregnancy you're often bombarded with info and stats about weight gain, which foods to eat, which foods to avoid and what to ration carefully. When you are feeling sick as a dog, the last thing you want to be worrying about is dieting and balancing meals perfectly when it seems hard enough to eat anything! My advice is to just eat as sensibly as you can to cope with your sickness. For most women, morning sickness is a season that passes and if for you ginger snaps are the one thing that keeps your sickness under control, than buy the biscuits and keep them by your bedside if needs be!  If like me, the taste of tap water becomes strangely unbearable (for the first time in your life) use fresh fruits to infuse it or a splash of squash to conceal the flavour. We don't buy squash often but when I have morning sickness I find myself relaxing the rules to make it easier to cope with and get through the day. And remember, it doesn't last forever! The sickness is just a season that will pass. The diet can totally wait!

4) Prep for the morning: I used to find first thing in the mornings as soon as my feet hit the ground, the morning sickness would come on thick and fast. If I didn't have breakfast organised quickly I would soon find myself in trouble and with two other children to take care of, going back to bed was rarely an option during the week. Instead, I found pre-empting the sickness and beating it at its own game helped me to just get my day started. When I have morning sickness I need to eat pretty immediately after waking in the morning if I don't want to feel lousy for the next few hours. Therefore, I make sure we have lots of quick, easy to grab breakfast options that I can prepare, with a baby on my hip if needs be! Quick cereals like Weetabix are a great option, or lots of fresh fruits are handy to munch if I'm preparing porridge for the family and therefore have to wait a few extra minutes. When speed is of the essence, just make it easy for yourself and plan ahead the night before. Also, if I am going out anywhere during the day time I always carry some breakfast bars or fruit in my handbag to combat any sickness that takes me by surprise! 

5) Be gentle with yourself. I think this is really important as it's something I've learnt the hard way. Early pregnancy is so incredible when you think about it. Whilst you may not look any different, there are amazing changes taking place within you. The early weeks are among the most crucial of the whole pregnancy as your body gears up to support another life within you and totally refocuses to prioritise this little life, supplying your baby with all the nutrients it needs before the mother. It's no wonder then that it is also incredibly exhausting. Don't get me wrong, I am a mother of two boys! I know a thing or two about feeling tired but nothing is quite the same as pregnancy hormonal fatigue! Therefore it's a really good time to be easy on yourself, to have some early nights and to take time to relax and rest when you can. 
I know I have overdone it at times during the early weeks and I feel my body telling me to pace myself better. I think listening to yourself is really important and just taking a little extra care of yourself in general. You're part of a life giving miracle, and hey, if that's not reason enough to have a quiet cuppa with your feet up, I don't know what is!

I think those are probably the most important tips I can offer to you. At least they are the ones that looking back would have been the most valuable for me to have heard, especially first time around!
It goes without saying that these are simply the things that worked for me and I just felt it might be helpful to share them with you. But obviously your healthcare team should be your first port of call if you are really struggling with morning sickness or any symptoms in particular.

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you'd like to see more of this kind of thing on the blog!



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