Feeling the familiar churning in your stomach that signals you’re going to need a toilet, stat? Many women experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. While waking up with morning sickness (or suffering through it all day) is certainly no picnic, there are plenty of ways that you can relieve your symptoms and start to feel better. If you need instant relief, try one of these 10 natural pregnancy tips to reduce morning sickness.
1. Get some fresh air
It’s a good idea to get as much fresh air as possible throughout the day to reduce the likelihood of certain smells triggering your nausea. Sleep with good ventilation, open a window at work if you can and try to get outside and stretch your legs whenever you get a chance. Cool air will be especially beneficial.
2. Smell something nice
If you’re starting to feel a bit queasy, take a moment to sniff something fresh, like a bottle of lemon extract or a sprig of spearmint. This can help you avoid bad odors throughout the day and quell any stomach roils you happen to feel. Keep these items on you for emergencies.
3. Eat or drink ginger
Ginger can help soothe your stomach if it’s feeling upset. Try some flat ginger ale or suck on a ginger candy when you start feeling ill. You can even get supplements to take throughout the day to help you avoid morning sickness altogether.
4. Try acupuncture
OK with needles? You might want to try acupuncture, which many believe can help pregnant women relieve their symptoms. There are even acupressure wristbands you can try when you’re feeling sick.
5. Eat or drink lemon
Lemon is also good at relaxing a stressed-out stomach, so try squeezing a slice into your water or sucking on hard lemon candies when nausea is most likely to strike.
6. Fill your stomach
Having an empty stomach can make morning sickness worse, so if you feel up to it, try to eat something. What works for you depends on your preferences and what makes you sick in the first place, so do a little experimenting to figure out what to eat. In general, bland, carb-rich snacks like pretzels, cereal and crackers tend to work best.
7. Distract yourself
When you’re not feeling well, try not to dwell on it. Distract yourself from how you feel by doing something that requires a little thought, like reading a book, doing a crossword puzzle or tackling some work.
8. Brush your teeth
If you’re feeling icky after a trip to the bathroom to vomit, brushing your teeth will help you feel better. Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash in your purse for work or outings just in case you need them. A bottle of water to rinse your mouth out and a pack of mint gum can also help if you’re in a pinch.
9. Take a nap
If you can, get some rest. Stress and fatigue can make morning sickness symptoms worse, so relax and get some sleep if you can. This might involve calling out of work if you feel particularly worn out.
10. Call your health care provider
If you’re feeling sick all the time and can’t seem to keep anything down, call your doctor. Some women experience a severe form of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum that requires medical attention. Even if you aren’t diagnosed, your doctor can help you figure out a safe combination of vitamins or medicine to take that won’t harm your baby but will help you feel better.