Author's Note: This is an issue that is near to my heart. With each pregnancy I have had, it has never been easy to manage my morning sickness. Below are tried and true practices that helped me during these times, and have been proven to alleviate morning sickness.
With a positive pregnancy test, a woman knows her life will change, but she may find it hard to believe how quickly! Eating right, while dealing with nausea, may be more difficult than could be imagined. Here are some tips to get through those first few months of nausea.
1. Eat small amounts, and eat often. You may not have anticipated starting a mindful eating diet plan when you thought of eating during your pregnancy, but that may be exactly what you need. Getting overly hungry or overly full at meals could worsen your nausea. Try to have small meals and snacks every couple hours whenever you start to feel hungry. Stop eating when you feel satisfied, but not full. Take your time at meals, and eat slowly to pick up on any hunger and fullness cues. Pack a lunch and snacks to avoid skipping or missing a meal when you are busy.
2. Choose a little bit of protein as a snack. Combining a small amount of protein with whole grains, fruits, or vegetables can encourage a stable blood sugar and may prevent nausea. Try whole wheat crackers and a low fat string cheese, carrots and hummus, peanut butter with an apple, low fat cottage cheese and peaches, low fat yogurt and berry smoothie, walnuts and raisins.
3. Avoid fried foods. Due to hormonal changes, digestion is slowed during pregnancy to help your baby get the most out of nutrients you are eating. Overall, this is great news, but remember that foods high in fat and fried foods typically take longer to digest. You may notice more nausea after eating a large amount of fat at a meal. Choose lower fat options such as grilled or baked meats, fruits or vegetables in place of French fries, or low fat or fat free dairy products.
4. Drink beverages between meals. Eating and drinking may be a challenge when you have nausea, but not being adequately hydrated can make you feel worse. Drinking 10 to 12 cups of water and non-caffeine beverages will help you stay hydrated. If possible, save beverages for about a half hour after meals to avoid being overly full at meals and experiencing nausea and vomiting. Sip liquids throughout the day. Try ginger tea, broth, or lemon water.
5. Take your prenatal vitamin with food. Sometimes medications can cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach. Some vitamins included in a prenatal may be better absorbed with food, as well. Try taking your prenatal with a meal or snack.
Talk with your doctor if you are having difficulty with nausea. An appointment with a dietitian can help you get or stay on the right track and be in control of what you are eating, contact Healthy HELPings Nutrition Services, or to find a dietitian near you, go to http://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert.