Combating Morning Sickness

It is so fascinating how quickly your body and habits change during pregnancy. I originally wrote this post in early December, and since then, my diet and eating habits have changed dramatically. 

A quick snap from week 15. I survived the first trimester and started eating salads again!

A quick snap from week 15. I survived the first trimester and started eating salads again!

I’d heard that morning sickness reared its ugly head around 6 weeks, and when the 6 week mark came and I went, I thought I was out of the woods. Around week 7, it definitely hit. Everyone is different, but here’s what worked for me.

  1. Eat something right before bed and as soon as you wake up - After going to bed once with too empty of a stomach, I vowed not to do that again. I frequently had some applesauce or a small glass of juice or milk before bed to tide me over until the next morning. I almost always woke up lightheaded and slightly queasy, so I ate a pre-breakfast snack as soon as I woke up. This is usually more applesauce, a piece of fruit, a handful of protein cereal, or half a muffin. Other than craving citrus, I normally wanted something bland and starchy.

  2. Allow yourself time to wake up - Pre-pregnancy, I would hop out of bed before 6 AM, throw on clothes, and workout (or at the very least, walk the dog). After the first few weeks of pregnancy, this was absolutely not happening for the foreseeable future. When my alarm went off, I usually stumbled out of bed and shuffled to the kitchen. It took at least 15 minutes for me to even begin thinking about walking the dog or getting ready for work.

  3. Once you get going, stay busy - Once I was awake and fed, I did better making it through the workday if I was busy. My job involves meeting with students throughout the day, and if I had a long break in meetings, I noticed how lousy I felt. I tried to be more intentional in making sure I had tasks to fill breaks, so I had something else to focus my attention on.

  4. Diffuse essential oils - For some reason, citrus was really appealing to me , so I diffused a blend of grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange oils at my desk at work. That blend seemed to keep me alert and energized throughout the day. After reading through lots of essential oil forums and suggestions for morning sickness, some other helpful oils are lavender, ginger, chamomile, peppermint, and sandalwood.  

  5. Keep snack food around and don’t be afraid to eat it - The first couple of weeks, I was hesitant to snack. I was afraid I would start packing on pregnancy weight before I even had a baby bump. I quickly realized I couldn’t function without snacks though, so I’ve tried to eat smaller meals with more snacks between them. I’ve found almonds and popcorn to be the most satisfying quick snacks.

  6. Stay active - Sometimes the last thing I want to do is go to the gym or workout, but I found once I start a workout, I usually don’t notice that I feel lousy. However, I have been listening to my body more, and I don’t push myself as much as I normally would. Mornings, which used to be my workout time, are when I feel the worst, so I’ve had to shift my workouts to the evening. A lot of evenings I only have time to fit in a walk or a short workout, and I’m learning to appreciate and accept more rest.

Thankfully, most women start feeling better around week 12, but when I was in the thick of the first trimester, I wasn't confident I would ever feel normal again. What are your tips for managing morning sickness?