A diner. My friend’s house. Toys ‘R’ Us. What do these places have in common? They have the dubious distinction of all containing bathrooms in which I have thrown up at some point this week.
Morning sickness is the worst. Okay, hyperemesis gravidarum (more commonly known as “what Duchess Kate had”) is actually the worst. But morning sickness is also terrible, not the least because its name is such a lie. Yes, you might get sick in the morning, but don’t think you’re home free after lunchtime. Morning sickness lasts all day long, and can even wake you up in the middle of the night.
As many as 50-90% of pregnant women suffer from the nausea known as morning sickness at least at some point in their pregnancy. About 40-50% of women actually vomit, and I fall into this lucky category. For many women, morning sickness starts around week 6, peaks around week 11, and tends to subside by week 14.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I didn’t start throwing up until week 10, which was hugely disappointing because I was thinking maybe I would be one of those lucky few who wouldn’t get sick. Once it started, though, I was throwing up about every other day for the next two months. Yuck.
So, week 9 with baby number two rolls around and, lo and behold, the vomiting begins! Now that I’m riding this nauseating merry-go-round for the second time, I’m better prepared with some tips and tricks for fighting it off.
Here are my go-to cures for morning sickness:
- I take two crackers up to bed with me every night, and when I wake up feeling ill or hungry at 4 AM, they do the trick.
- Ginger ale and cranberry juice. Mix them together, and it’s like the nectar of the gods. Use regular ginger ale, since the sugar may help soothe your stomach.
- Preggie Pops. I’m pretty sure this is actually just hard candy, but having something sweet and a little bit sour to suck on can really keep the nausea at bay. You could likely just buy some Jolly Ranchers or peppermint candy.
- If I’m asleep, I’m not throwing up or feeling sick to my stomach.
- Bland foods. Sometimes I can’t tell whether I’m nauseous or hungry, which is an incredibly strange feeling. If I eat something bland, like toast, I usually know within minutes which one it is. I often feel much better after eating something. Sometimes I don’t, though, in which case I was probably going to throw up anyway so no harm done.
- Drink so much water. If you end up throwing up, it’s a lot less painful to vomit water than it is to dry heave for five minutes. If you don’t throw up, you’ll be well hydrated!
- I’ve seen several Internet posts that say things like “Recent research has shown that Cheetos help with morning sickness.” Now, I can’t actually find any studies on Cheetos and nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, but anecdotally, Cheetos are delicious and for some reason make me feel better.
- Hot water with lemon. Sometimes, I just can’t get or keep anything down. The combination of soothing warm water with the tang of lemon can sometimes keep the vomiting at bay.
- Vitamin B6. Research has shown that 25 mg of vitamin B6 taken every eight hours can help control nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Sometimes nothing will cure your morning sickness. You just have to suffer through it, drink lots of water, and make sure you always know where the nearest bathroom is. But there is a bright side! Many studies have shown that morning sickness is actually associated with positive outcomes in pregnancy. If you’re feeling ill, take solace in the fact that you are less likely to miscarry or have a premature birth, and your baby is more likely to have a high IQ and to be happy and healthy.
So the next time you’re cringing over a public toilet, you can feel better (mentally, at least); all this nausea and vomiting is actually a good sign!