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A dietitian’s 7 best tips for relieving nausea during pregnancy

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Let's bite into this sour topic like a piece of lemon ... wait, will that help?

Nausea during pregnancy is a big problem. Unfortunately, between 50 and 90 percent of pregnant women suffer from some degree of morning sickness. Sometimes when people see a pregnant woman, they say, “You’re expecting! What a blessing!” However, there are moments when “blessed” is not the first word that comes to your mind, if nausea and vomiting are a big part of your pregnancy experience. The internet is full of tips for combatting this unpleasant feeling, but being a dietitian, I would like to offer proven methods and information from articles published by midwives and other dietitians.

1. Eat small but frequent meals

A very full stomach, being pushed on by the baby, could cause problems. Split your meals into smaller portions and eat every two hours. Watch out for snacking, though; munching on chips, cookies or crackers could seem like a good idea, but uncontrolled eating may cause excessive weight gain.

2. Avoid excess caffeine

The acceptable dose of caffeine for pregnant women is 200 to 300 mg. per day, which means you can have two to three cups of relatively weak coffee. If you have a hard time giving up your favorite beverage, make it decaffeinated. You can choose delicious, good quality coffee without caffeine, and brew it the way you like it.

3. Pay attention to how you feel after taking any medication or supplements

If you notice that your nausea increases after specific medications or supplements, talk to your doctor. Sometimes the problem is caused by the size or taste of the pill. There are many options on the market, so it is good to determine which you will tolerate better.

4. Spicy, sour, fragrant — modify your diet to your taste

Self-observation is important. The taste of your favorite dish or the aroma of the most delicious fish could make you run from the kitchen. Don’t worry; you will enjoy them again after a while. Meanwhile, avoid your triggers.

5. Less fat, more protein, fewer carbohydrates

This might sound cryptic, but these indications appear in scientific studies showing that a meal rich in fat and carbohydrates often causes nausea. Proteins, by contrast, do not cause problems. However, do not give up any food groups completely; learn how to put together healthy meals that will ease your pregnancy woes.

6. Get out of bed slowly

Getting up too quickly after sleeping can have very unpleasant consequences. Set the alarm clock 10 minutes early, sit up, drink a glass of water, then stand up. Don’t forget naps during the day.

7. Ginger … maybe

Ginger is often recommended as a natural antiemetic. In principle, it’s safe, but it may increase the risk of bleeding. Do not use it if you have a predisposition to clotting disorders.

Uncontrollable vomiting during pregnancy

There are situations when vomiting is so persistent that hospitalization may become necessary, as is the case with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. The symptoms of Hyperemesis gravidarum, as the condition is called, include excessive nausea and vomiting. It may cause up to 5 percent loss of pre-pregnancy weight, dehydration, and possible electrolyte and metabolic disorders, such as ketonuria or alkalosis. Do not underestimate your discomfort and your symptoms; talk to your doctor about them.

This article was originally published in the Polish edition of Aleteia, and has been translated and/or adapted here for English-speaking readers.

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