Feeling of nausea is extremely common in pregnancy and it affects more than 50% of all pregnant mothers. It is also known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which means excessive nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. In the majority of cases, this benign symptom does not pose any harm to the pregnancy or the baby. A small proportion of patients may suffer from severe symptoms which result in dehydration, in which case hospital admission for re-hydration and medical therapy may be required.
Having difficulties dealing with your morning sickness?
Combat morning sickness with these 10 ways
#1 Eat little and often: Eating large meals can worsen nausea and make the stomach bloated. Eating little and often helps to maintain sugar levels and reduce the feeling of bloating. It is handy to keep light bland snacks to nibble throughout the day.
#2 Eat protein-rich foods: Eating simple high protein foods can help with nausea, especially those rich in vitamin B, like nuts. It is advisable to avoid rich, spicy, acidic, fatty and fried foods that might trigger nausea.
#3 Cold meals can be better than hot ones: Sometimes, cooking smells may bring on the feeling of nausea. It may be better to keep to cold meals until the feeling of nausea passed.
#4 Drink enough fluids between meals: It is important that you keep yourself well hydrated throughout the pregnancy. During meal times, if you find it hard to drink enough fluid, you must make up to it by drinking more fluid between meals.
#5 Keep a morning sickness diary: By keeping track of your morning sickness throughout the day, you will know better when to eat and drink more when the nausea is better.
#6 Get plenty of rest: Lack of sleep, stress and tiredness can make the morning sickness worse. Whenever you can, try to make sure that you rest enough.
#7 Fresh smells: Fresh smells help to reduce the feeling of nausea, for example sniffing lemon. You can also add lemon slices to your drinks to help reduce the feeling of nausea.
#8 Ginger tea: When used in moderation, ginger tea can help to reduce nausea. It can be taken in the form of powder, ginger slices and capsules/tablets.
#9 Try a complementary therapy: You may find reflexology and aromatherapy useful in helping you cope with the feeling of nausea. It is advisable that you go to someone who is a qualified therapist and experienced in treating pregnant women.
#10 Talk to friends who understand: Sometimes, simply by talking and sharing with someone who is experiencing the same symptoms or who understands can help.
By Dr Ting Hua Sieng, O & G Specialist, The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre (A subsidiary of Singapore Medical Group)
This article was first published in The New Age Parents online magazine.
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