Food Cures for Morning Sickness Early in Pregnancy
So the morning sickness has finally set in. Although you may have been lucky enough to avoid nausea for a few weeks in the beginning, it normally sets in between six and eight weeks of pregnancy. For many women, the exciting day when you can say your baby is finally six weeks along and you are halfway through your first trimester also brings the nausea, and possibly more, that pregnancy is known for.
I completely understand. All day, and all night even, you can feel the queasiness in your stomach making you feel like you should stay in bed, on the couch, or laying down at least. But that’s probably the very worst thing you could do to alleviate the sickness. According to research, and my personal experience, the nausea and sickness is the worst when you have an empty stomach, making first thing in the morning, right before you go to sleep, and the hour just before your next “meal” the very worst parts of the day.
What this means is that even though you may not feel like putting anything in your mouth, eating something is exactly what will make your stomach feel a little bit better. There are so many interesting things going on inside your body right now, that it’s best to consider this handled like you would acid reflux or indigestion, which can sometimes follow or coincide with your nauseous feeling.
In this article, I want to go over a few of the foods that may be best for quelling your queasiness, even if for only a little while. But I would start by avoiding super spicy foods, anything that you already know upsets your stomach, and dishes with a lot of bold flavors.
When did your morning sickness start?
It sounds strange, but water is the number one item that will help you manage your nausea, especially if you’re struggling to keep anything down. If plain water just isn’t cutting it, feel free to flavor it with a freshly squeezed orange, lemon, lime, or even fresh cucumber slices to make it taste better. I wouldn’t chug it, but keeping a bottle of water nearby at all times, allowing you to sip on it throughout the day, may help to keep that sick feeling away for as long as possible.
Water will also ensure that you are staying hydrated while you either may not be up for eating much or you may be leaving all of your food behind every time you go to the bathroom. Dehydration happens so quickly, and as pregnant women need more water than any other person, water is critical to staying healthy during this time.
While not all fruit may agree with your stomach right now, simple fruits with light tastes may be just perfect for solving your nausea problems. Consider oranges, apples, grapes, watermelon and other fruits that are mostly water. Not only will these help to add more water to your diet, and give your queasy belly some substance, but fruits are packed with essential fiber and nutrients that your body needs to grow and develop. The light taste will help to fill your belly without stirring up any stomach acids, making you feel better, at least temporarily.
Although this doesn’t sound like something that would sit well with a nauseous belly, cheese can actually coat your stomach, similar to milk and Pepto Bismol, calming a sick stomach for longer and giving you some reprieve from your queasiness.
Although you should avoid soft cheeses like brie, camembert, chevre (a type of goat's cheese), and any soft, blue-veined cheeses due to the danger of listeria and the harm it could do to your unborn baby. Cheeses like sharp cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, and especially cottage cheese are wonderful for a sick belly. Sometimes this is all I can eat to make my stomach feel better, and still feel like I’m getting something to eat. Try it out. These are not only delicious and satisfying but may be the only moment you have during the day when you don’t want to puke. Combine one of these cheeses with a fruit above, and you’ve got an amazing pregnancy snack with loads of calcium and other valuable nutrients.
It seems like this food would break all of the rules, being stronger in flavor, and potentially spicy or heartburn causing, but it has more benefits for pregnant women than you think.
Garlic has been known to help improve blood circulation, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels in pregnant women. It’s even great for reducing fatigue during pregnancy. Poor blood circulation, higher blood pressure, and fatigue are huge during this time, and all of these can seriously contribute to the sickness you are feeling.
Let me make a point to say that the toast by itself has done absolutely nothing for me. In fact, the idea of just eating bread by itself altogether just doesn’t sound appealing right now, but spread some butter and sprinkle some garlic on it, and BINGO, suddenly it’s not only appealing, but it makes me feel better.
Garlic is one of those foods that pregnant women should be eating anyway, and if it’s getting food into your stomach AND making it feel better, all the better.
This is another one of those foods that is relatively bland and doesn’t demand a great deal from your stomach. Whether you fry it in light butter on the stove, boil it, devil it, or any other way to make an egg, you’ll be delightfully surprised how easy it is to eat. Like cheese, this is one item that can be light on flavor but still packs a punch for your diet.
In addition to more than 12 vitamins and minerals, eggs contain lots of quality protein, which is essential for pregnancy. Eggs are also packed with valuable choline and omega-3 fats that are necessary for your body and your growing, developing baby. Even better, eggs are cheap, easy, quick, and versatile. When you're too exhausted to cook a full meal, a couple of hard-boiled or scrambled eggs are just the ticket.
Like garlic, this is another one of those foods that sounds like it would cause problems for your system, but it really doesn’t. Whether it’s prepared in a jar or made fresh at home salsa is full of wonderful vitamins and nutrients for you and your baby. But what’s even better is that it’s also a no fat, low-calorie snack that you don’t have to worry about eating (as much as you want).
I’m not suggesting that you grab the spiciest version you can find off the shelf, but just a mild variety that will give you a little bit of flavor along with all of the wonderful veggies it already comes with. Just this little bit of flavor on some lightly salted chips (also light in flavor) are perfect for a queasy stomach. Your belly will be filled with good nutritious foods helping to settle it a tad, and you’ll have something yummy to munch on without having to worry about it coming back up again.
When you’re feeling nauseous, especially when you’re newly pregnant and aren’t used to all of the new feelings, finding some relief can be more than just getting you out of bed. By giving yourself some delicious snacks that will settle your stomach and yet also give your body some needed nutrients, you can get your day back. When everything is coming up, it’s nice to be able to keep something down, especially if it’s going to also help to get rid of that headache, stomachache, as well as the sick feeling.
I set up this listing of foods to help get rid of nausea in the order of easiest foods to eat that will be the lightest on your stomach to some of the more hearty foods you may want to try after you’ve been able to keep the top few down. The foods higher on the list won’t have quite as many calories for you, but they’ll be something on your stomach, which is sometimes all you can do. Those items lower on the list can help to not only give you something to settle your stomach, but can even help to fill you up, and finally give you a full meal of sorts.
If none of these items are helping you out, or the nausea becomes unbearable, I highly suggest that you seek out your doctor’s help. Pregnancies are such miraculous but finicky situations. There’s no reason to try and put yourself or your baby in danger over some morning sickness. I sure hope that some of these suggestions help you out if you’re newly pregnant and feeling a little under the weather. Be assured that most women experience this during their pregnancy and you can take it as a sign that your body is working like it should and that you have a healthy baby. Keep checking in for new articles to help you through your pregnancy and keep you informed!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2014 Victoria Van Ness