“You clutch that precious pregnancy test in your hands and feel a sense of jubilation. The time has finally come. You are pregnant! —and then, without warning you bend over and throw up into the toilet bowl. The dreaded morning sickness has set in.

What is morning sickness? It refers to nausea and/or vomiting during pregnancy that, contrary to its name, occur at any time of the day. The increased progesterone levels that are important to stabilising your pregnancy are the prime culprit behind this symptom which typically lasts for the first 12 – 14 weeks. But for some women, morning sickness may continue throughout their pregnancies even up till the last trimester. If you are currently struggling with morning sickness, read on to know what kinds of foods could reduce its severity and help you manage it better.

Ginger Up!

Nope not the hair colour, but that super underground root sitting in your spice basket. Ginger is a traditional superfood that has the superior ability to treat nausea and digestive problems. It reduces gas, alleviates bloating and reduces inflammation in the stomach lining. Get hold of some ginger chews to help keep your nausea at bay or boil ginger in some water for some refreshing ginger tea. Ginger ale may also be a good choice of drink if you are finding it difficult to keep plain water down. It helps to settle your stomach and gets some fluids into your systems to prevent dehydration. Ginger ale is easily available at all leading supermarkets!

When life gives you lemons – say yes please!

Lemons – it doesn’t matter if you eat them, make some lemon juice or just plain ol’ sniff them for good measure. That citrus twist will give you an instant pick up, clear your head and hopefully along with it, some of your nausea too. If sniffing lemons at your desk draws odd looks from your colleagues, then drop some lemon slices into your bottle of water and sip from it throughout the day.

Watermelon – It is one in a ‘Melon’!

If you haven’t got a favourite fruit yet, let us pick one for you— Watermelons. The best fruit friend you will ever have throughout your pregnancy. A fruit that does not only taste great, goes down easily and is chock full of vitamins and nutrients for a healthy and stress-free pregnancy. Its high water content helps to prevent dehydration (from all that vomiting) and better yet, it reduces heartburn – Yay!

Dry Crackers/Saltines/Plain Bread?

Take your pick. The high starch content in these foods, help to absorb gastric acids that would have accumulated in your stomach while you snoozed at night. These starchy foods help to ease any queasiness you may feel when you wake up for the day. Keep these items by your bedside table and reach for them first thing in the morning. Once you have had a few in your stomach, take your time getting off the bed so as not to trigger a nausea episode and make the one you already have, worse. Keeping the biscuits or saltines by your bedside makes for a convenient midnight snack when you are hungry from those multiple trips to the toilet during the night.

Frequent and Well-Balanced Meals

Generally, try eating small but frequent meals throughout the day so that too much gastric acids do not accumulate in your stomach. Include a healthy balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables for all the essential vitamins and minerals. It would also be wise to stay away from odorous foods or foods that are hot and spicy as they may worsen your morning sickness.

Hyperemis Gravidarum

Morning sickness is a common occurrence during pregnancy and women across different ages may experience symptoms in varying levels of severity. However, if you feel that your morning sickness is particularly severe and your symptoms include severe nausea and vomiting, dehydration, unable to keep anything down for long periods of time —then, this isn’t normal. You could be suffering from Hyperemis Gravidarum, a condition characterised by extreme weight loss, electrolyte imbalances and severe disruption to day to day living. Thankfully, this condition is less common than morning sickness, affecting on average 1% percent of all pregnant women. If you feel that your morning sickness symptoms are more severe than normal, please speak to your healthcare practitioner and seek the advice and treatment you need as soon as possible.

Despite its unique ailments, pregnancy is a wonderful journey —from start to finish. Staying healthy, hydrated and eating good meals in the first trimester will not only help alleviate morning sickness but set you up for a healthy pregnancy right up to childbirth. So, hang in there mommas!

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