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A Better Pregnancy: Five Tips to Control Morning Sickness

If there's one thing that can cast a pall over even the most welcome pregnancy, it's morning sickness. Some women are lucky enough to go through their entire pregnancy without a hint of queasiness. Others start being nauseous before they see a positive pregnancy test and spend the entire nine months - though it seems like so much longer - in a constant state of churning stomach and bilious discomfort. For most women, morning sickness is a passing phase that causes a few weeks of discomfort in the form of nausea that comes and goes, often immediately after wakening. Hence, its name.

Despite the fact that women have probably been trying to control morning sickness since the first woman realized it was a sign of pregnancy, there are no sure-fire cures for the bane of pregnant women. There are, however, quite a collection of hints, tips and old wives' tales, some of which actually do seem to work for many women. If your bouts of nausea are debilitating, your doctor may be able to offer some relief. If your morning sickness doesn't rise to that level of seriousness, one of these tips might help.

Stay in Bed

Morning sickness is often worst when you first get up in the morning. Many women find that their mornings are easier if they lay in bed for 15 to 20 minutes before getting up and moving around.

Eat Crackers or Toast

Your doctor will probably suggest that you keep saltines or a similar type of dry crackers by your bedside. If dry crackers aren't appealing first thing in the morning, keep an airtight container of your favorite dry cereal by the bed and munch on a handful before you get up. Eating a little something before they get up seems to help ease the worst of early morning sickness for many pregnant women.

Eat Throughout the Day

Instead of eating three full meals during the day, get into the habit of eating small snacks every two to three hours throughout the day. Giving your digestive system something to work on may help avoid a buildup of acid and keep your blood sugar balanced and even. Stock up on high protein snacks that are easy to eat and keep them at hand.

Don't Drink and Eat at the Same Time

Drink fluids a half hour before or a half hour after meals rather than drinking with your meals. The extra fluid can bulk up too much in your stomach and make you feel queasy.

Mint Tea, Lemon and Lavender

Mint tea is a time-honored nausea fighter. Choose real herbal mint tea rather than tea flavored with mint for best effect. Some women find that citrus fruits, including lemon, lime and orange, relieve nausea. Keep a pitcher of water with lemon or lime slices in the refrigerator or suck on an orange slice when your stomach starts to churn. Finally, many women become very sensitive to odors during pregnancy. Lavender sachets can help sooth a queasy stomach that's triggered by smells.

Morning sickness may be the single least fun part of pregnancy, but you don't have to be held hostage by it. Find a nausea fighter that works, and if none of these do the trick, talk to your midwife or obstetrician for more suggestions.

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