How to survive morning sickness [guide]

Early signs of morning sickness surviving

Congratulations, you’re having a baby! Your breasts are swelling, your sense of smell is heightening and you’re about to make friends with another early pregnancy symptom – nausea. Thanks pregnancy hormones. Thanks a lot.

Morning sickness is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy and an excellent indication that your hGC levels are rising and those pregnancy hormones are in full swing. But it’s also one of the hardest symptoms of pregnancy to cope with and can leave you unsure about what to do (and what to eat that won’t end up in the toilet).

Whether you are struggling with mild bouts of nausea, spells of vomiting or severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), here are some morning sickness treatments to get through each day.

“Just” nauseous

pregnant woman feeling nauseous with morning sickness

While some expectant mums will go through bouts of vomiting, followed by hours or days of feeling fine, others will feel nauseous all day, without actually vomiting. It can feel like you are seasick, but unable to stop the boat or tell the driver to pull over.

What makes morning sickness even more annoying is that you probably don’t want to tell anyone the real reason why you look and feel like crap. So you go through the day, maintaining your regular routine as much as possible, all the while suffering in silence and wishing someone would invent the time machine and transport you to the next trimester.

We can’t do that, but we can offer a few other solutions if you are feeling the constant twang of nausea.

  • Consider certain foods and drinks like peppermint tea, ginger, crackers or lemon, all suggested to help ease that constant hungover feeling.
  • Try a morning sickness remedy such as sea sickness arm bands or an essential oil stick.
  • Take a raincheck on cleaning. Because pregnant-nauseous cleaning is the worst type of cleaning of them all. Check out our realistic housework guide for mums to quell any guilt of not washing the linen (yet again).
  • Lie down and play. If you have other kiddies to entertain, try these tried and tested activities for tired mums with busy kids (all of which you can play lying down).
  • Bribe yourself to get through the day. It’s 7am. You’re up. You feel like death. And you have to put in an eight-hour work day plus dinner plans. Time to pull out the bribes. Offer yourself little rewards for every hour that you make it through.
  • Use weekends wisely. And by wisely, we mean, sleeping. If sleeping isn’t really an option, then rest as much as possible.
  • Change your mindset.  Every day you make it through the nausea, you are one day closer to the sickness ending. And you are one day closer to meeting the little one inside.

Puke patrol

natural treatment for morning sickness

Throw up, upchuck, spew, hurl, vomit … whatever you want to call it, it’s not pleasant. If you are hit with a double dose of nausea PLUS vomiting, then try some of these:

  •  Plan ahead by carrying spew bags with you … everywhere. Morning sickness can strike anytime, any day and anywhere.
  • Add a few packages of mints to your purse too, just in case.
  • Break out the lies. Afraid people will notice you are eyeing the toilet all day?  You’re hungover. You’ve got the flu. You ate some funky chicken.
  • Jazz up your toilet. You may spend a lot of time in there. Keep air fresheners and toilet cleaner on hand so you can quickly give the bowl a wipe before the next round.
  • Add motivational posters to the walls. Motivational quotes about motherhood, an ultrasound picture, even a list of baby names you love – stick them to the wall, right above the toilet bowl. That way, anytime you look up and think “I can’t do this” you will be reminded that, yes, you can. You already are.
  • Check out our tips on combating gastro. Sure, the reason you’re vomiting may be different, but the clean-up is just the same.

When the spew won’t stop

morning sickness

Sure, there are medications, teas, oils and food products that claim to combat morning sickness. But what happens when these don’t work? What happens when you cannot cope with feeling sick all the time, you cannot keep anything down and you cannot fathom how you will make it through the next few weeks?

  • Admit defeat (and your pregnancy). We know the general “rule” is to wait until 13 weeks to share your news, but doesn’t work for everyone. The first 13 weeks of pregnancy, when you are plagued with nausea, tiredness and vomiting, can be the hardest. You shouldn’t have to go through it alone. Let a few people in on your secret and ask for help. Then retire to the couch with a blanket and a bucket. You’re growing a baby. You deserve to be taken care of during this time.
  • Consult your doctor. In some instances, pregnant mummas may require hospitalisation or certain medications or even an IV to combat severe morning sickness. This is a decision for your doctor to make. But, if you do end up in hospital, you’re in good company. Plenty of famous mums have experienced severe morning sickness including The Duchess of Cambridge, Kelly Clarkson and Molly Sims.
  • Get support elsewhere. You can also look into support groups to help you through these long days, including online support groups at the HER Foundation. The Royal Women’s Hospital also have some helpful information for those suffering with all day sickness.
  • Keep the end goal in mind. Nausea generally means that your body is doing what it’s supposed to be doing and that bub is growing well. While it can be hard to see the positives when you are plagued with sickness, just remember that the sickness WILL stop. And hopefully soon!

Yes, morning sickness is awful. It can leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained. But, once you lay eyes on the little one who is making you so sick, every late night spew sesh, every trip to the toilet and every dry cracker that you tried to eat (and inevitably gave to the dog) won’t even register anymore.

Once you set eyes on your newborn, nothing else matters. Just you wait and see.