Morning sickness

oatcakesMorning sickness is a misnomer: for many pregnant women the only time they don't feel nauseous is when they're asleep. 

It affects about eight out of 10 women, starting around week six, and for most it stops around 12-14 weeks. The unlucky ones (about one in 10) still feel sick after 20 weeks

It's not known what causes morning sickness, but it's thought that the hormonal changes pregnancy triggers are probably partly responsible. You're more likely to get morning sickness if you're having a multiple pregnancy.

Some women are sick, others feel nauseous without actually being sick. At a point when you feel tired, emotional, have a heightened sense of smell and most people don't even realise you're pregnant, it can be very trying.

It's hard to describe how morning sickness feels, but this Mumsnetter has a go: "A weird feeling of having two stomachs - one that wants to throw up and burp constantly, and the other that is constantly ravenous and thinking about food all the time."

Gross and debilitating as it is, morning sickness won't usually harm you or your baby and, in fact, if you do feel sick, research suggests you're less likely to have a miscarriage.

If you can't keep anything down for days on end and you're becoming dehydrated, then you may have hyperemesis and you'll need expert help from your doctor or midwife, who'll want to monitor you.

What helps to relieve morning sickness?

  • Try to eat before you start feeling nauseous, so have oatcakes or ginger biscuits next to your bed for when you wake up
  • Eat a bowl of porridge before you go to bed at night
  • Ginger
  • A diet high in zinc (seeds, wholemeal bread, small amounts of eggs, red meat etc)
  • Eat small amounts of food regularly
  • Nap whenever you can
  • Carry mints everywhere (helpful as a breath freshener, too, if you're sick when you're out somewhere)
  • Acupuncture or travel sickness wrist bands
  • Online food shopping if going round the supermarket makes you want to retch
  • A little self-pity, as this mum explains: "My aunt recommended sitting on the bathroom floor wailing 'Oh please, just let me die'. I felt more comforted by her telling me that than by all those who offered more conventional advice."

What to eat that won't make you feel worse? Mumsnetters recommend:Coke can

  • Crackers and dry toast
  • Fizzy cola bottle sweets
  • Digestive biscuits
  • Sorbet or ice lollies
  • Cold baked potatoes
  • Boiled rice
  • Crisps
  • Liquorice Allsorts
  • Oatcakes
  • Flat Coke


Last updated: 14 days ago