SmartParents expert Dr Christopher Chong, an ob-gyn at Gleneagles Hospital, notes that the problem can start as early as the first trimester and should disappear by 16 weeks. The culprit is the surge in the mum-to-be’s hormones like human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Certain kinds of food are also known to aggravate morning sickness in expectant women. Ob-gynDr Peter Chew advises that you avoid consuming spicy, fatty, fried or acidic foods. In fact, you should consume appetising foods that appeal in taste and smell and won’t trigger nausea and vomiting, he adds.
Nutritious food aside, Dr Chew says that making certain lifestyle changes can help lower your chances of puking. These include:
* Getting plenty of rest and taking naps during the day.
* Avoid lying down right after eating.
* Brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth after you eat to remove any lingering odour.
* Avoid staying in a warm or stuffy room or taking a car ride that’ll trigger nausea.
* Taking a walk to get in some exercise and fresh air ― it’ll boost your body’s circulation and relieve gas.
* Drinking small amounts of water 30 minutes before and after — not during — a meal to stay hydrated.
* Open the windows or switch on the fan if an odour bothers you.
Scroll through our gallery to find out what foods help relieve morning sickness…
1. Chilled or warm foods
WHY IT HELPS While you may find it comforting to consume hot food, especially on a cold and rainy day, eating your food cool may be a better idea. Dr Chew explains that foods that are eaten at room temperature or cooler may be more palatable as hot foods tend to have a stronger aroma. You could also make your own ice lollies or fruit popsicles to beat the heat.
2. Crackers and biscuits
WHY IT HELPS No one knows exactly why crackers like saltines and biscuits help to calm an unsettled stomach but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to back it up. Possibly, eating saltine crackers helps to control and reduce stomach acid (which triggers nausea) and improves nausea. Even Dr Chew gives these his stamp of approval.
3. Sour foods
WHY IT HELPS Try sniffing, squeezing or even licking lemon or citrusy fruit slices, or if you’re a fan of preserved sour plums, those may help as well. The refreshing taste of these zesty foods will help to calm your tummy. These foods may also work by desensitising the parts of your brain responsible for causing your vomiting, notes Dr Chew.
WHY IT HELPS Besides boosting your body’s ability to digest food, its probiotics reduce flatulence and soothes sickness.
WHY IT HELPS Drinking small amounts of ginger tea or adding slices of ginger to your regular stir-fry eases bloating and any gas build-up in your stomach. As with all herbal foods that you take during pregnancy, you should first consult your ob-gyn to check if this method is safe for you.
WHY IT HELPS If you’re puking regularly, your body won’t be able to absorb the nutrients it needs. Taking easily digestible foods like nourishing soups can keep you hydrated, replenish your body’s salts and make up for the nutritional deficiencies.
7. Sports drinks
WHY IT HELPS Similar to soups, sports drinks contain crucial electrolytes such as sodium and potassium your body may lose after vomiting. Do note that you should skip beverages containing caffeine or are carbonated. Caffeine has a diuretic effect, which may increase your risk of dehydration, while gassy drinks may exacerbate your flatulence.
WHY IT HELPS Other than refreshing your breath after a bout of vomiting, eating or sniffing anything minty can soothe your nausea. Instead of mint candy or breath mints, which tend to be high in sugar or contain chemicals that may have a laxative effect, try taking some peppermint tea. As herbal products can be a grey area in pregnancy nutrition, you may want to consult your physician on whether this is safe for you.