Dealing with Morning Sickness

From the editors of

You may not be feeling it yet, but one of the most common pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester is morning sickness. See how the day-to-day fetal development of your baby can affect the way you feel.

Morning sickness appears to be linked to hormones produced by the placenta and fetus. Nausea is most common in first pregnancies, in young women, and in women carrying more than one baby.

Here are some easy ideas to help settle your stomach:

- Keep crackers, rice cakes, or your favorite cereal on your nightstand and snack before getting out of bed in the morning.

- Try ginger candies or teas – it’s thought to settle the stomach.

- Snack, snack, snack! During the day, before bed, if you get up at night.

- Vitamin B6 may be helpful. Talk to your doctor about whether you should start taking it.

- Avoid spicy and fried foods.

- Keep away from the foods that make you queasy – even if they were your favorites before you got pregnant.

- Try acupressure wristbands – the kind used for motion sickness.

- Nap as often as you can, but not after eating.

- Avoid strong odors.

When to Worry

Doctors stress that it's extremely rare for morning sickness to be of grave concern. But if you're steadily losing weight, are dehydrated, or can't keep anything down at all, ask your doctor for help. You may be suffering from a very rare condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes severe dehydration and depletion of some important minerals from your body. Your doctor will check you regularly for early signs of this problem. At each pregnancy checkup, your urine is tested for ketones, says Diane Ashton, MD. Normally present as a byproduct of digestion, an abnormally high level of ketones signals dehydration. If you're suffering from this, you may need a hospital stay, IV fluid, and antinausea and antivomiting medication. Though the condition is worrisome, in most cases both mother and baby survive the experience just fine.

Food for Thought - or Not?

One pregnant woman's feast is another's reason to go on a hunger strike. Here, staffers reveal what they ate and avoided during morning sickness.

Turn-Ons: Macaroni and cheese, bologna sandwiches, lemonade, hummus, Twinkies, bagels and cream cheese

Turn-Offs: Onions, chicken, coffee, mushrooms, chocolate, pizza

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