Did you recently discover you are pregnant? Congratulations! This is sure to be an exciting time full of anxious anticipation. While pregnancy is indeed a joy-filled time, many moms-to-be will experience some unpleasant side effects. One of the most common issues women face during early pregnancy is morning sickness.
Morning sickness is the catch-all term for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It can start as early as a few weeks after conception, which is about four weeks gestation. Typically, morning sickness subsides around the beginning of the second trimester (around 13 weeks gestation) although it is possible that is can continue longer. Pregnancy causes an influx of hormone levels, specifically HCG, Estrogen and Progesterone. This is why it’s thought many moms feel so crummy during those first few months of pregnancy.
Unfortunately, “morning” sickness is a bit of a misnomer, as nausea or vomiting can strike just about any time of the day. The reality is that a majority of women will experience morning sickness during early pregnancy. This being said, many pregnant women have jobs, and it can get tricky dealing with morning sickness in a professional setting.
Since morning sickness can strike pretty early in your pregnancy, you may not feel comfortable disclosing the fact that you are expecting (at least not just yet). It’s also possible you don’t want to end up barfing in front of your co-workers. Either way, here are several suggests to try to help you survive morning sickness at work.
1Eat small and frequent meals
Instead of eating the standard three meals a day, opt for around six smaller, snack-like meals. You may not feel like eating much, but when you can keep something down, take the opportunity and eat whatever is tolerable. An empty stomach can make nausea worse due to low blood sugar levels. Typically blander foods (think non-spicy and less fatty) are recommended. If you can tolerate protein, like peanut butter, that’s believed to help as well.
2Stash some go-to snacks
Since it’s a good idea to eat when you feel able to, have some snacks stashed on-hand. Ginger and peppermint are commonly used so try ginger ale or hard candy mints — other things to try to include saltine crackers, granola bars or small lollipops. Once you find something that works for you, make sure to add a couple to your work supply.
Even if you are vomiting, it’s important to drink enough liquid to stay hydrated. Dehydration can make anyone feel gross, but it makes morning sickness even worse. Water is good. However, drinking something with electrolytes, like Gatorade, could potentially work better for you. Severe dehydration during pregnancy can be a real cause for concern. If you are unable to keep water down for at least an hour, it is necessary to seek medical treatment.
4Try to Avoid Triggers
There may be certain things that you pick up on that can prompt your morning sickness. Strong odors, in particular, are a common trigger for nausea during pregnancy. If you know that the smell of distinct foods may result in your stomach being unsettled, it might be a good idea to avoid the break room during lunch, for example.
5Try to get some fresh air
Whether it’s on your commute or during the day at the office, a breath of fresh air can go a long way at helping you feel better. If you have a window, open it for a bit to get some air flow. Alternatively, you could go for a quick stroll outdoors as light exercise is thought to help ease symptoms as well.
6Make and carry a morning sickness “survival kit”
From a realistic perspective, it is possible that you will at one point or another have to vomit at work (or on your way there). For this reason, it’s a good idea to carry a small “kit” to help you deal with the aftermath. You may want to include things like mouthwash, breath mints, a hair tie, a small washcloth, and a disposable “barf bag.” It can’t hurt to have an extra set of clothing on hand as well (just in case).
As much as morning sickness can be a real pain, there is good news. Scientists think that it is part of an evolutionary trait and is theorized to indicate a viable pregnancy. In the end, your nausea will subside, and you will be that much closer to welcoming your new bundle of joy.