It's quite common to feel nauseated relatively frequently in the early months of pregnancy. While many women feel queasiness when they get hungry, others may feel most nauseated shortly after eating. There are a few things you can do to try to reduce and prevent food-related nausea in your early pregnancy.
Pregnancy-related nausea, often called morning sickness, is quite common, explain Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel in their book "What To Expect When You're Expecting." In fact, over half of all pregnant women feel some degree of nausea or queasiness at one time or another during pregnancy. This is due to a combination of factors, including increasing hormone levels. For many women, symptoms are most troublesome in the first three months of pregnancy, and progressively decrease in severity.
In addition to increasing hormones in early pregnancy, your digestive tract also changes significantly in its rate and efficiency of function, explains Dr. Raymond Poliakin in his book "What You Didn't Think To Ask Your Obstetrician." This helps you extract all the nutrient value from your food, but it also contributes to nausea after eating, because food stays in your stomach much longer than normal, and spends a considerably longer portion of time in the small intestine as well.
There are a few things you can do with regard to the food you eat to reduce or eliminate your post-meal nausea. First, avoid very heavy or greasy foods. These cause the already slow digestive tract to function even more slowly, which increases the likelihood that you'll feel ill after eating. You may also find you have trouble with spicy or strongly flavored foods---if this is the case, avoid them. Finally, try eating ginger-flavored foods or drinking ginger ale. Murkoff and Mazel note that the spice helps reduce nausea.
If moderating what you're eating doesn't reduce your post-meal nausea, talk to your doctor about your prenatal vitamin, if you're taking one. Many women find that the iron in prenatal supplements contributes to nausea, and changing brands may reduce your symptoms. You can also try eating many small meals each day instead of a few larger meals; this will reduce the load on your digestive tract and may help decrease the likelihood of nausea.
- "What to Expect When You're Expecting"; Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel; 2008
- "What You Didn't Think to Ask Your Obstetrician"; Raymond Poliakin, M.D.; 2007