If you have nausea during early pregnancy, you may worry that a poor appetite will prevent you from providing adequate nutrition to your unborn child. However, according to The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, the growing baby is usually not affected and the nausea normally subsides after the first trimester. In addition, a few simple tips can help relieve your nausea and optimize your food intake during this time.
Nausea During Pregnancy
During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, you may have what is commonly referred to as "morning sickness." This feeling of nausea can occur at any time throughout the day. The exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, but it is likely due to the drastic changes that occur during pregnancy, such as an increase in estrogen levels.
What Foods to Eat
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that eating certain types of foods may help relieve nausea or vomiting. Starchy foods, such as dry, bland cereal, can help decrease stomach acid. It may be helpful to eat a starchy food before getting out of bed. Aim to eat foods that are easier for the body to digest, like potatoes, rice, pasta, fruits, chicken soup, chicken and rice, applesauce, properly washed vegetables or fruits, crackers, bread, flavored gelatin, pretzels, crackers, ginger snaps and ginger ale.
Other Habits That Help
Stay away from foods that have a strong smell or taste, as many pregnant woman have a heightened sense of smell. Eating small meals or snacks every two to three hours instead of three large meals a day, drinking adequate amounts of fluid between meals and eating slowly can all help prevent nausea. Also, eating a small snack before bedtime and certain teas, such as lemon and ginger, can help ease nausea.
If you are hungry, have no nausea and crave certain foods, take advantage of those feelings and try to eat something at that time. If you are unable to relieve symptoms or feel it is not related to pregnancy and are worried about providing enough nutrition for your child, contact your health care provider.