How to Cope with Morning Sickness

5 ways to quash that first-trimester queasiness.

Morning sickness is a mystery. Officially called Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (NVP), it’s attributed to the rapid onslaught of hormones and is especially intense during the first trimester. But, there is no definite explanation for why it happens during some pregnancies, and not others.

While many suggest that morning sickness might be a good sign that the baby is growing and healthy, NVP is miserable, and muddling through it is hard. Illness that is likened to having a stomach bug for months on end can rob moms-to-be of some of the joy of expecting a baby.

Here are 5 ways to cope with morning sickness.

1. Phone a friend. Commiserating with women who have been through NVP helps quell the guilt and anxiety that stems from it. Moms-to-be with NVP report feeling isolated because they aren’t well enough to socialize or engage in their usual activities. Surefire remedies to the physical sickness don’t really exist. The most dependable prescription is support and empathy.

2. Alternative medicine. Try acupuncture, massage, yoga, and talk therapy to combat the suppressive nature of NVP. Talk to your healthcare provider about prescription medication if necessary.

3. Eat what you can. Take advantage of any window of relief to eat. If you can manage foods brimming with nutrients, consider it a bonus! If all you can muster is some crackers and dry cereal, then try to keep the faith that you will eventually be able to eat better.

4. Have someone else cook for you. Sometimes the smells and sounds of cooking exacerbate NVP. Rely on help from others, including take-out and prepared foods during this time. If you don’t have to make it yourself, it might be easier to stomach eating it.

5. Give yourself a break. If NVP provokes a barrage of negative thoughts, try to trump them with the knowledge that your body is doing amazing, miraculous work, and you’re doing the best you can to take care of you and your baby. You deserve a cookie…whenever you eventually feel like eating it.

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Tara Mataraza Desmond

Tara Mataraza Desmond

Tara Mataraza Desmond is an author and writer focused on food and cooking for wellness, pregnancy, and parenthood. She is the author of Choosing Sides: From Holidays to Every Day, 130 Delicious Recipes to Make the Meal (Andrews McMeel) and co-author of Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet (Ten Speed Press). Desmond cooks and writes for work and life with three small children afoot in Philadelphia.

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