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Doing Battle With Morning Sickness

Doing Battle with Morning Sickness
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Show Me a Sign continued...

On some level, the nausea can be reassuring -- an early sign that a tiny human being really is growing inside of you. Carla Laszlo, 29, of Southwick, Mass., recently found out she was pregnant and a week later started to feel queasy. "I finally feel like something is happening to me," she says. "With this being my first pregnancy, I was anxious to 'feel' pregnant. Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm getting my wish."

Some studies, in fact, have indicated that women with little or no morning sickness have a higher rate of miscarriage. That's because women who end up miscarrying typically have lower levels of hCG, says Dr. Niebyl. Another theory, although widely disputed, is that morning sickness is actually nature's way of keeping women away from substances that could harm the developing fetus.

Quelling the Queasies

One principle that might help keep morning sickness at bay is that nausea is often worse on an empty stomach. So eat small, frequent meals throughout the day rather than the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner. Keep some crackers on your nightstand to munch on before you get out of bed in the morning. If taking a prenatal vitamin in the morning on an empty stomach exacerbates your nausea, try taking it at night instead.

Bland starches, such as breads, rice or pasta, which are metabolized quickly, are often the best choices for morning sickness, says Anne Dubner, a registered dietician and nutrition consultant in Houston. So are high-protein snacks, which take longer to digest and therefore stay in your body longer. A combination of the two -- crackers with peanut butter or cheese, for instance, might be particularly helpful. Also, avoid highly spiced or greasy foods and gas-producing vegetables like cabbage.

"Whatever works, that's the rule in morning sickness, and what makes you feel good at 9 a.m. may not make you feel good at 4 p.m.," says Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietician in Boston and author of "Pregnancy Nutrition: Good Health for You and Your Baby." Don't worry about not getting enough nutrition during the first trimester if you don't have much of an appetite, either, because the nutritional needs of the fetus are still minimal.

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