Down with morning sickness

PREGNANCY is a roller-coaster ride. Though it is thrilling to have a mini human being growing inside your body, you have to bear the cross of the dreaded morning sickness.

Some women are lucky enough to sail through every pregnancy without nausea and vomiting. But the majority have to hurl their way through the first trimester.

I was one of them – I puked through the first trimester of all four pregnancies.

If you're having a bad bout of morning sickness now, I feel for you. There is no wishing away morning sickness, but there are some things you can do to cope with it.

Morning sickness usually occurs in the morning, but it can happen any time of the day.

Upon waking up in the morning, nibble on some crackers before you get up.

Stash them on your bedside table for easy access. This is as good as any excuse to eat in bed.

The food will help absorb some stomach acids that might trigger your nausea when you're up.

During your first trimester, your taste buds might go haywire. You might be repelled by food which you used to love, or in extreme cases, all food. You hate to eat because everything tastes like cardboard.

But there are some foods that might get past your traitorous taste buds. In my case, I hated rice, but didn't mind noodles.

Often, during the first 12 weeks, I went to bed hungry, and woke up in the wee hours to nibble on crackers and drink Milo. I also found succour in sour plum sweets.

Your rebellious tongue might be accepting of salty chips, pickles, or nuts. It is okay to go nutty over them, and stock up enough of these life-savers to ride you through the first trimester.

Though your appetite has taken a hit, it's vital to eat small meals throughout the day. An empty stomach will aggravate your morning sickness.

During pregnancy, your sense of smell is heightened.

Studies have shown that the most common offending smells to pregnant women are cooking odours, cigarette smoke, spoiled food, and perfume.

You may also be put off by unpleasant smells such as your husband's stinky socks, a whiff of the rubbish truck as it passes by, or petrol while you're refuelling your car.

By being aware of the smells that put you off, you can make your escape plan.

For example, if you can't stand the smell of cooking, take a break and arrange for catering.

If the petrol fumes make you nauseated, get your husband to fill up the petrol in your car.

Some women find the scent of lemon to be soothing, so you might want to stock up some fresh lemons or get some essential oils.

For other people, ginger tea seems to help alleviate that nauseous feeling.

Your energy level in the first trimester will also be low, so make sure you cut down on your activities and get enough rest.

Morning sickness can take a toll on you, but remember that it is only temporary.

There is light at the end of the short tunnel, and when you regain your appetite, you have the perfect excuse to eat for two.

Lydia Teh is a mother of four and author of 10 books, including the latest, How I Wrote Ten Books. Send comments to