Sure, it’s called “morning sickness.” But what about all those moms-to-be who wake up feeling fine, only for nausea and vomiting to kick in when night falls? Morning sickness at night is a common complaint among many pregnant moms.
When morning sickness (or should we say “night sickness?”) keeps you from sleeping, it can be a source of all-day stress and fatigue – and, in turn, stress tends to make the symptoms worse, so you get less sleep, and even more stress… Talk about a vicious cycle! Let’s look at 5 steps you can take to fight morning sickness at night and rest easier.
Remedies for Morning Sickness at Night #1: Change your sleeping position
The first step for combating night-time acid reflux is to slightly elevate your pillow position. Raising your head and shoulders helps keep the acid in your stomach where it belongs. However, raising your head too high can cause back pain, so don’t put too much strain on your body – just a little elevation is fine.
You can also try sleeping in the Sims’ position: lying comfortably on your left side, with your right knee bent. This relaxes your body, which can help ease the severity of your morning sickness symptoms.
Remedies for Morning Sickness at Night #2: Don’t be too active during the day
If morning sickness is worse at night, you might want to react by being more active when you feel better. However, if you push yourself too much in the daylight hours, fatigue can exacerbate your symptoms of morning sickness at night. Even when you’re feeling all right, it’s best to avoid tiring yourself out by not going to crowded places or travelling long distances.
On the other hand, being cooped up at home all the time could drive you stir-crazy! Consider more laid back outings like a shopping trip, or a stroll in the neighborhood with your partner.
Remedies for Morning Sickness at Night #3: Make snacks for late at night
The nausea of morning sickness is often worse on an empty stomach, but if you fill yourself up completely at dinner time, you can often end up feeling worse. In this case, it’s best to leave a little bit of room at dinnertime – eat until you’re about 80% full, and then prepare some finger food for later at night. Some light comfort food might include tea sandwiches, or onigiri (rice balls).
Another way to fight the discomfort of an empty stomach is to prepare a drink bottle to take sips from. Many pregnant moms swear by cold drinks, citrus juices and soda water as a way to settle the stomach.
Remedies for Morning Sickness at Night #4: Practice good sleep habits at night
If you get to bed before your nocturnal morning sickness symptoms start to kick in, it can take some of the worries about nausea off your mind. Warm drinks before bedtime are good for your circulation and help get your body ready for sleep. You can also try turning your room into a calming place through soft lighting and music.
When morning sickness is so bad you can’t sleep, it’s tempting to try and distract yourself by watching TV or browsing your smartphone. However, this throws off your body’s circadian rhythms, so try to avoid screen-light when you need to rest.
Remedies for Morning Sickness at Night #5: See a doctor for advice
Speak to your practitioner if your morning sickness gets so bad you can’t sleep at all. Extremely severe morning sickness can become a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which may need to be treated in hospital with IV fluids.
Since you don’t know the effects they could have on your baby, don’t attempt to self-medicate with over-the-counter medications. Your doctor may be able to recommend a safe and effective treatment if your morning sickness symptoms are severe, so don’t hesitate to discuss it with them.
Stress less to fight morning sickness at night
Morning sickness affects a half to two-thirds of more than half of pregnant women, but the symptoms and severity vary from person to person. Since stress and fatigue can aggravate these symptoms, try to create a relaxing atmosphere whenever you can!
Remember, your morning sickness will eventually improve. Until then, you can draw on the support of your partner, family and friends to help keep your chin up while you ride it out!