It is not uncommon to have an upset stomach during pregnancy. Even if you don’t have full-fledged morning sickness, it is likely that you will experience some upset stomach or nausea during your pregnancy. An upset stomach can occur at any time of the day, not just during the morning. This nausea may be constant, as it is for some women; or, it may just occur occasionally. The degree to which you feel sick can also vary; you might just feel a little woozy, or you might experience full fledged vomiting.
Researchers are not certain what causes an upset stomach while pregnant. Some studies suggest that that the rapidly changing hormone levels in your body, combined with an enhanced sense of smell and excess stomach acids are to blame. Other theories suggest that nausea during pregnancy is caused by the buildup of hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin). hCG continues to build up in your system until about the 12th week of your pregnancy, at which point the levels of hCG starts to decrease. This theory seems to be most consistent with actual experience.
There are a variety of things that a mom-to-be can do to alleviate an upset stomach while pregnant. They can include:
- Avoid foods that are high in fat, especially saturated fats.
- Avoid foods with strong smells that could trigger nausea.
- Sea bands or motion sickness wrist bands may help some women who have an upset stomach.
- Eat small, frequent snacks and meals to avoid feeling either hungry or too full.
- Use rice cakes or crackers to counteract nausea.
- Make sure to keep hydrated.
- Many women have had success using a variety of ginger products, such as ginger root supplements or ginger tea to help combat an upset stomach.
- Your nausea may be caused by the iron in your pre-natal vitamin. If you believe this is the case, speak with your health care provider about other options.
While having an upset stomach while pregnant is never a joyful experience, by using some of the techniques above you may find that you can reduce the frequency of your upset stomach, as well as the duration and intensity.