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How can I get relief from morning sickness?

Tips for when you’re tired and don’t feel well

By Katie Krumwiede, MD
August 22, 2017

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Last night you went to bed overjoyed with news of your pregnancy. Today, you woke up feeling exhausted and sick. Could your body be changing already? As your baby works hard to grow, your body feels the effects. Here’s what to expect during your pregnancy.

I don’t feel well. Is this morning sickness?

It’s very common for women to feel sick during pregnancy and “morning” sickness is actually a little misleading. You may feel sick at any time during the day and many women actually feel sick later in the day. Morning sickness usually sets in soon after you realize you are pregnant and you’ll probably start to feel better toward the end of your first trimester. However, some women continue to feel sick throughout their pregnancy. Or, their nausea stops and may come back later.

Each woman experiences a different degree of morning sickness. You may have a general uneasy feeling that makes it difficult to eat or drink throughout the day or you might vomit. A few women will have severe sickness that may require medications. When you can’t eat or drink without vomiting, it may be time to talk to your doctor. We want to make sure you aren’t dehydrated, malnourished or losing too much weight.

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Why am I so tired?

Your body is working hard to adjust to your growing baby. It’s important to listen to what your body needs. This often means more sleep and rest. Normal, everyday tasks may fatigue you sooner and more easily. You may want to take naps throughout the day or go to bed earlier at night. Fatigue is extremely common in the first trimester. By your second trimester, you should have more of your energy back. But, over the course of your pregnancy sleep becomes more difficult as your belly grows. That’s why you should take advantage of rest times when you can.

What other body changes can I expect?

In addition to feeling more tired, you may also notice your breasts are tender, you’re going to the bathroom frequently and you may have constipation. All of these are typical during pregnancy. However, if you have intense pelvic pain or bleeding, call your doctor right away.

Can I still exercise?

If you are active already, exercising in basic ways is just fine while you’re pregnant. Exercise may even make you feel better and help with your fatigue. Watch your heart rate to make sure you aren’t exercising too much. You should keep your heart rate in the range of 150 beats per minute or less. It’s also important to avoid high-impact or contact sports that have a higher likelihood for falls or abdominal trauma, like skiing or horseback riding.

If you haven’t regularly exercised but want to start, good for you! Exercise is a wonderful way to help you feel more in control of your body during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor first to put together a safe plan for exercise.

Your body will undergo a variety of changes in the next several months so don’t let morning sickness or fatigue dampen your new baby excitement. Learning how to manage these changes can make all the difference in your mood and general well-being.

About Katie Krumwiede, MD

Dr. Katie Krumwiede has been with HealthPartners since 2009 and is currently the Vice Chair for the OB-GYN Department. She splits her time between the St. Paul Clinic and Regions Hospital. A mother of a three-year-old herself, people often ask Dr. Krumwiede if having a baby changed how she practices obstetrics. “While it didn’t change anything about how I practice obstetrics, it did change how I talk to patients and their families about what comes after the birth,” she says. “Whether it is how to navigate the first few upending weeks with a newborn, or how to find your groove when back at work and balancing the demands and joys of motherhood and career, everyone will encounter some bumps in the road.” Dr. Krumwiede believes children’s health is not only making sure that young patients get the medical care they need but also making sure that families get the resources they need to enjoy new parenthood. When not at work, she and her husband enjoy chasing their always energetic young son and equally energetic, but not so young, golden retriever. Dr. Krumwiede loves to travel, near and far. She likes to run, mostly near. And she says she’s doing her best to learn to cook.

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