Does Exercise Help With Nausea In Pregnancy?
Morning sickness, or nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), as it is now more aptly named (because, lets face it, morning sickness can strike at any time of day or night, or ALL day every day), may be expected in the course of pregnancy for a large majority of women. BUT, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you to get through the experience of morning sickness with a little more ease. So, does exercise help with morning sickness? In short - yes, it CAN be very helpful for abating the constant feeling of unease in your newly expanding tummy. But how so, you ask?
Light exercise is key ...
Think of walking, upright stationary bike, pilates or strength training, yoga (but avoiding head-down positions). Whether it’s the change in blood flow away from your stomach, the distraction of being active and having your mind away from the current - hangover - feeling, that is morning sickness, you may just find yourself feel a little less queasy whilst moving your body. The exception would be if you have severe morning sickness, or Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in which it's generally not recommended to exercise, unless advised by your doctor - as it can be hard to meet your nutritional needs as it is, and exercise can then take away from your nutrition and hydration status.
I have had moderate-extreme morning sickness with all 4 pregnancies, and found exercise to be helpful to a certain degree across each pregnancy. There are days where you might not feel like it - and that is OK, and days where getting moving gently really does help with your digestion, mood, and reduce the sensation of nausea.
Other things to help with morning sickness during your pregnancy journey:
- Be well-hydrated - sip on water or low-sugar electrolyte drinks (such as coconut water or Hydralyte);
- Be well-fed - eat small meals and often, low blood sugar can make your morning sickness symptoms worse so ensure you have a light snack before + after your exercise session (such as a banana, some crackers, a piece of toast).
- Be well-rested - get enough rest and prioritise this where you can as well, as early mornings and extreme fatigue can also exacerbate your morning sickness symptoms.
You might want to read more tips about exercising with morning sickness and our top tips to ease morning sickness (it includes yummy nausea-reducing smoothie recipes!)