Minimize your morning sickness with these helpful hints

Morning sickness, also known as nausea gravidarum, is that special type of nausea that occurs during pregnancy, typically lasting throughout the first trimester. Approximately 75 percent of pregnant women experience these nausea pangs, and almost half of them experience vomiting as a direct result of morning sickness, according to PregnancyStatistics.org. While many women do tend to experience these symptoms in the morning hours, morning sickness can strike at any time, even at night. If there's one thing that every mom-to-be can agree on, it's that morning sickness is no fun.

Medical News Today reported that morning sickness is linked to increased estrogen levels, decreased blood sugar counts and an enhanced sense of smell. While it's hardly ever a serious condition that leads to complication, it's an annoyance and a challenge for those who experience it.

If you're experiencing episodes of morning sickness, don't despair. There are several steps you can take to reduce instances of this awful affliction.

Get lots of sleep
Making sure you get a good night's rest will help keep your immune system up and keep you in fighting shape each day. Try to get between seven and nine hours of restorative sleep each night during your pregnancy. Additionally, when you wake up, don't be too quick to jump out of bed. Raise yourself up slowly to prevent a sudden episode.

Eat small portions
While it may seem counterintuitive, it's important that you always have a little something in your stomach when trying to ward off morning sickness. This will keep your stomach "settled" and prevent any sudden reactions when you introduce food to your system. However, since you'll be eating pretty much around the clock, it's important that you indulge in small portions. This will prevent too much weight gain too fast, which can be unhealthy in a pregnancy, and will also ensure that your stomach isn't too full when morning sickness does strike.

Avoid certain 'trigger' foods
Some foods may actually contribute to morning sickness. Some of the biggest offenders are spicy foods, which can start your stomach rolling. Fatty foods are also notorious for triggering pregnancy nausea.

Eat these 'fighter foods'
On the other hand, some foods help fight episodes of morning sickness. Examples of these are crackers, pretzels and other bland starches. Loading up on proteins such as peanut butter, dry poultry meats and meat sauce served over pasta can also help. Don't forget to add a lot of fruit to your diet - citrus fruit in particular may help.

Suck on a lemon
Lemon juice, though acidic, can help settle the stomach and stave off morning sickness. Some women merely have to smell the fresh citrus to keep their bouts of nausea in check. Don't like lemon? Don't worry! Ginger has a similar effect. Place a little piece in your mouth or sip on some ginger ale.

Drink (lots of) water
Staying hydrated is crucial to good health, and it can actually help keep the status of your stomach in check. In addition to these other tips, drink at least eight glasses a day, preferably more, to keep morning sickness at bay.

Take medication
If all else fails, there are medications that are safe to take during pregnancy that will help you combat your morning sickness. Some moms-to-be opt for over-the-counter remedies such as multivitamins or iron supplements, however, prescription-strength medications are available for those suffering from extreme episodes.

Do you have any more tips for fighting off morning sickness? Let us know your tried-and-true best in the comments section!