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How to Manage Morning Sickness at Work

Managing morning sickness at work

If you’re newly pregnant, congratulations! There’s so much to look forward to! Fingers crossed you don’t get morning sickness. But in case you do, I made a list of ways to help you manage it while you work.

I’m not sure why it’s still called “morning sickness” because that is a dang lie. During my pregnancy with Goose, I was sick ALL DAY, every day, for three months. Morning, noon, night, and everything in between. It was the worst. (But also totally worth it to become a mommy and I’d do it again in a heartbeat)

Despite being miserable and wanting to curl up on the floor all day, I still had to go to work.

At the time, I was a kindergarten teacher. That meant 30 little faces were expecting me to be enthusiastic, animated, and happy all day long. I couldn’t dwell on feeling sick and I had to learn how to power through it.

This is how I survived my first trimester morning sickness at work:

Have a Change of Clothes

Heaven forbid you actually need it, but keep another outfit or blouse at work just in case your clothes get a little messy. I left a plain black shirt in my desk drawer so that I could easily grab it. It was a generic style so it could be worn with any bottoms I had on.

I know. It makes me cringe to think about it, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. While you’re at it, have a hair tie and a hand towel nearby, too.

Drink Water

You need to stay hydrated, especially if you’re constantly throwing up. Sip throughout the entire day to prevent your body from feeling drained.

I usually drink only water, but I developed a water aversion when I was pregnant.

Yes, water made me sick. Seriously.

So I drank a lot of tea, Gatorade, ginger ale, and Sprite. My doctor told me to consume whatever fluids my body would keep down.

Snack All Day

Never let your stomach get empty. It’s hard because the last thing you want to do after you throw up is eat, but the times I felt the worst were when I was hungry.

Keep a stash of snacks within reach. My go-tos were saltine crackers, plain flour tortillas, and unsweetened applesauce. My body only wanted bland food, but you might have different flavor preferences in your pregnancy. Figure out the types of food you can stomach and stock up.

Also, be sure not to stuff yourself during meals. You’re more likely to get sick if you’re full to the brim. Find a place where you’re satisfied without overdoing it.

Avoid Strong Scents

A pregnant woman’s sense of smell is no joke. I learned very quickly that any potent fragrances would quickly trigger my gag reflex.

My hair conditioner, Clorox wipes, and Krispy Kreme donuts are only a few of the items I had to learn to live without.

Stay clear of that co-worker with the strong perfume and don’t go anywhere near a food court. All those fragrances and aromas will likely turn your stomach.

Make Sure Someone Has Your Back

Most women who get morning sickness have it the worst during their first trimester, but many are also not quite ready to announce their pregnancy yet.

If you’re getting sick during work, it can become difficult to hide. You are not obligated to tell anyone, but it helps to have at least one person who is aware of your pregnancy and morning sickness so that they can assist you.

As a teacher, I only got breaks when my students got breaks: recess and lunch (it’s also worth noting that a restroom was not in my classroom). That meant that if morning sickness hit me in the middle of a lesson, I had one of my supervisors on speed dial so that she could rush to my rescue anytime I needed her.

Find a co-worker you can confide in who can cover for you or give you a hand during the day.

Modify Your Duties

If your morning sickness is as bad as mine was, you may see it affecting parts of your job.

For instance, I couldn’t work on my computer for too long to plan my lessons or input data. All of the scrolling up and down and staring at the screen made me nauseous. I ended up asking for a few report deadlines to be extended and it wasn’t a big deal.

If you notice that any aspect of your job exacerbates your morning sickness, try to change it. Maybe trade tasks with a co-worker, sit down more often if standing is uncomfortable, or work at a slightly slower pace. You might even have a job that will let you work from home.

Communicate when you need help and get a little creative about completing your responsibilities.

Do Not Despair, It’s Temporary

When you’re in the midst of something painful or inconvenient, it seems to last forever. It is extremely difficult to be productive at work when your mind is constantly preoccupied with whether or not you’re about to be sick.

Don’t let morning sickness rule your life!

Through the nausea and discomfort, you’re growing a beautiful tiny human. (And morning sickness is nothing compared to labor and delivery. Ha!)

Try to focus on caring for yourself and being excited about the little person you’re making, but keep these tips in mind if you experience morning sickness while you’re at work!

I’m happy to report that by week 15 I was no longer getting sick and I didn’t experience any morning sickness when I was pregnant with Belly. There’s hope!

Another huge congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck!

Do you have any tricks that helped you get through your morning sickness? Tell me in the comments!

See my tips for pumping at work!
Read about how I learned to love my body after two babies!
Check out why meal planning is essential to my family!

10 thoughts on “How to Manage Morning Sickness at Work

    1. Thank you! I was the same; I lost so much weight during those first months. Enjoy that sweet baby! They really grow up way too fast!

  1. My son is now 14 months, but when I was in my first trimester all I could stomach was everything bagels. I definitely didn’t get to continue my low-carb eating that I had been doing for years while I was pregnant. But hey you gotta do what you gotta do : )

  2. Popping in to say hello! You’ve got such a beautiful family!! I love this post – esp. the part about bringing extra clothes – its def just the beginning of packing extra outfits for you and the kiddos!!). I was told that snacking on protein helps the body integrate and adjust to the changing needs of the body. And that if you DO experience morning sickness – it means you’ve got a strong baby. If this is the case, than, “WOW!” What a silver lining to the experience of morning sickness <3

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