Work and Morning Sickness

Q:I am eight weeks pregnant and have terrible morning sickness. I'm spending most of my days trying not to lose it, or running to the bathroom. I don't want to announce my pregnancy yet, but I can't call in sick for the next two months. Earlier today I found out that one of my co-workers was given a project that should have been mine. I'm torn between feeling relieved and angry about it. I'm also worried that my boss is noticing that I've been dropping the ball lately.

Help! Morning sickness sucks! Pregnancy sucks! Life sucks! (OK that's going a bit too far)

I guess I'm just looking for some sympathy - and any advice from those who have "been there" would be greatly appreciated.

A: Ugh! Morning sickness is such a hard way to start off what's otherwise a wonderful time in your life. It's even harder when you're trying to keep it all together and maintain a professional demeanor at work. Most morning sickness will pass with the first trimester. Occasionally pregnant women experience severe cases of hyperemisis that last throughout the pregnancy.

Here are some suggestions for helping you get through this stage:

  1. If you are throwing up, you need to keep yourself well hydrated, and watch that your electrolytes don't get depleted.
  2. Many women find that having a little bland food in their stomachs helps to curb the queasies. Try eating one or two crackers before you even get out of bed in the morning. Then eat small amounts all day and even in the middle of the night if necessary. At a minimum, you may find that being sick to your stomach isn't as hard on your body if you have food in your stomach when you're sick.
  3. To calm your stomach:
    Try sniffing a lemon.
    Drink ginger tea (simply ginger root boiled in water).
    Eat dry toast, saltines and bland foods like grapes.
    Sip ginger ale.

Depending on how you feel about your boss's ability to keep a secret, you might want to have a confidential talk now, rather than allowing a misconception about you develop. If you are really running to the bathroom a lot, and visibly not feeling well, many of your co-workers (especially the women) may have already guessed what's happening.

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