It’s one thing to wrestle with the effects of nausea and morning sickness in the hidden comfort of your own home–it’s quite another to have to combat the sensitivity to smells, light-headedness, and nausea when you’re trying to appear professional and work. Here are some tips to help working pregnant women cope with morning sickness in the workplace:
Keep plenty of snacks on hand in your desk or work station–crackers, fruit, corn or tortilla chips, bagel chips–pretty much anything bland, dry and crunchy can help. You’ll likely want snacks with no smell and no funky texture. Many women find munching on something bland, dry and crunchy definitely helps to combat nausea. Cool water, tea or a sparkling water are good beverages to keep on hand. Coffee, soda and other “heavier” beverages tend to aggravate the condition.
Temperature is an important trigger for morning sickness. If a room feels too warm or stuffy, it can really feel unbearable. This can be a real challenge if you are sharing an office space with someone. A small desk fan can be helpful if there isn’t a window or thermostat nearby. You may also want to dress in layers so you can shed some extra clothing if you start feeling warm and faint.
Getting up and out for fresh air and a brief walk can be extremely helpful. Just getting some cool breeze or sunlight on your face makes a big difference. A little movement and some deep breathing may be able to ward off some of the symptoms of morning sickness.
Scents and smells can be a major trigger for some women who suffer from morning sickness. If your desk is located near the break room or kitchen, you may need to ask for a temporary new home while you’re in the early stages of the pregnancy–the constant waftings of people’s snacks and lunches might be unbearable. Not to mention the heavy smell of coffee. That small desk fan may help or keeping a window open if you absolutely cannot find a place to work further from the kitchen/break room. Frequent breaks or stepping outside can also provide some temporary relief.
Also, you may find a co-worker’s cologne, perfume or shampoo to trigger nausea and you’ll have to decide whether to avoid the offending party, move your work space, or mention the situation to the co-worker in hopes he or she can take a break until your brief bout with morning sickness passes.
If you are particularly sick, you may want to keep some paper bags (to breathe into) in your desk and make sure you never get too far from the rest room!