How to Handle Morning Sickness at Work, Gracefully

Morning Sickness Is Tough for Working Mom's

Pregnant at Work
Photo © Photodisc/Getty Images

Many pregnant women, 70 to 80 percent, will get morning sickness, or hyperemesis gravidarum. Most will experience it in early pregnancy, though a few will have it in the third trimester.

Characterized by nausea and vomiting, the unlucky ones experience both. Complications from morning sickness include:

  • dehydration
  • weight loss
  • electrolyte imbalance

Even though it's called morning sickness, these unpleasantries can strike at any point during the day.

This can be a real problem for working moms. 

Morning Sickness and Your Commute

You may only experience the feeling of nausea, but not vomiting, or you might have both. Either way, it's a good idea to plan ahead.

One of the first things to think about is how you're going to safely get to and from work. If you feel nauseous or dizzy, you might consider public transportation or take a taxi because both symptoms can interfere with your ability to drive.

As alternate transport is not always possible, be sure to pamper yourself during the commute:

  • Before you leave home, fill a travel mug with ice water, which can sometimes help you feel better or can do double duty if you need to wash your face or rinse out your mouth. Water also helps prevent dehydration.
  • Put the windows down and breathe the fresh air (if it's cold you can blast the heat or turn on the seat warmer).
  • Store barf bags in a convenient place so you don't ruin the upholstery or get into an accident.
  • Give yourself extra time so you can also pull over to a safe spot until the wave of nausea or vomiting passes.

Sitting At Your Desk with Morning Sickness

When you're sitting at your desk with morning sickness, the first thing you want to do is map the fastest route to the ladies room. Make sure you keep your barf bags and a wastebasket handy in an easily accessible place.

If a cool rag on your forehead makes you feel better, keep one in a small cooler.

If you're lucky enough to have your own office, you can quietly shut the door. However, if you work in a cubicle, or surrounded by co-workers, try to borrow a private enclosed space or head to the employee lounge or restroom so you don't make others ill, too. 

You might even want to try and enlist some help from your office mates. They might be able to cover for you while you step away from your desk. 

Freshening Up After Morning Sickness

So, you're at work, you've thrown up, and now you have vomit breath. To avoid offending your co-workers, prepare a bag of goodies to help you freshen up a bit. Your bathroom kit should include:

  • a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash
  • face towelettes to clean up
  • any makeup you need to replenish what's been wiped off
  • a natural aromatherapy spray like peppermint or lavender, to change your mood

Hopefully, you won't ever need this information. And here's to hoping it passes quickly if you do!

See also: 5 Ways Your Partner Can Help with Morning Sickness

Continue Reading