Morning sickness is also referred to as Nausea gravidarum or pregnancy sickness. This condition affects a significant number of pregnant women. Luckily there are a few remedies you can use to deal with this unpleasant part of pregnancy.
Nutritional Supplements for morning sickness
Vitamin B6 is a nutritional supplement that can be taken to reduce the intensity and frequency of morning sickness. It has been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting after as little as one week of starting your regiment.
Zinc mineral deficiency in pregnant women is also associated with morning sickness. Taking a zinc supplement can help balance blood sugar, stabilize the metabolic rate and regulating your sense of smell and taste. The recommended dose for an average adult pregnant woman is 25 mg of zinc per day but please check with your doctor to find out the suitable dosage for you.
Herbal remedies for morning sickness
Ginger is a well known herbal relief for morning sickness. Ginger can be taken in several forms. You can chew on a small piece of ginger, take ginger root in capsule form or grate ginger root over a cup of hot water to make a soothing hot beverage. Some ginger ales contain a significant amount of ginger and can also help provide relief, but be sure you check the ginger content on the beverage label as not all ginger ales contain a significant amount of ginger. Studies show that a gram of ginger a day can prevent vomiting.
Peppermint is well known stomach soothing herb. It balances secretions in your stomach during digestion and can ease flatulence, hiccupping and nausea. Please note however that it is not good for people suffering from gastroesophageal reflux. Peppermint can be taken in the form of herbal tea or as a peppermint candy. Alternatively you can also rub peppermint oil on your belly using a warm towel.
Homeopathy and acupuncture for morning sickness
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy that involves the use of needles on certain points of the body to correct certain imbalances that causes discomfort or illness. An acupuncturist can treat morning sickness by working on pressure points associated with parts of the body affected by morning sickness. This method has been quite effective on many pregnant women.
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that involves giving an individual certain highly diluted substances to trigger the body’s natural healing mechanism to deal with any ailment or physical discomfort. A homeopathic expert will tailor the treatment to an individual according to their condition, and it can safely be used during pregnancy to treat morning sickness.
Foods you can eat or avoid during morning sickness
Taking increased amounts of protein in your diet has been shown to have a positive effect on women suffering from morning sickness. Protein causes blood sugar levels to drop during digestion, and this minimizes the production of stomach acids. Reducing stomach acid can reduce the feeling of nausea. To stop morning sickness, a protein snack can be eaten before going to bed such as cheese with crackers or toast, a handful of nuts such as almonds or some yoghurt. As an alternative, you can also have this immediately after waking up. Avoid simple carbohydrates and eat complex carbohydrates to keep you blood sugar levels low. Have small frequent meals throughout the day with a good balance of protein and complex carbohydrates to help balance your blood sugar at all times. Keep away from fatty or spicy foods and snack on lots of vegetable, fruits and nuts throughout the day. Avoid citrus fruits and juices as they may lead to increased acidity in your stomach.
Physical remedies for morning sickness
Getting plenty of fresh air and doing mild exercises such as going for walks can help regulate hormonal activity in your body and reduce morning sickness. Wearing motion sickness bands which activate acupressure points on your wrist can also help reduce nausea.
These are just a few of the remedies you can use to deal with morning sickness. If your morning sickness is unusually severe, consider seeing your doctor to be sure that there are no complications with your pregnancy.
What causes morning sickness?
You might be wondering why it is called “morning sickness” when this condition can occur all throughout the day. It's called “Morning sickness” because many women complain about these symptoms in the morning. It can ease up a bit but can strike from time to time.
Nausea and vomiting usually occur in the first trimester or about 4 to 6 weeks after fertilization. These symptoms usually get worse as the pregnancy progresses. Morning sickness usually continue until the start of the second trimester, or about 14 weeks into the pregnancy. In severe cases, these symptoms will continue until the end of the pregnancy.
Morning sickness is caused the many physical changes that happen inside the body of a pregnant woman. The changing hormonal balance plus the introduction of the pregnancy hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) in the body is a challenge for your body to adapt to. While there is no direct link between hCG and morning sickness, women who experience nausea during pregnancy tend to have a high level of hCG.
The female hormone estrogen is elevated during the early days of pregnancy. Increased estrogen causes expectant women to have a heightened sensitivity to certain smells. Therefore, unpleasant odors can lead to nausea and even a gagging sensation which can result in vomiting.
With all the hormonal changes taking place, pregnant woman can develop food aversions and cravings. You may find yourself not liking meals or snacks you used to love before you got pregnant. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee or the presence of garlic may annoy you during your pregnancy. On the other hand, you might suddenly crave particular foods or fruits sometimes at the strangest times of day.
Living with morning sickness is difficult but manageable. The simple rule is to avoid stimuli that triggers nausea and vomiting. Here are some tips to follow to help with morning sickness:
- Keep carbohydrates like soda crackers or bread within reach. These types of food help overcome nausea as they are easy to digest and will keep your body focus on this task. Nibble on a few pieces before you get up in the morning.
- Try heating pita bread and dip these into a bowl of hummus. Or slice apples and cheese and keep these inside a ziplock and eat them little by little the whole day.
- Sip on some ginger tea in the morning to alleviate the nauseous feeling. Ginger is a popular herbal medicine for many illnesses. Other alternatives you can try are gingersnap cookies and ginger candies.
- Eat small meals throughout the day instead of three big meals. This will help reduce the acid in the stomach since there will be food to digest. The absence of acid will stop the gagging and nauseous feeling. To make this easier for you, write a meal plan to check what snacks you can consume before lunch and before dinner. You can label these food items to keep things organized and eaten according to your diet plan.
- Cold treats like popsicles or slushy drinks are known to relax the acid inside the stomach. Try blending fruits with ice or why not turn sports drink or juices to ice cubes. You can just pop these into your mouth every time you are feeling dizzy. Just make sure to watch your sugar consumption to avoid gestational diabetes.
- Don’t throw away orange or lemon peelings. Keep these inside a container and stash them inside the fridge. You can smell every time dizziness strikes. Use these peelings for one to two days only.
- Hydrate as much as possible. Drink plenty of water during and after meals to keep food fully digested. To push yourself to drink more, fill up two 1 liter water containers and try to finish this up until you go to sleep. A good sign that you are drinking enough water is that your urine is colorless.
- Make a list of the things that stimulate your nausea. It will help you avoid these items especially when you are out in a restaurant or when shopping at a supermarket. Keep in a place where it will be easy to access.
- Keep spicy and greasy food away from your diet. These dishes are found to induce acid in the digestive system.
- Stay in well-ventilated places. Odors and aromas in an enclosed room with can likely stir up your nausea. Try walking or breathing in fresh air when you are feeling dizzy during the day.
- Turn off and don’t look directly on devices like television or computer when you are feeling woozy. It is also advisable to wear an anti-glare when watching videos on these gadgets for long hours.
- You should also avoid reading text messages or scrolling down the Facebook news feed while on a car. Doing this activities while seated on moving vehicle can lead to headache and eventually nausea. Explore the different aromatherapy products you can use to ease your nausea. Scents such as peppermint, orange, or seabreeze bring warm feelings. These essential oils can be used on diffusers. You can also test aromatherapy candles while taking a bath or relaxing at night. There are also organic products like “spa in a bottle” you can try.
- Ask your obstetrician to prescribe you a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins contain a whole spectrum of vitamins and nutrients essential to your changing body. They usually also contain vitamin B6 to reduce the symptoms of morning sickness.
Remember that every pregnancy is different. Signs and symptoms might appear similar but it can still vary from person to person. Do be careful with whatever remedies or medication you try. Bear in mind that you are caring for the health of you and your precious one inside your belly. Never try your luck and just take over-the-counter medicines. Here are additional tips you may find useful:
- Seek the advice of your obstetrician when taking any medication or herbal remedies.
- Work only with a certified acupuncturist.
- Read the labels of food items or vitamins to make sure these things don’t contain harmful ingredients.
- Do a bit of research when trying remedies for your nausea.
- Speak with your partner, family, and friends to let them know what you are going through. They can give you advice based on their experiences. They will also know the adjustments they can do make you comfortable at home.