Morning Sickness – How to ease it
Morning Sickness occurs in about a third of pregnancies based on current stats. I personally think this is more like ⅔ at least!
During the first 3 months foetal development is at its greatest. Nausea and vomiting are directly associated with a hormone called Chorionic Gonadotropin, which rises dramatically from conception through to 12-14 weeks of pregnancy.
I am not sure why it is called “morning” sickness as it can happen at anytime of day.
Not to be confused with severe vomiting and nausea which goes beyond 12 weeks and requires hospitalisation due to severe dehydration and raised ketone levels. This would be known as Hyperemesis. I will write a separate article on Hyperemesis, which I unfortunately had for the first 5 months of my pregnancy.
A silver lining with all this vomiting and nausea is that the raised hormone levels are associated with fewer miscarriages.
How to ease the symptoms:
This herb has always been used to ease digestive problems or upset stomachs.
Drink it as a tea if you can stomach the taste, or smell around the tea boxes in the health store until you find a blend that smells ok to you. Some ginger teas are far too strong, and your olfactory senses are heightened so choose a light one! This will also give you a boost of hydration for baby.
Yogi Tea do a good plain ginger tea here or you can just put some sliced peeled ginger root into some hot water to infuse. Avoid Ginger tea with green tea, with lemongrass or with tumeric. There are a number of herbs to avoid when pregnant and both Turmeric and Lemongrass are listed. Green Tea, similar to coffee contains caffeine, so not only will it increase your heart rate and give your baby a fright, but it also dehydrates you – not good in pregnancy.
Try some Ginger Root Capsules by Solgar here
You can try crystalised ginger, from most good health stores, or sucky sweets here.
Tip: If hot drinks make you gag, try iced drinks, you will be amazed at how much more palatable it is if you do have the aversion to hot at the moment.
Important Note on Teas: Avoid teas marketed as “Mother Teas”, some contain herbs that should be avoided – raspberry tea should be avoided until the third trimester as it is associated with labor. It causes the uterine muscles to contract and tone in preparation for labour. It is also used after birth to help tone up the uterus. You can see why this would need to be avoided in 1st and 2nd trimester.
Sea-Bands have had great success with their acupressure bands that are placed on the wrists. They have been used for travel sickness for many years.
They are simply a cotton thick tight band with a plastic ½ ball placed directly over your acupressure point on the wrist.
The only negative here is that the bands are a tell tale sign you are pregnant (to other women), so if you wish to keep it private for now, buy a cloth bracelet to cover it.
You can get the bands on amazon, iherb or from this Galway based store Evergreen.ie here.
This vitamin has been noted for reducing nausea and vomiting. B6 is brilliant at regulating hormones, and with excess Oestrogen in the body with the pregnancy, it help clear it for you.
It is no wonder that this vitamin is a key component in the hyperemesis drug Cariban, along with antihistamines.
B vitamins should never be taken in isolation, but always in a multi-vitamin or a B complex. You should already be taking folic acid, which is fine to take on its own, as you need the extra for pregnancy. Good multi-vitamin brands are Biocare, Pregnacare, Solgar and Viridian. You want to ensure it contains Iron (at least 14mg) and Zinc (at least 12mg).
Blood Sugar Levels
Nausea is greatly eased by regulated blood sugar levels. Having some oat cakes/ rick cakes by your bed for when you wake up will help stabilise your levels before you get up.
The key to keeping nausea at bay really is to eat little amounts all the time, like a mouse. I definitely found this really helped and would have sliced apple, carrot sticks, rice cakes, nut bars in my bag each day. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” .. really does apply here.
Apple Cider Vinegar
I am adding this here as some of my friends did feel much better after having 2 teaspoons in hot water each morning. Worth a try. Great brand is Bragg here.
There are a number of remedies designed to help specific types of nausea (morning, night, with vertigo, with tiredness, with smells) so to get the best remedy for you and baby, link in with a good Homeopath. Here is the link to the Irish Society of Homeopaths.
Nux Vomica is a herb that many women turn to, especially if their sickness is in the morning. Tabacum is a herb used for motion sickness and stuffy airless rooms.
Sepia is a herb used when the thought or smell of food gives you nausea.
You can get small capsules that melt in your mouth/ or chew, from a homeopath directly or from Weleda in good health stores. You can get them online here.
Remember to link in with your doctor to check the above is compatible with any other medication or vitamins that you may be taking already.
Have you tried anything special that helped you feel better? Let me know if you have below in comments. Great to hear different new remedies out there!