Understanding Morning Sickness
Morning sickness refers to nausea and/or vomiting, which can be experienced at any time of day or even throughout the entire day. Fifty percent of pregnant women experience these symptoms and for some women the morning sickness can be relentless. It usually lasts from about the sixth week to the twelfth or fourteenth week of pregnancy.
While the exact cause of these symptoms remains undetermined, it is possible that the high levels of estrogen and chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) have something to do with the morning sickness experience. The pregnancy hormone hCG is produced by the placenta in an increasing amount until the end of the first trimester. Stress, low blood sugar and poor nutrition can aggravate the problem.
Wondering how to help morning sickness and find relief? Try these solutions to help you get through the first trimester.
Make stress relief and moderate exercise a regular part of your lifestyle to improve your well-being and relieve morning sickness. The following can greatly help:
- A daily walk outside for fresh air and improved blood circulation
- Ten minutes of deep breathing exercises every morning
- Play relaxing music
- Stay away from disturbing odors
- Keep the windows open to allow fresh, clean air to circulate
- Try acupressure for relief — press the hollow of your elbow for ten seconds, three times, do each elbow
Diet and Nutrition
While it may be difficult to focus on taking in food when dealing with morning sickness, it is so important to focus on well-balanced nutrition. Good nutrition will help to support a healthy pregnancy and it will help somewhat with the symptoms of pregnancy.
- Eat small meals throughout the day, try to never have an empty stomach
- Before getting out of bed try eating a few crackers and drinking water
- Eat plenty of whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes for important nutrients, including vitamin B6
- Fresh fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, melons, mango and papaya are soothing when dealing with nausea
- Keep plenty of carbonated water and ginger ale on hand to relieve nausea
- Make sure you are consuming high-quality proteins, while fish and meat may be unappetizing when feeling ill, nuts, beans and yogurt are all great sources
- Take your prenatal vitamin
- Talk to your doctor about supplementing with vitamin B6 and magnesium together
You should talk to your doctor before taking any herbs while pregnant. Try the following herbal teas to help with morning sickness:
- Red raspberry helps to rebalance hormone levels, it also tones the uterus
- Dandelion will support the liver, thereby aiding digestion
- Peppermint can help calm nerves and relax the digestive tract
Ginger is one of the best known remedies for nausea, try ginger tea, ginger candy, ginger ale or fresh ginger
Knowing how to help morning sickness safely and naturally you can take control of your well-being and your symptoms. If vomiting is persistent and you are having trouble keeping down food, be sure to talk to your doctor.
The New York Times, Health Guide. Morning Sickness. https://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/morning-sickness/overview.html
Balch, Phyllis A. " Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
photo by The Delicious Life