Morning sickness affects the majority of pregnant women but there are ways to manage it. Here are some remedies for treating pregnancy nausea.
Over half of all pregnant women will suffer morning sickness at least in their first trimester. Most find this very disruptive as it interferes with their quality of life by affecting their ability to work, socialise, and carry out day-to-day tasks such as caring for their other children. It can also result in mood changes and increased anxiety.
There are no morning sickness cures, but there is morning sickness help in the form of a range of pregnancy nausea tips that can make the situation much more manageable. Information about the symptoms and causes of pregnancy nausea can be found in the article Morning Sickness and Why Pregnancy Nausea Happens.
Avoid Morning Sickness Triggers to Prevent Nausea
Triggers are foods and scents that make your stomach churn and avoiding them can help prevent morning sickness before it begins, or at least minimise the queasiness. Common scent triggers are perfumes, cooking fats, cigarette smoke and even air fresheners.
Food triggers include fried, greasy, acidic or spicy foods so these should be avoided as not only the taste but the smell can trigger nausea and vomiting. A key to avoiding nausea is to manage your blood sugar levels as you are likely to feel worse when blood sugar levels drop. Other things that can make pregnancy sickness worse include lying down after eating or drinking a lot of fluid at one time.
Control Pregnancy Sickness Using Diet
During pregnancy there are increased levels of the hormone progesterone in the body. This slows down digestion which makes small meals easier for the body to process. Eating smaller, more frequent meals also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and having an empty stomach can increase pregnancy nausea. Foods high in protein and carbohydrates can both help fight nausea as the body takes longer to digest protein and blood sugar levels take longer to drop. Having a late supper with protein will help.
Pregnant women should eat bland foods during their first trimester that do not have a strong smell or taste. Options include crackers, pretzels, baked or mashed potatoes, rice, cereals and bread. Potato chips can sometimes settle a sick stomach and sports drinks are useful to replace electrolytes after vomiting providing they are only sipped slowly.
Ginger is a well-documented morning sickness remedy and eating bites of ginger bread snaps or cookies or other foods cooked with real ginger will help battle nausea. Ginger ale does not normally contain real ginger so will not help, but you can make ginger tea or eat small pieces of grated ginger. There are also ginger lollipops marketed for pregnant women.
Some women find that taking vitamin B6 can help with morning sickness, particularly if it is taken with food. Others find that taking a vitamin brings on a rush of nausea so this should be discussed with a doctor. Vitamin B6 rich foods like avocado and bananas may be a better option.
Pregnant women should only eat what they want to eat and not feel obliged to eat what others are having. Small snacks throughout the day are good, especially fruit, dry biscuits or crackers, nuts and yoghurt. Keep saltine crackers or pretzels by the bed and eat a few if you wake in the night and before getting out of bed in the morning to reduce nausea.
Relax, Use Scents, Acupressure Bands and Yoga to Reduce Pregnancy Nausea
Being well rested can lessen the severity of morning sickness. Take frequent breaks and nap during the day before feelings of exhaustion set in. Women who experience strong nausea in the morning should keep crackers by their bed to eat when they wake and then take extra time to get up. Make time to relax. Chatting with another mother-to-be is often found helpful in lowering stress.
Just as some scents can bring on nausea others are good at relieving it. Many women find that selling lemons or peppermint oil can bring relief. Not only can the smell of a cut lemon help nausea but a slice added to iced tea or just plain water can also assist.
Wristbands designed to lessen the effects of seasickness and motion sickness have also been found to help pregnant women. They work by stimulating the acupressure point P6 in the wrist and can be bought at chemists and healthfood shops.
Some women find that yoga and meditation are useful in helping the body relax the diaphragm and the mind can settle on something other than the stomach. Other things that can reduce morning sickness are chewing gum, and receiving a massage using chamomile massage oil.
Sometimes morning sickness can't be cured although these tips can help minimise it. It can make the mother-to-be quite miserable so take comfort in knowing that for most women it will go away around week 14 to 16 and many doctors believe nausea is a positive indication of the baby’s healthy development.
© Jo Jackson August 2010
Morning sickness: Causes, concerns, treatments
What Is Morning Sickness? What Causes Morning Sickness?
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