Congratulations momma! You recently found out your joyful little bundle was on the way. Pregnancy bliss just about settled in and then the morning sickness hit. Nausea during pregnancy can be different for each woman and it can differ from one pregnancy to the next.
Some will be able to tame their nausea with a cracker. Others are not as lucky.
A very small percentage of women will suffer from severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, it affects between 0.3-3% of pregnant women1.
But the large majority of morning sickness sufferers will fall somewhere in between the two extremes. A Cochrane review states that approximately 70% of women suffer from morning sickness. Good news for most who report symptoms such as nausea or vomiting will find relief by the 12th week of pregnancy1.
How can you find relief to your nausea before it subsides by itself? Here is a list of natural methods you may not have tried yet.
Ginger and Peppermint
You can eat it. Gnaw it. Smell it. Swallow it. Ginger and peppermint have calming effects on your stomach.
You can use scents to smell.
Foods such as a gingersnap cookie or a peppermint candy cane can be both delicious and beneficial.
Ginger and peppermint also come in tea. The warmth of the tea mixed with the smell can soothe you awhile.
Try sucking on a lemon. The sour of the lemon along with the fresh smell can shortly relieve nausea.
There is a spot on your wrist that, when pressed properly, can alleviate nausea. This technique is often used for chemotherapy patients as it relives some symptoms as blood flow increases.
Sea Bands will put the pressure on for you. Small, knitted, elastic bands. Although they may not be the most fashionable, you might find the benefits outweigh your outfit choice.
Some fresh air and change of scenery can do your mind and body some good. Although the last thing you want to do when you feel nauseous is move, you might be surprised how often this works.
Sports Medicine Australia recommends you get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical aerobic activity, or at least 75 minutes of high intensity physical aerobic activity during each week of pregnancy2.
Make sure you are getting plenty of rest. Try to get a nap in each day. If you can’t nap, at least take a break from your feet as often as you can.
After resting, try to get up slowly. Getting up too quickly can cause dizziness and increase nausea.
If you have been taking your prenatal vitamin in the morning, try taking it before bed. This way you will be sleeping through any queasiness from the pill.
Instead of eating three large meals a day, try snacking and eating smaller meals throughout the day.
Keep something salty on your nightstand to eat before you get out of bed in the morning. Having something in your stomach can settle it before nausea sets in.
Juicy fruits are also great to eat throughout the day. Strawberries, grapes, and grapefruit are light on your stomach and can give you a boost of energy.
In Australia, we are aware how important staying hydrated is due to our hot climate. However, some women find it extremely difficult to drink water when nauseous. Dehydration can lead to greater amounts of nausea. A vicious dehydration cycle.
If water is giving you trouble, try something with a little flavor. Add a splash of apple or lemon juice to your water. If that is still not helping, keep it in the freezer and drink it while slushy. Something about little ice chips make hydrating more enjoyable.
Even if you cannot get off of the couch, invite a friend to come to you. Good conversation can steal away your nausea and replace it with good spirit.
Trust Your Instinct
‘Mom knows best.’ And it’s true. If something sounds appetizing—try it. Trial and error may have you finding the best way to overcome your morning sickness.
However, if symptoms persist or are severe, it is best to seek advice from your general practitioner, midwife, or health practitioner.
Morning sickness will become all but a distant memory when you get to kiss that precious babbling baby for the first time. Keep your head up momma!