Whoever coined the term “morning sickness” had a twisted sense of humor.
Although pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting are common in the morning, both can occur at any time of day and even last all day long. Morning sickness usually begins at about 5 weeks of pregnancy and for most, ends at the beginning of the second trimester, although it can last all through your pregnancy.
No one knows for sure what causes morning sickness. It is thought that morning sickness is triggered by a combination of physical, hormonal, and emotional factors.
There are many theories about the purpose of morning sickness. Some believe morning sickness is designed to encourage expectant mothers to slow down or help them to eliminate unhealthy things from their lifestyles such as coffee and smoking. Still, others hold to the theory that morning sickness is relative to psychosocial variables such as high levels of stress, lack of support, or strong emotions regarding the pregnancy.
If you’re suffering from ongoing nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy you probably don’t care why you just want it to stop.
There’s no magic pill to cure morning sickness although some doctors will prescribe Diclectin for morning sickness that is long-lasting or disruptive.
The are a number of tricks that are commonly offered and sometimes sworn by. Depending on the time of day nausea strikes, you might want to try different remedies. You may find something works for a period of time and then stops working and you need to try something else.
Dry, Bland Food
For morning sickness that actually strikes in the morning, it can be helpful to keep something dry and bland to munch on at your bedside along with water.
When morning sickness occurs in the middle of the day you can find relief by eating citrus fruit, having a tart candy like a lemon drop, or sipping something sour like lemonade. Candied ginger might also be helpful.
Small Frequent Meals
If you are finding your morning sickness comes in waves throughout the day be sure to eat many small meals or snacks, stay hydrated, and get proper rest when needed. Even though it’s counter intuitive to eat when you are feeling nauseous, it’s very helpful!
It can be hard to stomach rich, nourishing food when you’re feeling nauseous most of the time. Enter: bone broth. Bone broth made from the bones of free range, organic chicken is deeply nourishing and can help the nausea due to its gut-healing properties. A good pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon will help you get a few sips down when you’re feeling sick. Here is a good recipe from Wellness Mama. Even though it’s time consuming initially, once you make a big batch you can freeze and have bone broth for weeks or months to come during pregnancy. (It’s great for postpartum recovery too!)
Ginger & Peppermint
Evening sickness can be remedied with ginger tea. Peppermint tea can also be helpful but is known to cause heartburn, so use with caution. Let someone else do the cooking if the smells from the kitchen are a trigger or avoid cooking smells altogether by choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, and other cold foods.
Acupuncture is thought to be helpful for nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy. Acupuncture can be used to treat most common discomforts related to pregnancy with no risk to your health. Choose a practitioner that is knowledgeable about pregnancy. You can also try some acupressure at home by pressing the PC 6 acupressure point located above the wrist on the inner side of the arm. (see picture below)
Low Magnesium levels may potentially play a part in nausea during pregnancy. Boosting your magnesium levels before pregnancy is ideal for preventing nausea, but you may find a lot of relief during pregnancy by upping your magnesium. I recently discovered a lovely new product that is a magnesium supplement that mixes into a fizzy drink with a slight lemon and ginger flavor that can help nausea and vomiting. It’s called Sparkling Mama.
Fermented Foods & Probiotics
I learned in a fascinating podcast that imbalances in the gut may be making women sick during pregnancy. Including fermented foods may be a key to keeping morning sickness (or all day sickness!) at bay. Try to have a morning smoothie everyday with yogurt or kefir (make sure there are live cultures in the yogurt!) You can add whatever fruits sound appetizing to you and also this can be an opportunity to throw some superfoods in the blender.
Kristen from naturalbirthandbabycare.com recommends putting a little bit of potato starch in your smoothie as well. This may sound odd, but this kind of starch helps you to actually absorb the healthy probiotics that are present in the yogurt or kefir. Listen to the full podcast here.
Essential oils can help tremendously with nausea! Keep a bottle of lemon oil and peppermint oil in your purse at all times and simply open the top and breathe them in. (These are also great to have during labor in case you get nauseous during or in between contractions.) You can also blend peppermint and lemon in a diffuser and have it by your bedside table, and if you experience morning sickness, just start the diffuser upon waking. You can also dilute these oils in a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, and rub on the soles of your feet.
**Do not take essential oils internally during pregnancy without consulting a specialist.
Keep your stress levels low
If you suspect that your stress levels and anxiety are playing a role in your morning sickness, you can sort through your feeling to find relief. A doula or other support person can help you navigate your fears and create a plan to ensure you have the support you need throughout pregnancy, birth, and parenting. It is incredible how strongly our inner feelings can impact our physical well-being.
Working through the Birth Like a Goddess course will help you feel prepared for your journey. As you build confidence in yourself and learn to embrace your body’s inner wisdom, you may find that any physical expressions of your inner turmoil fade away. Preparing for birth not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally can put you at ease with your experience.