When morning sickness comes calling in a pregnancy, it can make you feel like death warmed over. While the jury is still out on a conclusive reason why some women have nausea and vomiting in early (and sometimes, the entire) pregnancy, finding safe solutions to ease the illness is important. Approximately half of all pregnant women experience at least some nausea and vomiting during the first trimester.
Here are some tips:
01. Keep some dry crackers or a piece of toast by your bed. Before ever moving, rolling over, or sitting up, eat the crackers and then wait five or ten minutes before slowly easing out of bed. If you have a partner or an older child to make you some fresh toast, even better!
02. Befriend ginger. Most women have heard that ginger ale will help ease nausea and vomiting, and for some, it will. Unfortunately, most commercial ginger ale preparations have too much sugar and not enough real ginger in order to be helpful. Try ginger beer instead–it’s not really beer as in it contains no alcohol, but does contain larger quantities of actual ginger. Drink it at room temperature and sip slowly. Most health food or healthy grocery stores will carry ginger beer. Steep 1/2 a tsp of fresh ginger in hot water to make a tea that you can sip up to four times a day. Eat candied ginger, again which can be found in most grocery stores. If you cannot find any in your area, you can make your own by following this easy recipe:
03. Eat frequent, small meals. Yes, yes, you have heard this before but it does work. Dry crackers, a handful of nuts, chicken noodle soup, a slice of cheese, a dry baked potato, a few apple slices are all good examples of the types of meals or snacks that will keep your blood sugar level and reduce nausea and vomiting. Avoid fatty, greasy, fried foods. Identify any specific triggers and avoid them. Eat a high protein snack before going to bed.
04. Try “Preggie Pops”. Preggie Pops are specially designed lollipops to combat morning sickness. They are drug free and use herbs, essential oils, and aromatherapy to help keep your mouth moistened, bad tastes at bay, and provide quick caloric intake. You can find them locally by going to www.threelollies.com and clicking on the store finder. Popsicles, particularly, tart ones like lemon can also be helpful.
05. Try seasickness wrist bands from the pharmacy. These bands press on acupressure points (called pericardium 6) in your wrist and block nausea.They are over the counter and usually cost less than $10. Some physicians are trying a similar approach by prescribing a wrist band that administers a light electrical current, sending a signal to the acupressure point(s).
06. Consult with an acupuncturist and/or a massage therapist. Be sure they are trained and certified in treating pregnant women.
07. Use aromatherapy. Try peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil should not be taken internally, and it’s safest to avoid using it externally on the skin while pregnant. Instead, place a few drops in warm water and keep near your bed or in your work area. Alternately, use an aromatherapy diffuser for continuous aromatherapy treatment. Some women report lavender as being effective aromatherapy as well. For a quick aromatherapy fix, sniff a freshly cut lemon. Get plenty of fresh air and avoid stuffy or smoky rooms.
08. Hydrate. This is especially important if you are vomiting frequently. Try drinking your liquids in between meals rather than with them. Add your favorite tolerated fruit to water. Try carbonated water or mix 1/3 parts carbonated drink with 2/3 parts water.
09. Pick one food you can tolerate and eat only that if you have continued severe vomiting. Add in one additional food per day until you begin to feel better. Salty, sour, and crunchy foods tend to be easier to tolerate when nauseated.
10. Up your vitamin B6 intake. Check with your provider for a safe amount. Consider switching brands of prenatal vitamins or iron supplements. Try taking your vitamins at a different time than usual: nighttime instead of morning, or before eating rather than with your food.
These are just a few suggestions to help deal with pregnancy related nausea and vomiting. Always consult with your health care provider if you feel you are becoming dehydrated, the vomiting is unbearable and/or you are losing weight. There are medications available to treat morning sickness, however, most are antihistamine based and can potentially lead to worsened dehydration as well as grogginess. Try these safer methods first.
Do/did you have something that helped with morning sickness? Post a comment and share!
This is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare provider.
All Rights Reserved: Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula