Natural Methods for Beating Morning Sickness in Early Pregnancy
Morning sickness generally occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is a great discomfort to the mother and often a tremendous inconvenience as well. In spite of its name, morning sickness may last all day and disrupt a woman's normal routine. For some, morning sickness may cause a secret pregnancy to be known before the mother is ready, because for those who work or go to school, leaving the area to find a bathroom becomes a necessity. At its worse, morning sickness may cause malnutrition in the mother and baby, and therefore it must be controlled in order to foster the health of mother and child.
In most cases, natural remedies are preferable over pharmaceutical remedies as they provide an inexpensive, reliable and drug-free means of eliminating morning sickness. This article aims to help you to find some simple solutions to ease the suffering of morning sickness, but you should always speak to your doctor if you are vomiting so often that you are experiencing side effects such as dizziness and physical weakness, as these can be serious and may affect both you and your baby.
Please note that I am not a medical professional. If you are concerned about your pregnancy, you should talk to a doctor for assistance!
Prevent Morning Sickness by Starting Each Day with Food
Morning sickness may be prevented by eating small amounts of food first thing when you wake up in the morning, before you have a chance to get sick. Keeping something on your stomach is an excellent way of stopping yourself from feeling queasy before the sickness can even begin.
Keep some form of light food near your bed on the night stand. Saltine Crackers make an excellent choice for this because they are very bland. This is one of the foods that many people choose to eat when they're feeling sick with the stomach flu, so it makes a reasonable choice.
Don't put anything on your crackers: Eat them plain the way that they come out of the box. Stick with something simple. Saltines are your best choice, or dry toast fresh from the toaster will work as well.
The key is to eat before you get out of bed in the morning.
Eating before getting out of bed can do a lot of good for preventing morning sickness, so try this before you try any pharmaceutical options. Ask your husband or boyfriend to bring you food if you need to.
Morning Sickness is Common and (Usually) Harmless
More than half of all women experience morning sickness during their pregnancies. It is a common symptom of pregnancy and may be one of the first signs of pregnancy you'll experience. For most, morning sickness stops some time around the 12th week of pregnancy (before moving into the second trimester at 13 weeks) but some women continue to experience morning sickness throughout their entire 40 weeks of pregnancy. This, too, is normal.
The term "morning sickness" is somewhat misleading, as morning sickness may occur at any time of the day or night. It may be more common in the morning due to waking up with an empty stomach, which is why it is recommended that women suffering from morning sickness (or potentially suffering from morning sickness) make a point of eating first thing in the morning before getting out of bed.
Replace Strong Smells With These Scents
Avoid Strong Odors to Prevent Morning Sickness
During pregnancy, you will experience a heightened sense of smell. In fact, this may be one of the earliest signs that you're pregnant. This increased sensitivity to odors may contribute to morning sickness. Many women feel that the strong smells of some foods make them sick when they are pregnant, so you may wish to have somebody else do the cooking for you, particularly prior to your twelfth week of gestation.
If particular odors make you feel sick, avoid them. You should be able to eat essentially anything you want -- it's the smell and not the food itself that's making you sick -- but finding a way to mask the odors of things which cause you to become nauseated will help to make sure you don't have to leave the table to get sick.
Citrus scents may be able to mask some of the more powerful food odors that are keeping you getting sick in the mornings.
To Prevent Morning Sickness...
- Ginger Snaps
- Lemon Cookies
- Peppermint Leaves
Eat and Sniff to Prevent Morning Sickness
Aromatherapy works well for preventing morning sickness. You need to be very careful with essential oils during pregnancy and for that reason they may be best avoided. You may, however, use the juices and extracts from certain herbs and fruits in order to help to ease your morning sickness. You'll find two lists at the right of things to sniff and things to eat to help ease your discomfort during early pregnancy.
After making sure to keep your blood sugar up (and being careful not to move too quickly), this is the best way for you to prevent sickness early in pregnancy. These foods will help settle your stomach under other circumstances as well, so keep them in mind when your child gets older, too!
Drink Tea to Help Keep Morning Sickness at Bay
Tea may help to prevent morning sickness, though you should make sure that it's decaf, since the caffeine may actually cause morning sickness in some women. Green tea is a wonderful and tasty option, but you may also wish to try infusions of ginger tea and peppermint tea. Both of these have curative properties and may help you to feel better if you're feeling sick.
When eaten in a sugary form, the tea may also help to increase your blood sugar. Low blood sugar contributes to morning sickness. Always be careful with sugar if you are inclined toward diabetes!
Light, salty foods work best for this. The American Pregnancy Association suggests salty potato chips for this, but the greasiness of the chips may have the opposite effect. Saltine crackers should work fine.
Eat Before Eating to Avoid Getting Sick
Before you eat, eat. Most foods that you'll consume for a meal are going to be strong flavors and often strong smells as well. If you eat something light before eating, you can settle your stomach enough to consume foods with stronger flavors. Saltine crackers and salty potato chips are highly recommended for this, as the salt appears to have some effect on the queasiness that many women feel when they're pregnant.
Eat Regular, Small Meals
Eating small, regular meals may help to prevent morning sickness, but it also ensures that you get sufficient nutrition for your own body and for your baby as well. You shouldn't be losing weight during pregnancy, and eating small meals frequently will help you to keep your food down and ensure that you're getting adequate nutrition from your food. Many of the vitamins that you get in your food contribute to making you feel better as well, so this is helpful.
You may also wish to take a fiber supplement with your iron in order to prevent constipation (as iron can also cause this condition). Talk to your doctor before doing it and always follow the recommended dosing. Being constipated may be contributing to morning sickness, and constipation is a symptom of early pregnancy.
Take Your Prenatal Vitamins at Night
The vitamins that you're taking for pregnancy may help your morning sickness, but they may also harm it. B6 is known to help comfort an upset stomach, but iron is known to cause the upset stomach in the first place! So what do you do?
You could consider taking an additional B6 vitamin to supplement. Taking this in the morning may help to contribute to energy and prevent you from feeling sick during the day. Your prenatal vitamins or iron supplement, however, should be taken at night.
If you take an iron supplement at night, you're less likely to find yourself getting sick as a result of it.
Always talk to your doctor about your prenatal vitamins before taking them.
Try a Wrist Band for Nausea
Some women have great success with wrist bands for nausea. You may wish to give this a try. This is an option listed in the video that you'll find above. These work using accupressure medicine to stop and prevent nausea from happening and are marketed for seasickness as well. These may be a comfort to some women. You can buy one on Amazon to the right.
You may be able to get adequate results using a simple home-made wrist band, so choose carefully whether you want to spend your money on this product.
Reflexology May Help with Morning Sickness
Important! If you're going to try reflexology, make sure that your therapist is licensed to work on women who are pregnant and is experienced in dealing with early pregnancy. He or she could make your symptoms worse if not skilled in working with pregnant women in early gestation.
This goes for anyone working with any kind of massage therapy: Make absolutely certain that your therapist is licensed to work on you, because serious problems can result from bad accupressure. In fact, a pressure point on the heel may help women to go into labor later in pregnancy. Choose your therapist wisely.
Remember when trying reflexology that your body may have a "healing crisis" in which it must purge itself. The first day may be rough, but reflexology and accupressure should work after that initial shock to your body wears off. Give it a little bit of time before it makes you feel better!
When to Contact Your Doctor
Morning sickness isn't generally something to be concerned about, but if you aren't able to keep your food down at all, you need to contact your doctor for treatment. This can be a sign of a bigger problem than just morning sickness. If you're losing weight or not getting enough nutrition, the baby won't thrive and you could become very sick. Always report your symptoms to your doctor!
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti
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