Morning sickness is a common calamity that the majority of pregnant women experience, some to pretty serious degrees. There are a variety of ways to help alleviate some of the nausea. You will probably not be able to completely get rid of it until your body says it’s time, but these remedies can definitely help you make life a little more functional. There are a number of things that exacerbate morning sickness; low blood sugar, insufficient sleep, out of whack hormones, low vitamin and mineral content in the mother’s diet, and expecting multiples are just a few. Some treatments are obvious, more sleep for example. Others may only require small changes to your routine and lifestyle.
* Low Blood Sugar – Eating small low carbohydrate meals keep your blood sugars level. If you are new to this type of eating there are a few diet books out there that may help you. Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett is one of my current favorites. I’m still getting through the book but I love their ideas. They eat a low sugar, low processed food diet. This helps the weight gain you experience during pregnancy come from healthy calories that are heavy in nutrients and low in sugar. A tradition with morning sickness is to eat saltine crackers when getting out of bed in the morning. This may temporarily make you feel a little better but without protein to regulate the rise in blood sugar the cracker will inevitably cause you to relapse rather quickly. Many just see this as morning sickness renewed but if you try having a high protein, higher fat snack, nuts or cheese for example, you will have better blood stability and it will result in a longer period of relief.
* Low Vitamins and Minerals – The answer to this seems pretty obvious, more vitamins and minerals. However, the kind of vitamins and minerals matter. I have taken a number of varieties of vitamins/minerals. My husband prefers All One. I used to prefer this brand as well when I was making daily shakes as it is a powder and so therefore doesn’t pass whole through your body (pleasant thought, I know!) and is easily added to the blender. I still incorporate it into my shakes when I make them but because I don’t make them daily this form of vitamin wasn’t working for me. The brand I’m currently using is Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal. You take three capsules daily and if you like shakes you can even open up your capsules and add them to your shake. Since taking them I haven’t been experiencing as much morning sickness throughout the day.
* I’ve also been taking, under the direction of my midwife, Floradix Iron and Herbs on a daily basis for my iron. I’ve always been low so I don’t even worry about the blood test anymore. I just take an iron supplement automatically. This helps me with how tired I get throughout pregnancy.
* There is new research out there that suggest a magnesium supplement helps with morning sickness. With our modern standard American diet (SAD) our bodies don’t get the magnesium it needs to properly function. This results in an imbalance which may exaggerate morning sickness. Many find relief from morning sickness when their bodies get caught up in this mineral. Many have had luck when consuming magnesium on a regular basis before and throughout their pregnancy. You can get your daily intake of magnesium through a topical magnesium oil, regular vitamins, or a magnesium drink, such as Natural Calm. I take this supplement daily in my evening tea (I prefer the unflavored variety), even when I’m not pregnant.
* Exhaustion – When you are in your first trimester your body is making the placenta for your baby. This takes a lot of energy, resulting in mom being tired all the time. For myself, when I’m tired my morning sickness is quadrupled. Early mornings, particularly if I didn’t sleep well, and late evenings are the hardest for me when I’m experiencing morning sickness. Obviously, getting a little extra sleep helps quite a bit but what also helps is taking your vitamins, iron, and in particular, vitamin B6 and sublingual B12. If your body is deficient in these vitamins it can make your nausea worse. B6 didn’t really help me this time around so I don’t think that was my issue but the general vitamins helped me have more energy, at least until evening came around. Then, the only cure was bed.
* Miscellaneous Helps – There are some various ‘remedies’ that have helped me in the past but don’t generally help me with every pregnancy. One remedy is Sea Bands. These help with motion sickness using pressure points on your wrists. They help some, but unfortunately didn’t help me. Maybe I wasn’t putting them in the right place on my wrists, I don’t know.
* Ginger supplements are well known for helping nausea, whether pregnancy related or not. I keep some in my first aid kit just for this purpose. I’ve been told that in high quantities it MAY be linked to miscarriage, so because of this I suggest talking with your midwife before starting a supplement program to make sure you don’t overdo it. It has helped many expecting women though.
* I’ve noticed that if I have a nasty taste in my mouth my morning sickness is much worse. To counter this I keep in my purse two packages of gum, both different flavors in case I don’t feel like one flavor. You can also sip on lemon water/club soda to keep a clean taste in your mouth. Also, keep your teeth brushed. If toothpaste is repulsive (it was/is for me) then brush your teeth with mineral salts. I use pink Himalayan Salt. I keep a container of it in my bathroom and brush my teeth with it whenever I’m not feeling my greatest. It helps keeps my mouth flavor-free and gives my body a little of the extra salt it craves during pregnancy.
* A last resort, in my opinion, is to take Unisom tablets (not capsules). I reluctantly suggest this and only under the counsel of your midwife. As I am very natural minded and against most pharmaceuticals I don’t like to recommend medications. Now that I’ve said this, this is the first time I have taken Unisom to help me with morning sickness (and I was expecting #12). I was throwing up and constantly laying down. I felt like I couldn’t be upright or leave the couch without wanting to throw up. This is obviously not the way to run a household or care for a family of my size. After some research I learned that this drug (doxylamine succinate) is used in Canada with vitamin B6 as a morning sickness treatment. I talked with my midwife and then took a half tablet occasionally to help me on days that required more of me, if that makes sense. At first I took it with B6 but then stopped when I saw it didn’t change how I felt. Actually, I think taking the B6 made me a little more nauseous. As soon as I could get around a little bit and had other remedies that helped I stopped taking the Unisom.
* One last thing that helped me when I was first experiencing morning sickness this time around was Kombucha. It’s important to keep your gut healthy with good flora. Kombucha, particularly Continuous Brew Kombucha, is very beneficial for your digestion. When I was first feeling nausea I would sip on some Kombucha I had brewing on my kitchen counter and it would help me not vomit (sorry for the extra info but it really did help!). After a few weeks it didn’t seem to help as much. I figure my body must have needed the extra flora at the time. I still drink it occasionally as I make it by the 2.5 gallon jug continuously on my counter, it just doesn’t help get rid of the final nausea anymore. I personally make my Kombucha from a scoby I bought from Kombucha Kamp off Amazon. It was a beautiful mushroom, or at least as beautiful as one is able to be!! 🙂
Morning sickness may seem to take the joy out of pregnancy but it’s just your body adapting to the many changes that are taking place within your body. For most women morning sickness will pass sometime between 12-16 weeks. After that time, even though it may seem to last forever, you will have some renewed energy and a little baby bump to show for all your hard work. 🙂