Healthy And Informed Pregnancy: Morning Sickness
Ah... those dreaded two words that every expectant mother hopes won’t happen to them: “Morning Sickness”. Every single woman, and every single pregnancy experiences it differently. For some it is a mild nausea once in a while, and for others, it is an extreme level of nausea and vomiting that last throughout the entire day. Most commonly, symptoms of morning sickness ebb and flow. You may experience severe symptoms for a few days or weeks, and then nothing for a little while, and it may come back again toward the end of the first trimester. While some women do experience morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy, this is not the “norm”. Even though you may feel like you will never feel normal again, the nausea will most likely go away sooner than you think, so hang in there!
In my clinical and personal experience, I have found a few natural remedies that work very well to quell the symptoms of morning sickness. (As always, please check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new dietary or herbal remedies)
NOT GINGER CANDY. I mean real ginger that has been candied. It’s also called Crystallized Ginger. You can usually find it in the bulk section of your local natural foods store. Eat a piece at least every 2 hours, or more frequently if you want. Continually eating ginger will keep you ahead of the nausea to treat it before it gets really bad. It’s a little spicy, and a little sweet, and works really well. I tried ginger tea and ginger candy, but nothing came remotely close to being as effective as candied ginger!
NUX VOMICA (30c)
There is a homeopathic remedy called "Nux Vomica" , and If I were going through morning sickness again, I would buy it. Seriously. (though you should first check with your healthcare provider before adding new dietary or herbal remedies) If you are actively vomiting, it can stop the nausea and vomit in its tracks by dissolving 3 pills under the tongue every 15 minutes until all symptoms subside. If you're just feeling really nauseous, take 3 pills under the tongue once or twice a day (or more freequently if desired) until nausea subsides. Some days I would wake up and take one dose of Nux, and a piece of candied ginger, and be good to go for the day....
STAY WELL FED & HYDRATED
Don't let yourself get hungry. Keep some almonds, or string cheese, or even small containers of apple sauce by your bedside. If you wake in the middle of the night, eat some. Even if you are not hungry. If you wake up and are not feeling nauseous, eat right away. Increase your protein, and, even though you may be craving it more, try to decrease your sugar intake. Some foods that are good to eat include: organic whole milk yogurt, pasta enriched with folic acid, and nuts. But really, eat whatever you can! Don't worry about sticking to any specific diet... eat when you can-- whatever it may be that you can keep down!!
Are you taking a prenatal vitamin? Contrary to popular belief, not all vitamins are created equal, and many will increase your nausea (and heartburn) tremendously. I strongly recommend New Chapter brand's "Perfect Prenatal". Many women find this particular brand to be the most digestible without adding to the nausea. And when you’re not able to eat much, it's great to supplement your nutrients. New Chapter is one of the most bio available multivitamins on the market, and available at almost all large chain and small natural food and supplement stores.
I know I have to say this because I am an acupuncturist, but seriously many women find HUGE relief with acupuncture. If money is an issue, there are a lot of good community clinics around that will afford you to go multiple times a week if necessary. No matter how you do it, acupuncture really helps!
FACE YOUR ISSUES
Stress only makes things worse. I am not saying that it is the root of the nausea, but it's certainly not making anything better. Figuring out what makes you nervous/scared/intimidated etc... regarding the pregnancy, and dealing with/processing these issues right off the bat can help with the nausea and make your entire pregnancy more manageable. For more about this topic, see my last post: Healthy & Informed Pregnancy Part i: Building Confidence.
Your body is creating a human inside of it! That is amazing! So what makes you think you can continue to go forward at 100% full force? The more you rest, the more of your energy will go toward creating a healthy baby and a healthy pregnancy along the way. Take naps during the day, even if they are only 20 min. The more rested and calm you are, the better you will feel!
WAIT IT OUT
OK, I know that this is the last thing you want to hear, but seriously, there are TONS of crazy hormones running through your body right now! Once your placenta is fully formed (about 18 weeks) that transient organ will take on the responsibility of processing all these new "toxins" in your body, and many women find their symptoms get better almost over night. But in the time being, take care of yourself, and remember that pregnancy is a 10 month process full of many changes. Try to enjoy it as much as you can, and be good to yourself!!