Morning sickness is something almost everyone associates with pregnancy. Nobody is quite sure exactly what causes this nausea. Many believe it's the rapid rise in hormones as your body begins to work overtime building your baby.
How can you treat morning sickness naturally? What do you do if you're so sick you can't eat well – especially when you know how important a good diet is?!
EAT. Morning sickness is worse on an empty tummy. You and your baby both need the nourishment, too. Nibbling a little bit throughout the day is fine. Even with morning sickness, you and your baby are probably fine. Try to eat very nutritious foods when you can eat. This makes up for the fact that you may not be able to eat as much as you'd like.
Try eating a few salty crackers before you get up in the morning – have them on a plate to eat lying down in bed. Or try having a small snack as soon as you get up. Cheese and fruit or trail mix are favorite choices.
Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. Don't go for your usual three large meals. “Grazing” is what many doctors and midwives call it, and it does seem to help some. You'll be grazing through most of your pregnancy to get in all the nutrition you need as the growing baby pushes against your stomach.
Don't drink with your meals. Drink a half hour after or before your meals.
Avoid strong smells. Eat meals that don't involve heavy cooking if the smells bother you. Ask for help with anything that may have lingering odors (dishes, laundry). If you can't get any help, try to rinse/soak things right away. Open windows or light a candle. If you hand-wash any of your dishes or pots, use paper towels or washcloths and throw them away or in the washing machine as soon as you're done. Sponges with lingering odor may cause queasiness.
Eating once in the middle of the night (when you get up to go to the bathroom) may be helpful. This can stabilize blood sugar.
A natural herbal tea may help. Sipping a cup hot can help soothe your stomach. If you're in a hot area, sucking on a tea ice cube might help. A blend with ginger, a traditional morning sickness remedy, is a good choice.
Sucking on ginger lozenges has been shown in some studies to help soothe morning sickness.
Vitamin B6 supplements have been shown to help some women with morning sickness. Talk to your care provider.
You might try putting a few drops of an essential oil you like onto a cloth. Carry this in your purse or pocket and inhale the scent if you feel queasy. Some women like a pleasing clean smell like lemon, others like a mint smell, and still others like an antiseptic smell such as a tea tree oil.
Some women have found that bracelet “bands” made for seasickness help them. These work by applying pressure to points that can relieve nausea.
You might also try lemonade or sucking on lemon hard candies.
Some moms find an aromatherapy blend soothes queasiness. A spray makes it easy to spritz a little on your wrist and inhale deeply for relief.
Motion sickness bands may also help – I was surprised at how well they worked during my sixth pregnancy (the first time I tried them!)
Photo by Liz MC