Pregnancy is a wonderful occassion; a time where your body proves just how marvellous it can be, by growing a whole new person no less! The books promise it all- glowing skin, thicker hair, healthy nails, a boundless energy that sees you swim, walk for miles and smile at all who you meet. Right? Um, sometimes, probably. But not always, and certainly not in the early days! Morning sickness affects around half of all pregnant women, to varying degrees and for varying lengths of time. Most women find that the symptoms ease at around 12 weeks as the placenta takes over some of the leg work, but how to cope until then? It can feel like the longest time ever, especially if you are keeping it quiet until after the first scan. And it’s not just morning sickness either. There are a whole host of ailments that affect women whe they’re expecting, and for some the whole nine months can be fraught with one thing after another. But fear not. Here are a few pregnancy pleasers for you to consider: Little ways to ease morning sickness naturally.
It’s said that a mix of hormones and a lack of this vitamin is the cause of morning sickness, so taking a supplement could help to ease the symptoms for you. Most women are able to get enough vitamin B6 simply by making a few dietary adjustments. Foods rich in the vitamin include bananas, nuts, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, lean meats, and fish. If you think that you need a supplement, speak to your GP who can prescribe the correct dosage for you.
Pregnancy is no time to be squeamish when it comes to needles (they’ll be taking lots of blood from you over the weeks!) so for those with nerves of steel, acupuncture might be worth a try. Acupuncture can help to regulate the enormous changes that occur in the body during the early stages of pregnancy and many women swear by this alternative therapy. See more here.
Some women swear by the travel sickness bands that apply pressure on specific points on the wrists. These can be bough cheaply in a chemist and are certainly worth a try.
Some women swear by magnesium to help ease or event prevent morning sickness, and although if you have a deficiency it can be difficult to increase your intake through diet alone, there are supplements that you can take. Foods such as sea vegetables, kelp and nettle are good sources, and most health food stores should stock supplements if you can’t get hold of these products. There have been studies conducted that show a magnesium deficiency can actually contribute towards morning sickness, so if you’re concerned speak to your doctor.
Reflexology is the practise of massage to treat illness, and some women swear by it’s powers to ease symptoms of morning sickness. This massage focuses on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face and ears correspond to different parts of the body, so these are the areas that are likely to be touched to restore a natural balance in the body. It’s worth noting that some women have reported symptoms temporarily worsening after a session of reflexology, before improvement has been noted. It’s vital that you inform your practitioner that you are pregnant so that appropriate treatment can be administered.
Lots of women report that peppermint helps them during bouts of morning sickness and the good news is that is it readily available. Drink it as tea, suck on mints, or even inhale peppermint oil. All have been known to settle the stomach and all are completely safe.
The humble lemon has many properties and easing symptoms of morning sickness is but one of them. Add a slice to hot water in the mornings to ease nausea and to help with digestive issues too. Lemons have a natural calming effect which can really help symptoms of morning sickness, and like peppermints, they are cheap and easy to get hold of too.
Probably the first thing people think of when you tell them that you are suffering with morning sickness- but for a very good reason! The benefits of ginger have long been documented and there are studies that have shown it’s effectiveness in easing symptoms of morning sickness. Ginger is a common ingredient in many Chinese remedies, and is especially useful for women who are feeling cold too, due to it’s warming properties. Eat it in biscuit form (although not too many!), drink in tea, or add to your hot water and lemon for an extra boost of anti-nausea goodness.
Probably the most natural of all natural remedies on the list. Sometimes, curling up in bed and getting some sleep is the only answer to pregnancy related sickness and nausea, but it’s not always the most convenient! If you can’t sleep during the day, try to limit activity as much as you can to reserve energy, and get an early night if possible. Symptoms of morning sickness are often worsened by tiredness so now is the time to listen to your body.
Stress is another factor that can worsen morning sickness, and also raise blood pressure and heart rate levels, so you need to keep it to a minimum. Eliminate situations that cause you stress and take some time each day to relax and unwind. Meditation or yoga are great ways to do this- check out our post on ten ways to beat stress for more inspiration.
Eat well and often
Your diet during pregnancy is very important, and especially if you are suffering with morning sickness. No doubt there are times where eating is the last thing on your mind, but it’s important to keep your strength up. While we agree that eating whatever you can stomach is probably the most tempting solution, do try to look at other alternatives if all you are craving is junk food or worse. Greasy, fatty food is known to worsen symptoms of morning sickness, so avoid these foods if you can. A balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy is your best bet, but some women swear by the following to ease symptoms of nausea and sickness; plain yogurt, apples, grapefruit, bananas, dry crackers or toast, polo mints, plain pasta and rice. It’s a good idea to eat little and often, since many women report that nausea increases with hunger. Foods with a low GI are a good idea as they keep you fuller for longer, so make sure you always have a packet of oat cakes in your bag!
We can’t emphasise this enough! Water is vital to everybody, but more so when you’re pregnant and vomiting. Becoming dehydrated in pregnancy can see you admitted to hospital and can leave you feeling pretty rotten too. Keep a bottle with you at all times and sip slowly during the day to keep fluid levels up. You’ll thank us for this, honest!
If you are suffering with morning sickness and find that you are vomiting several times a day, it’s important that you go and see your doctor. Severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) is a serious condition that may require hospital treatment and/ or medication. Don’t allow yourself to become dehydrated and suffer in silence.
If you have found a remedy that works for you in pregnancy, please let us know in the comments!