Image by Her Daily
**This post has been entered in Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop!**
Morning sickness is no fun. However, it does mean your pregnancy is going well! Remembering that can help, but it still doesn’t make it easier to get through your day-to-day realities while feeling nauseous all the time. Luckily, there are natural ways to cope with morning sickness that can ease or even eliminate the nausea for some women.
Amy at Raising Arrows guest posted on how she manages morning sickness awhile back, so check out that post for some practical advice (she was dealing with morning sickness at the time; she’s now 36 weeks along!).
Eating a healthy pregnancy diet, even a practical pregnancy diet is difficult if you are in the throes of morning sickness. When you are so nauseous that even the thought of food sends you running to the bathroom, worrying about how much of this or that you are eating is next to impossible (of course, pregnancy does bring with it the unique ability to be nauseous or even vomit and yet be starving!). There are several theories on what causes morning sickness, from sensitivity to progesterone (one of the main pregnancy hormones) to detox to protecting the new baby to “no one knows.” But there are many different potential remedies and different things work for different women. Try one, try them all, and see what works for you!
Vitamin B-6: Most of the population is deficient in B-vitamins, which are found largely in sprouted whole grains and Brewer’s yeast (flour is enriched with synthetic versions that we don’t absorb well). Taking a vitamin B-6 supplement staves off morning sickness for many women. A B-complex vitamin may also help, since folic acid is recommended during pregnancy.
Lemon water: Something about the sourness of lemons seems to help many women with morning sickness. Mix the juice of 1/2 lemon with water and drink it (some prefer lemonade, but I did best without sugar, which can exacerbate morning sickness). This also helps detox, gently, and can be drunk as often as needed.
Ginger: Ginger is an old remedy for nausea, whether brought on by pregnancy or another cause. Drinking ginger tea, taking ginger pills, or chewing on ginger candy can help quell the queasiness.
Fennel: Fennel is another remedy for nausea. Fennel tea is safe and gentle to drink (so gentle it can be given to newborns with colic). Make fennel tea by pouring boiling water over crushed fennel seeds. Sweeten with a small amount of honey if desired.
Protein: Some women are only able to feel okay if they eat enough protein — 80 to 120 grams per day! Constantly snacking on protein-rich food can help, because it fills the stomach and is also helping to grow the baby. Keep a handful of nuts, a slice of sprouted bread, some beans, meat, or cheese around at all times to grab in nausea sets in.
Small meals: Having an empty stomach or a very full stomach is often a recipe for disaster for pregnant women suffering morning sickness. Instead, have frequent, small meals or snacks to keep the stomach lightly full at all times. Keep something near your bed to eat if you wake up in the middle of the night.
Water: I often found relief by sipping cold water while I was pregnant. Some women do better with room temperature water, which is gentler on the stomach. Choose whatever seems good to you.
Avoid processed food: Food additives can set off nausea — this may be part of the “detox” effect. Your body is letting you know that the unnatural additives are NOT appreciated and is getting rid of them for you! I definitely noted that when I ate any canned soup or white flour crackers in my second pregnancy I was more nauseous than when I ate something completely natural. This may be true for other women, as well.
Milk thistle: Some women swear by a supplement containing milk thistle and turmeric. I have no idea why, but this combination seems to stave off even severe morning sickness in some women. Talk to your doctor, however, because there is some controversy over whether or not milk thistle is safe in pregnancy (most say yes, but a few are unsure).
Fresh air: Sometimes a breath of fresh air is just what you need. Step outside, take a walk. Get some sunlight (low vitamin D levels aren’t helping!) and breathe some fresh air. The act of getting up and out may help, too.
Sea bands: These are accupressure bands designed to put pressure on a specific point on the wrist that helps to minimize nausea. They are intended to help motion sickness but can help morning sickness in some women as well.
Accupuncture: If you need greater help, seeing a professional accupuncturist can get help to re-balance your body and alleviate nausea.
Neroli oil: Aroma therapy with real essential oils is extremely powerful. Neroli oil is safe for use in pregnancy and may alleviate nausea. Simply dilute in water and spray in the room around you. (Unfortunately it’s also extremely expensive, but orange and lemon oils may have a similar effect and in weak dilutions should be safe.)
A quick note on essential oils in pregnancy: Keeper of the Home had an excellent 2-part series on this recently. Part 1 and Part 2 are here. Bergamot is also excellent in pregnancy and may help reduce depression and anxiety a lot.
How do you handle morning sickness?
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