Morning sickness (which is really not so limited to the morning!) is common during the first trimester when your body is getting used to being pregnant. However, for some people it can continue throughout the entire pregnancy. Luckily, there are many easy and natural ways to reduce your symptoms of morning sickness using methods and ingredients you can already find in your home.
1. Get out of bed slowly. There is a strong connection between morning sickness and low blood sugar. When you wake up in the morning, have a little snack in bed and wait 15 to 20 minutes before sitting upright. This will allow time for your blood sugars to rise. Anise or fennel seed tea or 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in 8oz warm water first thing in the morning can also help with nausea.
2. Eat small, frequent meals. Eating small meals whenever you can stomach it, ideally every few hours, will help ease the nausea and regulate your blood sugar levels. Try eating whole grain crackers with nut butter, fruit with nuts, soups or smoothies. Protein helps alleviate nausea much better than carbohydrates do, so it’s important to try and incorporate it into your snacks and meals.
3. Drink Lots of Water. While you are pregnant your blood volume increases significantly and so does your requirement for water. Morning sickness can be a sign that both you and your baby are thirsty. Drinking roughly 3L of water between meals is ideal. If you don’t like regular water, try sipping on hot or cool tea (peppermint, ginger, chamomile or lemon balm) or water flavored with fresh berries, fruit or cucumbers. If you can’t seem to keep water down, try sucking on homemade popsicles made with fresh fruit and ginger.
4. Ginger. Studies have shown that ginger can significantly reduce both nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. Ginger can be enjoyed as a tea by simply grating ginger root into a mug and steeping it in hot water for at least 5 minutes. You can prepare a big jug of ginger water in the morning and enjoy it warm or cold throughout the day, or when nausea hits. Ginger is a delicious spice that you can also add to your food.
5. Walk Outside. During pregnancy there is increased hormonal activity which can lead to a buildup of chemical by-products that cause morning sickness. Walking is a gentle form of exercise that can prevent the buildup of these hormone by-products. The fresh air will also help relieve nausea and the sun will give you a good dose of Vitamin D, which is essential for your baby’s bone development.
6. Eat before bed. There is a long gap between dinner and breakfast, during which blood sugar can become very low causing nausea in the morning. To avoid this, eat protein-rich snacks with carbohydrates such as oatmeal made with almond mylk before going to bed. You can also leave some non-perishable foods like nutrient dense crackers or nuts at the side of your bed that you can snack on them in the middle of the night, or before you get out of bed in the morning.
by Jesse Lane Schelew CNP, Holistic Nutritionist