Growing a baby is hard work and morning sickness can be one of the hardest pregnancy symptom mums to be have to deal with.
Pregnancy nausea is perfectly normal in the early weeks of pregnancy. But just because it’s a common part of the pregnancy journey doesn’t mean you have to suffer.
Here are some tried and tested natural remedies for morning sickness that don’t involve drugs.
1. Small, frequent meals
You might be having a tough time keeping food down, but an empty stomach will only make you feel woozier. Eat little and often. Instead of three square meals, eat five to six small portions throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. Try not to go for longer than three hours without eating something, even if it’s just a snack.
2. Protein rich foods
Having some low fat, high protein snacks before bed could help reduce the drop in blood sugar that contributes to pregnancy nausea in the morning. Nuts, seeds, and legumes are high in vitamin B6 and are better than fatty protein foods like butter, mayo, and meat products.
3. Bland carbs
Plain carbohydrate rich foods like saltines, toast, pasta, rice, potatoes, and dry cereals are often easier to stomach when you’re dealing with morning sickness. Starchy veggies like turnips and squash are also easy to digest.
Keep a pack of dry crackers on your bedside table and munch on a few before sitting up and getting out of bed in the morning.
Sip herbal teas like the Morning Wellness from Mama Body Tea. It’s a delicious blend of ginger root, lemongrass, chamomile, peppermint, and meadowsweet that helps ease morning sickness and queasiness.
In Chinese medicine, peppermint is considered “cold” (yin) and is prescribed for those with “hot” (yang) symptoms. If you’re vomiting a lot, feel constantly warm, or are irritable, you might respond to a cooling herb like peppermint.
Aside from sipping on peppermint tea, you could also rub diluted peppermint oil on your belly or sniff peppermint whenever you feel nauseous. Peppermint candy or chewing gum might also help.
Warning: Don’t take peppermint if you suffer from heartburn and don’t use undiluted peppermint oil on skin. Never give peppermint tea to babies or very young children.
I discovered this during my first pregnancy and I still use it whenever I’m feeling nauseous. I keep a jar of chopped ginger in my fridge and just eat a spoonful. This might not be for everyone, though, so try crystallised ginger, ginger and honey tea, ginger cordial — even a ginger biscuit can help.
In Chinese medicine, ginger is considered a “hot” (yang) remedy. If you feel and look cold, find yourself feeling introspective or miserable, or are constantly needing a hot drink, ginger might suit you.
Some women swear by acupuncture as the only thing that gives them relief from pregnancy nausea. Acupuncture helps balance hormones, ease stress, and reduce fatigue — all of which contribute to morning sickness.
Acupressure bracelets, which are used for motion sickness and are found in most chemist shops, might be your morning sickness hero. These stretchy, drug free bands stimulate the P6 acupressure point in the centre of your wrist, preventing or reducing the sensation of nausea.
Some essential oils might be able to relieve your pregnancy nausea, help with digestion, and improve your mood. Try peppermint, spearmint, mandarin, lemon, sweet orange, lime, ginger, lavender, and chamomile.
Look for aromatherapy products specifically formulated for use during pregnancy. Even better, consult with an aromatherapy expert to find out which essential oils are safe to use.
10. Brewer’s yeast
Brewer’s yeast is rich in magnesium and vitamin B6, both of which have tummy taming properties. You can sprinkle brewer’s yeast on your breakfast cereal or on grains such as rice. You can also try mixing it into a glass of lemonade or tomato juice.
11. Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds are one of the oldest natural remedies for nausea. Chew a handful anytime you feel queasy or steep a teaspoon of crushed seeds in boiling water for tea. Bonus: Fennel seeds also relieve constipation and bloating.
12. Sour foods and drinks
Some women swear by lemons, sour lollies, and other tart foods and drinks. Put lemon slices in a pitcher of water and sip throughout the day to help quell pregnancy nausea. You can also try lemon drops, lime juice, and grapefruit. For an energy boost, mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey in a glass of water.
13. Sour scents
Lemons are one of the most popular natural remedies for morning sickness. Aside from eating them and adding them to your water, you can also sniff them! Some women take to carrying around cut up lemon wedges that they can sniff whenever pregnancy nausea strikes.
14. Light exercise
If your stomach can handle it, walking and other forms of mild exercise can help quell morning sickness. Try to take at least a 20 minute walk every day so your body will release endorphins that help fight stress and nausea.
15. Lots of liquids
Dehydration exacerbates morning sickness. And if you’re throwing up a lot, you have to make sure that you’re getting enough liquids.
Try to drink as much water as you can. To make regular water more appealing, add lemon slices, fresh basil or mint, or some honey. Choose low sugar drinks and herbal tea over fruit juices and other sweetened beverages. Soups and bone broths are also great choices and provide much needed nutrients and electrolytes, to boot!
16. Fruit popsicles or lemon ice cubes
If you’re having a hard time keeping liquids down, try ice cubes or popsicles. For lemon ice cubes, mix the juice of a couple of lemons with half a quart of water, add a bit of honey or stevia to taste, and pour into ice cube trays. For fruit popsicles, mix a cup of unsweetened fruit juice, a cup of water, and honey or stevia. Pour into popsicle moulds. Enjoy both when frozen.
Finally, remember to listen to your body and to treat yourself every now and then (read: a doughnut or three once a week won’t hurt). Rest, get some fresh air, and nurture yourself as much as you can. Congratulations and enjoy your pregnancy!
Have you ever had to deal with morning sickness? Which natural remedies worked for you?
Disclaimer: The natural remedies mentioned above are not intended as medical advice. See your health practitioner if you have any concerns about your pregnancy.
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