Some women feel wonderful during pregnancy but according to ClevelandClinic.org, the vast majority suffer what’s known as morning sickness at some point along the way. While this is absolutely no fun, there are ways to get your symptoms to safely subside.
From using acupuncture for morning sickness to taking Vitamin B6 for queasiness, consider one of these natural remedies for morning sickness and nausea in this Playtimes guide.
What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness is nausea and/or vomiting that occurs during pregnancy. It can range from occasional mild nausea to severe vomiting throughout the day. Although it’s called morning sickness, it can occur at any time of the day or night. While it is most common during the first trimester, some women have morning sickness throughout pregnancy.
How long does morning sickness last?
For most expectant mothers who experience morning sickness, symptoms usually start around weeks 6 to 9 of pregnancy and can last until weeks 12 to 16. Symptoms may be at their worst between weeks 10 to 16.
Some women experience symptoms into the second trimester while a very unlucky few may suffer morning sickness throughout their pregnancies.
What causes morning sickness?
It’s unclear what causes morning sickness but the rise in pregnancy hormones likely plays a big role. It may also be caused by low blood sugar and could be worsened by stress, being overtired, eating certain foods, or motion sickness.
What does morning sickness feel like?
- A queasy feeling like sea sickness or car sickness
- Often either accompanied or immediately followed by hunger pangs
- Nausea that strikes after eating
- Nausea so strong it can lead to vomiting
- Strong aversions to particular smells and foods that can make you feel sick to your stomach
Is morning sickness harmful?
Having some morning sickness itself doesn’t harm your baby. If however, you are unable keep foods or liquids down and are starting to lose weight, see your doctor to rule out hyperemesis gravidarum. This is serious morning sickness that may require medical attention and possibly hospitalization to protect you and your baby.
Are some women more at risk for developing severe morning sickness?
The short answer is yes. The risk for severe morning sickness is increased if you:
- Are pregnant for the first time.
- Are pregnant with twins, triplets, or more.
- Have a personal history of severe morning sickness with a previous pregnancy and/or have a mother or sister who had a history of severe morning sickness with a pregnancy.
- Are pregnant with a girl.
- Have a history of motion sickness.
- Have a history of migraines.
- Are overweight.
What simple things can you do to feel better?
- A natural remedy for morning sickness and nausea, consider eating a few dry biscuits or toast first thing in the morning to help settle your stomach. It might help to keep a few biscuits at your bedside and eat a couple before getting out of bed.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day rather than 3 large meals.
- Try eating more bland foods like bananas, rice, dry toast, plain baked potato, clear broth, eggs, tofu, or applesauce.
- Consume healthy snacks between meals.
- Avoid spicy and fatty foods.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Avoid strong odours, flickering lights, and any other situations that may trigger your nausea.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Go for a walk or enjoy some mild exercise. Physical activity effectively reduces symptoms of nausea and morning sickness.
- Keep rooms well ventilated, turn on a fan, or go outside from time to time to get some fresh air.
If none of these seem to help, what else can you do to feel better?
4 natural remedies for morning sickness and nausea
There are some other ways to help reduce nausea and the feelings of morning sickness. Natural home remedies, supplements, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and homeopathy may help to alleviate morning sickness. Talk with your healthcare provider before trying anything new.
Learn more: 17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Nausea
Home remedies for morning sickness
- Make tea with fresh grated ginger or try ginger candies, ginger preserves, or ginger ale made with real ginger.
- Raspberry leaf, peppermint, or anise tea are also natural remedies for morning sickness and nausea, and may also help.
- Smell fresh-smelling, pleasant scents such as lemon, orange, or mint. You can place aromatherapy oil on a small cotton square or smell the real deal.
Supplements for morning sickness
- Consider taking an additional vitamin B6 supplement. B6 is meant to combat queasiness. Dosing should be according to your doctor.
- If you’re not keen to take yet another supplement, there are plenty of options for getting B6 in your diet.
- Ask your doctor about switching your prenatal vitamin for one with less (or no) iron, which may be particularly tough on a sensitive tummy.
Acupuncture for morning sickness
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, morning sickness thought to be due to an imbalance in the liver and/or the stomach, so the goal is to harmonise the stomach and liver so the nausea and vomiting cease. Acupuncture for morning sickness is one of the most well known treatments on this list, and is a popular therapeutic alternative adopted by many the world over.
The techniques below are thought to transmit signals through the body and have the ability to decrease nausea.
- Acupressure wrist band: These “sea-bands” apply pressure to certain points on the wrist which work to relieve the feeling of nausea.
- Acupuncture for morning sickness: A traditional Chinese medical practice of inserting thin needles into the skin in specific areas of the body, and has been proven to be both incredibly effective and safe in warding off morning sickness.
4. Homeopathy for morning sickness
If you’ve ever used Arnica gel on an injured knee or painful bruise, you have used homeopathy. Homeopathy is a form of treatment based on the principles that “like cures like” and that the body can heal itself. Highly diluted substances (the ones thought to illicit the reaction you seek to change), are used to trigger the body to heal itself.
When it comes to homeopathy for morning sickness, there are a number of homeopathic remedies which may help with your nausea*. Your practitioner can prescribe the right treatment for you based on your physical, emotional and mental state.
- Nux vomica
- Cocculus indicus
*Keep in mind, research on the general use of homeopathy is mixed with some studies showing it is helpful, while others don’t. Therefore you should use homeopathy for morning sickness at your discretion.
Are these treatments safe during pregnancy?
Natural home remedies like ginger tea and smelling fresh lemon are considered quite safe. Generally speaking, homeopathic remedies are so gentle and mild, due to the dilution, that they won’t cause any side effects either. As for Traditional Chinese Medicine, when administered by a qualified practitioner, it is considered safe as well as highly effective.
It’s always best to consult your doctor if you’re considering trying any of these remedies. Your doctor will ensure anything you’re doing won’t interact with other medications you may be taking.
If you’re one of the many women suffering from quesiness during your pregnancy, you will want to learn how homeopathy for morning sickness, as well as acupuncture, natural home remedies, and supplements may help to alleviate your symptoms of nausea, and reading this article is a good start. If, however, you find yourself unable to keep food down and are consequently losing weight, do seek expert advice from your doctor immediately, so as to rule out any serious conditions.