Morning Sickness Cures
Ah, morning sickness. Perhaps pregnancy’s most notorious early symptom. And somewhat foolishly named, too, since the nausea and (occasional) vomiting associated can strike at any time of day.
The good news is, for many women, it’s fairly short-lived (although it may not feel like it when you’re in the throes of it); average onset is between week six and eight, and most women says it starts to lift between weeks twelve and fourteen. In addition to an unstable stomach, you should expect to be pretty grossed out by certain foods you once loved -- and you might crave (or fixate) on certain foods, despite the nauseousness.
Even if you’re hit hard by the queasies, fret not: morning sickness isn’t harmful to your baby. Statistics suggest about 80 percent of women experience it, and while there’s no one-size-fits-all cure, there are several things you can do that should give you some relief.
Low blood sugar plays a huge role in morning sickness, along with surging hormones. So maintaining your blood sugar levels by making sure you’re eating regularly could help you stay in front of the nausea. Generally, protein works wonders in helping you regulate your blood sugar, so make sure you’re getting plenty of it. Eat regularly throughout the day. And consider keeping bedside snacks handy, too; have a nibble first thing in the morning before you get up, and a couple of bites in the middle of the night.
Salty, starchy snacks
Saltine crackers are a classic upset stomach food, and some women swear by them during their first trimester. I had more luck with potato chips; others say Goldfish crackers or buttered toast got them through the roughest patches. The theme here: starchy, salty, and easy on the stomach, which makes them bearable even when you’re riding a particularly rough wave.
Ginger is a well-known herbal stomach soother, and it’s available in a variety of forms, which means you can rotate through a stock to find what provides the best relief. Try ginger ale, ginger beer, ginger tea, candied ginger, ginger snaps, and ginger lozenges. And if you can’t take the taste anymore but still appreciate the effects, look for ginger capsules in your local pharmacy or health food market, which pack a punch and can be swallowed whole.
Lemon is a digestive aid, which might be why some pregnant women can’t bear to be parted with their lemon water (warm or cold) or lemonade during the first few months of pregnancy. But lemon’s wonders aren’t just limited to ingestion: simply sniffing a fresh lemon is enough to take the edge off of nausea for some women.
Vitamin B6 relaxes the nervous system, thereby tempering some of the queasiness you might be feeling. You’re likely getting some of this in your prenatal vitamin regimen, but you can add a B6 supplement to further take on your morning sickness.
Acupuncture stimulates your nerves to inhibit the vomit receptors in your brain and reregulate your gastrointestinal processes, giving you immediate relief for nausea that lasts beyond your treatment, without you having to rely on medication. At Hygge, where we provide acupuncture treatment specifically targeted toward pregnancy discomfort, we see some clients for treatments as many as two to three times per week.
The same principle behind acupuncture applies to seabands -- they inhibit the vomit receptors in your brain, which makes you feel better. And as a bonus, you can wear them 24/7, which means you can pair them with acupuncture treatments or try them in addition to other cures.
If sniffing a lemon works for you, you might want to explore using some essential oils. Try lemon, of course, and peppermint, which is another natural remedy for an upset stomach.
If the herbal remedies just aren’t cutting it, you can combine Unisom with your B6, which forge a stronger form of relief. Make sure you’re looking for the non-drowsy (non-Benadryl) form of Unisom. If you really can’t kick the severe nausea -- or if you’re vomiting excessively -- your provider might prescribe Zofran for you.
As you seek relief, make sure you continue to hydrate and take your prenatal vitamins, which will help keep your nutrient stores in check. And contact your provider if you start showing signs of dehydration (dark yellow pee, headaches, lightheadedness, rapid breathing). You might need an IV assist to get back on track. And if you can’t stop throwing up, see your doctor --that might put you in the category of hyperemesis, severe morning sickness that can last throughout pregnancy that affects about 1 to 2 percent of women.
A few favorite local morning sickness cures:
Acupuncture at Hygge Birth and Baby! Our moms swear by our acupuncturists’ treatments, and you don’t have to be delivering at Hygge to make an appointment.
The frozen lemonade at Safta. Heck, the pita, too.
The limeade at Pho Duy.
The ginger tea or mint tea soda (made with lemonade) at Teatulia.
Essential oils from Apothecary Tinctura.