Five Powerful Remedies To Overcome Morning Sickness – Why does it occur and what you can do it prevent it?
Throughout history, pregnant women have likely experienced morning sickness, a phenomenon marked by nausea and vomiting during the early stages of pregnancy. In many cases, this condition is a relatively minor but extremely uncomfortable annoyance that doesn’t hinder the mother’s eating habits and usually resolves by the end of the first trimester. However, there are instances when morning sickness causes such distress that the mother struggles to consume enough food to maintain her health. This can pose a threat to both her life and her baby’s life, making it crucial for midwives, doctors, doulas, or prenatal class teachers to take assertive actions to alleviate the symptoms.
Moreover, I urge these professionals to pay close attention to any form of nausea or digestive disorders experienced by their clients and to treat them proactively using resources like homeopathy, herbs, nutritional adjustments, acupressure, acupuncture, hypnosis, or any available means. Failing to address these symptoms can lead to inadequate food intake during critical periods, potentially triggering a pre-eclampsia process.
By ignoring morning sickness, there’s a risk of hindering the mother’s ability to eat adequately, a vital factor for fulfilling the primary needs of every pregnant body – increasing blood volume by around 60% (and even more for multiple pregnancies). This increase is necessary as it sustains the maternal blood supply behind the placenta, which must grow alongside the placenta itself. If the blood volume doesn’t expand sufficiently, the mother faces an elevated risk of shallow placental implantation, placental hypoxia, blood clots forming behind the placenta, rising blood pressure, pathological edema, pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), premature labor, and giving birth to a low birth weight baby.
A challenge faced by all childbirth professionals is their inability to predict which mothers will experience mild morning sickness, enabling them to eat sufficiently and support healthy blood volume growth, and which mothers will suffer from severe nausea, hindering their food intake. Thus, it is essential for all professionals to address all forms of nausea from the beginning of pregnancy, considering some of the following suggestions.
For pregnant mothers without adequate support from childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, or doctors, I encourage you to try out as many of the suggested measures as possible. These suggestions not only aim to alleviate discomfort but also help maintain adequate nutrition, supporting healthy blood volume expansion and reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia development by the 20th week of pregnancy.
I hope these five recommendations provide you with much-needed relief and contribute to preserving your health and pregnancy, protecting your body from low blood volume that could potentially trigger early pre-eclampsia or even abruption.
- B Vitamins
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms during pregnancy, and one potential cause could be a deficiency in B-Vitamins.
In pregnancy, the body’s requirement for B-vitamins increases immediately after conception, as noted by Adelle Davis, a respected nutritionist and author of Let’s Have Healthy Children. (Link here) https://amzn.to/3rUKKeq However, many prescription prenatal vitamins contain insufficient levels of B-vitamins. Typically, they provide less than 5 mg, while most pregnant women need 50-100 mg or more, depending on the specific B-vitamin and individual needs. For instance, to alleviate pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, it is recommended that a pregnant woman takes “10-25 mg of B6 every hour or two for a day or longer” (Let’s Have Healthy Children, p. 47). Increasing B-vitamin intake can also help address insomnia, anemia, and hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
If you consider switching from prescription prenatal vitamins to health-food-store brands (no fillers and binders) Alternatively, if you choose to stick with your prescription brand, you can supplement it by taking the prescription multi-vitamin with breakfast and adding a B-vitamin Complex supplement with lunch.
When selecting an extra B-Vitamin supplement with lunch, ensure it contains all B-vitamins in the proper balance. Avoid B-complex vitamins like “B-25,” “B-50,” or “B-100,” where all B-vitamins are present in equal amounts, as this may not be safe. According to Adelle Davis, the proper proportion of B-vitamins should be balanced in specific ratios (Let’s Have Healthy Children, p. 191). It seems that one of the “Whole Foods” B-Complex preparations meets a balanced composition similar to Ms. Davis’ description.
Moreover, it is crucial not to take either the multi-vitamin or extra B-vitamins after 3 PM, as B-vitamins might interfere with sleep if taken at that time. However, they can help alleviate nighttime insomnia if taken before 3 PM. If you are taking extra B6 supplements to address nausea and vomiting, you can continue taking B6 alone every hour or two after 3 PM, observing how it affects your sleep.
Another significant concern is caffeine consumption during pregnancy, as caffeine can deplete B-vitamins, which are vital nutrients during this period. Adelle Davis explains that B-vitamins dissolve in water, making them susceptible to loss in urine, and caffeine’s stimulating effect can flush them through the body (Let’s Have Healthy Children, p. 98). Vitamin B6 deficiency, one of the B-vitamins, can lead to or worsen symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bad breath, headaches, dry skin, intestinal cramps, leg cramps (especially at night), nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, irritability, dandruff, difficulty concentrating, hemorrhoids, anemia, and lowered resistance to infections. Volunteers who received the required level of B6 showed the disappearance of these symptoms within two weeks. Therefore, the main concern with caffeine consumption, be it from coffee, tea, sodas, or chocolate, is its impact on B-vitamins, which are essential for pregnancy. Even if you have only one cup of coffee a day, it could be depleting some of the B-vitamins that your body now requires more of due to pregnancy.
Homeopathy offers several remedies that can be beneficial for alleviating morning sickness during pregnancy. These remedies include Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, Sepia, and Ipecac, each chosen based on the specific type of nausea and vomiting experienced. You can find more information about which remedy corresponds to your morning sickness type by referring to the following link.
One of the key advantages of homeopathic medicines is their safety for your developing baby, as they utilize only minute amounts of the active ingredients in their preparation. These remedies work by stimulating the body’s natural healing powers.
Please note that the information above is sourced from the website of the Society of Homeopaths.
Acupressure offers effective techniques to manage morning sickness during pregnancy. Two methods that can be helpful are:
Massage of the Sternum: When experiencing the nausea of morning sickness due to low blood sugar, you may find relief by massaging your sternum or “breastbone.” The pressure point is located on the lower sternum. Use your fingertips to apply firm pressure with a massage motion.
Wrist Seasickness Bands: These bands are designed to be worn around your wrists and contain a button that applies pressure to an acupressure point on your inner wrist. This pressure point can help alleviate nausea.
By using acupressure, you can potentially find relief from morning sickness symptoms. It’s worth trying these techniques to see if they work for you during this phase of pregnancy.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and balance energy flow. It has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions, including morning sickness during pregnancy. Here’s how acupuncture can help alleviate morning sickness, along with some important details:
Regulation of Hormones: Acupuncture has been shown to regulate hormones in the body, particularly those related to pregnancy. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can contribute to morning sickness symptoms. By targeting specific acupuncture points, acupuncturists can help restore hormonal balance, potentially reducing nausea and vomiting.
Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve: The vagus nerve plays a significant role in regulating digestive processes and transmitting signals between the brain and the digestive system. Acupuncture can stimulate the vagus nerve, leading to enhanced digestion and reduced nausea.
Endorphin Release: Acupuncture can trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving and mood-enhancing chemicals in the body. These endorphins may help alleviate feelings of discomfort and distress associated with morning sickness.
Individualized Treatment: Acupuncture is tailored to each person’s unique needs. An acupuncturist will conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify the underlying causes of morning sickness in an individual and design a personalized treatment plan accordingly. This approach allows for a more targeted and effective intervention.
Safe and Non-Invasive: Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a qualified and licensed practitioner. Unlike some medications used to manage morning sickness, acupuncture does not involve any drugs, making it a non-invasive and natural option for pregnant individuals seeking relief.
Reduced Dependency on Medications: For individuals who prefer to avoid or minimize the use of medication during pregnancy, acupuncture can offer a drug-free alternative for managing morning sickness symptoms.
Stress Reduction: Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and stress can exacerbate morning sickness. Acupuncture sessions are known to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels, which can positively impact morning sickness symptoms.
Timing and Frequency: Acupuncture sessions for morning sickness may be recommended weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the severity of symptoms and individual response. Early intervention during the first trimester is typically more effective in managing morning sickness.
It is essential to consult with a qualified acupuncturist who has experience in treating pregnant individuals. They will take into account your medical history, symptoms, and overall health to develop a safe and effective acupuncture treatment plan tailored to your needs. As with any medical intervention during pregnancy, it’s essential to discuss acupuncture with your prenatal care provider to ensure it is appropriate for your specific situation.
Ginger can be a helpful remedy for morning sickness during pregnancy if used carefully. However, it’s essential to exercise caution as excessive ginger intake may lead to bleeding and miscarriage.
Morning sickness is often triggered by low blood sugar, which can create a cycle of nausea preventing the mother from eating, leading to further drops in blood sugar, and causing more nausea. Ginger should not be seen as a standalone cure but rather as a tool to break this cycle and enable the mother to consume some food. The primary goal is to eat some food, which, in turn, can reduce nausea and vomiting.
For morning sickness relief, one can use Jamaican ginger beer, a potent non-alcoholic version of ginger ale containing real ginger. Unlike common ginger ales with ginger flavoring, Jamaican ginger beer can be found in the “International” or “World Market” section of grocery stores. Taking a couple of swallows or 1/8 to 1/4 cup of ginger beer about 2-5 minutes before attempting to eat can help settle the stomach and enable food intake. A small sip of ginger beer after eating can also be tried.
To effectively manage morning sickness, eating small amounts of food every hour, even including a bedtime snack and one at your bedside table to have if you wake up during the night. Starting with foods that appeal to you and in small portions is recommended. For example, plain baked potato with a little salt (without butter or sour cream) or nut butter (e.g., peanut or almond) on whole grain toast (without cow’s butter), possibly with a touch of honey, could be suitable options.
This ginger strategy should be combined with B-vitamin supplementation, as B-vitamin deficiency is a significant contributor to nausea and vomiting. Following Adelle Davis’s advice, once vomiting starts, it’s recommended to take 10-25 mg of B6 every hour until the nausea subsides. Therefore, if the ginger beer helps you eat every hour, you can also consider adding 10 mg of B6 with each hourly food intake and, if tolerated well, increase the dose to 25 mg.
If Jamaican ginger beer is not available in your area, ginger capsules can be used as an alternative. For capsule use, taking 1/2 to 1 capsule of ginger about 2-5 minutes before each hourly meal is suggested. However, remember not to exceed 25 capsules of ginger per day.