We all know the term morning sickness–the nausea and queasiness that comes during pregnancy. It makes sense—pregnant women are growing another human within them. That causes a definite change in hormones, which can easily lead to a hormonal imbalance, and symptoms of such. It also puts a lot of stress on the body–physical, mental, and emotional. Morning sickness can be infuriating, but it is common and rarely a cause for concern. In fact, according to the American Pregnancy Association, “Many doctors think morning sickness is a good sign because it means the placenta is developing well.”
There are a few simple solutions to eliminate nausea. Every pregnancy is different, though, and different things trigger and alleviate nausea for each expectant mothers. It’s important to have grace with yourself through every part of pregnancy–what you’re doing is hard, and you’re only human.
Cleveland Clinic says:
“Ginger may be helpful [in helping nausea] because it helps increase the way food moves through your GI tract, called gastric motility, and block serotonin receptors in our gut lining.”
Many grocery stores will have either fresh, dried, or powdered ginger. Use it in food, chew on a small piece, or make ginger tea to help alleviate nausea. The good thing with ginger is a little can go a long way.
Ginger also has other health benefits that make it a good root to keep in stock at home. Raw ginger is anti-inflammatory, meaning it also works as a pain reliever, especially for things like menstrual cramps and arthritis1. The compound that makes ginger anti-inflammatory is made less effective, however, when heated up. Ginger is full of vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. Ginger also helps regulate blood sugar.
According to MigraineAgain:
“Lemon juice and lemonade are good drinks for nausea because lemons contain neutralizing acids, which form bicarbonates – compounds that help relieve nausea. The juice from the lemon also stirs up the saliva in your mouth, also helping to relieve nausea.”
Lemonade can contain high amounts of sugar that can lead to problems in the gut like infections, inflammation, and weight gain. Lemonade, therefore, isn’t recommended during pregnancy. However, pure lemon juice has many health benefits.
Lemon juice is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Studies have shown that Vitamin C is a vital nutrient in preventing many modern diseases. Vitamin C is essential in bone formation, connective tissue repair, and gum health. It also helps the immune system fight infections and protects against free radical damage of cells.2
Add some lemon juice to a tea or put it straight into warm water to make a tea. It can also be put on foods that you find yourself able to stomach for a little bit of flavor.
3. Stay hydrated
The human body needs water, and a lot of it. A pregnant woman is not only eating for two, but drinking for two. Cells in the human body are 90% water. The human brain is 80% water. Bones, muscles, and various organs and systems in the body also need water to function properly.
Water can get boring after a while, and when this happens, it can get easy to pass it up for a sugary drink or soda. Don’t. Infuse water to keep it interesting or reach for a carbonated water that’s either plain or sweetened with something like stevia. Carbonated drinks can help with nausea, but there’re other toxins in sodas that are bad for both mama and baby.
Smoothies can also help you get the nutrients needed while staying hydrated. Smoothies are also easier to draw out than foods–if you can only take a sip at a time, only take a sip at a time. Put the smoothie in an insulated water bottle or thermos and take it on the go.
4. Eat small meals often
Don’t get too full or too hungry–both can cause nausea. Keep small snacks nearby to nibble on here and there. Don’t force something if it’s just going to come back up again, or if it’s going to cause you to feel miserable afterward. If eating a full dinner is going to cause a stomach revolt, pass on it. Have grace with yourself. Just like athletes eat differently in season than out of season, expecting mothers have to give their body the nutrients it needs in the amount it needs according to the season of life.
Sometimes, food having a bit of a saltier or blander taste also helps settle the stomach.
5. Get plenty of rest
Sleep deprivation–not giving the body the rest it needs–can also lead to nausea. A pregnant woman is growing another human being. That takes a lot of energy, and they’re going to need more rest because of it. Even more so if she’s having trouble keeping food down.
Giving the body the time it needs to rest is important. In our hurried, modern world, this can be difficult. Especially if there are already little ones in the house.
If getting out of bed is happening slower in the mornings, adjust the alarm accordingly. Set up a grace period with the alarm going off an hour earlier, supplying time to take it slow in the mornings.
If a nap in the middle of the day is needed, figure out how best to manage schedules. Maybe someone else can take the kids or do some of the things on the to-do list.
Going to bed earlier or taking time to sit down and close your eyes for ten minutes here or there are some other ways to supply the body the down time it needs.
6. Drink Salt Water
According to Dr. Axe,
“Nausea is also sometimes caused by very low sodium levels … This same condition can be followed by headaches, disorientation and respiratory problems when it’s left unresolved.”
Good quality salt–Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt–is a good source of healthy sodium. Putting this kind of salt in water also gives it a bit more flavor and boosts electrolytes.
Many expectant mothers deal with nausea. It can be frustrating, but the good news is that it doesn’t last forever.
To find out more ways to alleviate nausea and reclaim your health, and how to navigate some of the normal, yet challenging parts of pregnancy, contact a Wellness Way clinic today!