If you suffer from motion sickness, you’ll know that horrible, queasy feeling that doesn’t go away until you stop moving. Morning sickness is just like that – but there’s no opportunity to stop!
In the first three months of pregnancy, more than 80 percent of expectant mothers will suffer from level of morning sickness – which, despite its name, doesn’t occur only in the morning.
Thought to be caused by chemical by-products or increased hormonal activity building up and creating toxins in your body, morning sickness is associated with a range of symptoms including cramps, heartburn, cravings, intense hunger, a metallic taste in your mouth, and feelings of weakness and tiredness. Vomiting, which can occur without warning, temporarily relieves the heaviness of the nausea, but can leave you felling exhausted, provoke nosebleeds, and make your head ache. Unfortunately, this is all just a part of being pregnant, and your doctor won’t be able to prescribe you anything to relieve the symptoms, which are usually confined to the first trimester of pregnancy.
Although morning sickens can be an awful experience, I’d like to offer you some comfort in that a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the USA found that women who vomit during pregnancy are more likely to carry all the way to term and deliver healthy babies. Horrible as it is, morning sickness can be a good sign.
Morning sickness and weight gain
Many women who are anxious that their morning sickness is preventing them from gaining weight, which also makes them concerned about the nourishment of their baby. However, in the great majority of cases, your clever body will meet the needs of your baby before your own, even if you’re vomiting a lot. In addition, your symptoms will typically disappear in the early part of the second trimester when your placenta is fully formed, and you’ll still have plenty of time to gain weight. However, if at any time you lose more than five percent of your pre-pregnancy weight, it’s important that you consult your doctor.
Even though morning sickness can make a woman wonder if she’ll ever enjoy eating food again, I have seen that it can have some positive effects on the women. Fear of it striking gain can make a woman more thoughtful and careful about her food choices, especially if they were poor before her pregnancy. Morning sickness can give her the incentive she needs to change her diet and make a fresh start with her nutritional choices.
In general, try to steer clear of fried and spicy foods, avoid caffeine, and don’t’ brush your teeth straight after a meal as this can make you gag. Keep your food choices simple. It also helps to avoid doing the cooking yourself and to keep away from bad smells, wear loose clothing, and keep car, coach, or plane journeys to a minimum. All of these things can make your symptoms worse. Very hot or cold food can also irritate your stomach. If you’re being or feeling so sick that you’re finding it hard to take your prenatal supplements, try taking them at the time of day when you feel least queasy and always take them with food. Furthermore, try the following tips for helping to ease away the feelings of pregnancy nausea.
Eat little and often You may be able to ease your symptoms by keeping your blood-sugar levels balanced. Eat snacks that combine complex carbohydrates with a little protein and don’t’ go for more than three hours without eating. Good snack choices include organic hummus on a wholegrain toast or rye crackers, or well-cooked scrambled egg on wholegrain toast. Try eating just a plain, dry wholegrain cracker first thing in the morning, and carry some in your handbag so that you can eat one when nausea strikes.
Try apple cider vinegar First thing in the morning have a cup of warm water and add to it 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is pH neutral, so it can help settle stomach acid, which can cause nausea.
Eat almonds Soak ten almonds (unroasted) overnight, and the next morning peel off the skins and eat them. They’re a good source of protein and calcium, both of which can settle your stomach.
Drink water Although drinking water in itself wont’ settle your nausea, doing so is essential to compensate for the fluids you lose during any vomiting (not all women vomit, however). A drink that may be helpful to keep by your side is 2 cups mineral water with the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt added. The lemon juice makes the water more alkaline, and this seems to settle the stomach.
Vitamin B6 Some experts believe that morning sickness is caused by high levels of estrogen in the system. Estrogen can build up when the liver isn’t efficiently flushing away the excess. Vitamin B6 can help clear away excess toxins by optimizing liver function.
Ginger A tried-and-tested home remedy for nausea, ginger can be extremely effective for morning sickness. Ginger supplements have been proven to ease nausea by helping food to pass more rapidly through the digestive system, as well as reducing the simulation to the part of the brain that prompts a burst of nausea or vomiting. There are many different ways to take ginger, although liquid form is the most effective. So, to make a fresh ginger decoction, take a piece of fresh gingerroot, peel it and grate it to give 1 tsp. Ina pan, bring 1 cup water to a simmer, add the grated ginger and simmer for ten minutes. Strain the liquid into a cup and drink. If you need it sweetened, drink it with a splash of real maple syrup (not maple-flavored syrup) or honey. Alternatively, you can take ginger in capsule form (1g daily, taken in two or three doses, depending on the amount in each capsule).
It’s important to listen to your body when you’re pregnant because it can tell you what it needs or doesn’t want. For example, you may well find that you instinctively go off certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, and simply can’t even stand the smell of them. You may also find that you get powerful cravings for a specific kind of food.
Sometimes cravings can be a sign of nutritional deficiency and give you a clue about the kind of food your body needs. Ice-cream cravings, for example, may indicate a need for fat, protein, or calcium. Whatever food you crave, stick to a healthy diet and always aim for the healthiest option. So, if you crave sweets, try adding more protein to your diet to help balance your blood sugar, which will stop the sweet cravings; or choose healthier sweet options, such as raisins.
For most women, the symptoms of morning sickness are mild to moderate. However, for some, morning sickness occurs in its most severe form, known as hyperemesis. If you suffer from this condition, you may vomit so much that you can’t keep any food or drink down, and you may have to be hospitalized and fed fluids intravenously. The condition can be dangerous for you and your baby, so if you’re vomiting so much that you can’t eat or drink, it’s essential that you consult your doctor immediately.