Curbing Nausea In Pregnancy
Nausea, lovingly called morning sickness during pregnancy can be an unwanted gift that visits many of our pregnancies. Morning sickness can occur any time of the day or night, though it is aptly named because more mothers experience this the worst in the morning than at any other time in the day. Some mothers will be able to go their whole pregnancy without an ounce of nausea; others won’t make it so long. So what can we do? There are lots of ideas to try, and this is certainly the time to get creative. Ask around and be sure to consult your health practitioner and/or your highest wisdom if you are vomiting for a prolonged period of time, as we want to make sure and avoid dehydration and malnutrition.
Why are we nauseated?
Why one mother is and another isn’t is yet to be understood. We do understand that our pregnant goddess bodies have incredible amounts of hormones coursing through it. Just as we understand that stress can tend to aggravate it (think of those times when we’re stressed and we get a stomach ache). Some other things that might be contributing are fatigue, whether that’s physical, emotional or mental and whether this is a first or later pregnancy (as a first pregnancy our body is going through so many new adjustments for the first time, it makes sense that we might get more easily overwhelmed). Another issue that might come into play is whether we tend to get car or motion sick. If we do we are more likely to enjoy more nausea in pregnancy. And finally nausea can be exacerbated by a heightened sense of smell, with a sensitivity to strong odors.
How can we minimalize the nausea?
We asked midwife Davi Kahlsa to let us in on what she recommends to her clients. She filled us in on many ideas, but reminds us to try out different things, every body is a different body, and what works on one woman may not work on all of us.
1. Eat every two hours and include a little protein with each meal/snack. Davi says, “It’s the last thing she wants to do, but she has to eat even when she doesn’t feel hungry little bits of food. And oftentimes that will knock the nausea out. The nausea, we don’t know what causes it, it’s obviously hormonal, but the woman’s body is making a baby constantly, and that takes energy and if a woman is not eating, the energy stores, her glucose levels drop and she can get nauseous from being hypoglycemic. At least pop it in even when you’re not hungry. And having snacks at the side of the bed when she goes to bed at night. Usually a woman is going to get hungry, but it doesn’t register as hunger…” What does it register as? “If she doesn’t eat and many hours have gone by, she may become irritable, very cranky, light-headed, slightly dizzy, and very emotional.”
2. Ginger Tea: safe for pregnancy, ginger can be soothing to the stomach. (If you have had previous miscarriages, ginger is best avoided.)
3. Wristbands for acupressure points.
5. Lollipops for nausea. Found online or in a health food store these have been known to help mothers.
6. Add a bit of lemon to our daily water intake.
What does common sense say?
1. Ask our body & our spirits. Since every woman is different it’s important that we ask our own bodies and spirits what we can do to support them, it may be a food, it may be to get out and exercise, it may ask us to look at some anxiety we hold about our situation, it may respond with a surprise… never discount the role of our own wisdom, even in dealing with nausea! Spend some time, journal, ask for the wisdom within.
2. Avoid as much as possible those smells that give us that gag reflex! If it’s something our loved ones like to eat, explaining how it makes us feel and working something out together so they can still eat what they want and we can still have a calm and happy tummy (thus a calm and happy baby) is a win-win.
3. Making good choices with our food is either going to help our stomach stay calm and our baby stay nourished, or it’s going to give us more of an upset stomach! When we can, smarter choices help our bodies, but if we’re feeling like we’re doing the best we can and we still don’t think it’s up to par, remembering to be gentle with ourselves as we go through our journey is more than half the point of our journey!
4. Ask friends and fellow mothers what they did to help with their pregnancy nausea, they might have just the trick we’ve been waiting for and if not maybe their stories can make us feel better (or at least remind us that it won’t last)!
5. Remember the role of the mind! Whether we’re talking about pregnancy, parenting or exercising, our mind is an incredibly sharp tool that basically sees what we’ve set ourselves to see. It is not our “fault” that we experience less than ideal things, there are very real physical changes behind them, but our mind can be our best ally as we move through the journey of morning sickness, mostly because if we loose hope, our whole body feels like it’s sinking into a pit of sickness and despair. We need to take responsibility and do what we need to do to make sure we are caring for ourselves and nurturing ourselves as much as we can, not that this is a magic pill that our morning sickness will go away, but it’s a magic pill for that sinking pit of despair to go away, and that can often be just as difficult as the nausea.
6. If we can’t keep hydrated we need to consult with our health practitioner. Outside of pregnancy, we can go longer without good nutrition than we can without water, and this is just as important for baby. If we spend our time worrying that baby is not getting enough nutrition, it is better to consult someone we trust and put our efforts to relaxation and self-care. As the old saying goes, worry is like a rocking chair: it gets you nowhere! Be kind and remember it will end! If morning sickness is experienced, it usually ends at the end of the first trimester, though there are some who continue to experience it throughout the second and third trimesters, it has yet to be seen after birth!
Curbing Nausea to Natural Pregnancy