Ah, the dreaded “morning sickness”…or as we like to call it, all-day sickness. Nausea and vomiting are often the first signs of pregnancy for many people, sometimes even prompting that first rush to the drugstore to grab a pregnancy test. For most pregnancies, morning sickness only lasts the first trimester, but any amount of time to be sick and throwing up is no fun at all. Our clients want to know: are there any cures for morning sickness?
Morning Sickness is Pretty Normal
While we don’t yet know everything about morning sickness, one thing we do know is that is a very common symptom of pregnancy. Over half of all pregnant people vomit, and almost all feel some level of nausea for some length of time. Some doctors believe that morning sickness is hormonal in nature. This could be a good thing, because the resulting symptoms of hormonal increases may mean that the placenta is growing and doing its job properly. So don’t worry that there must be something wrong with you or the baby if you experience persistent nausea and even throw up during early pregnancy!
Controlling Morning Sickness Through Diet
We wish we could say that there was a definitive cure for morning sickness, but it’s just not true. However, there are some things that may help alleviate the symptoms a little, or at certain times, according to what lots of people have tried and tested. For example, you may find it helpful to eat several small snack-type meals throughout the day, rather than three large meals. You can also try eating something bland like crackers or toast before you get out of bed in the morning. If you are vomiting a lot, don’t worry too much about eating “all the right things” – eat what doesn’t make you sick and will stay in your stomach.
Electrolyte drinks are also a great idea to sip throughout the day to replenish what you lost from throwing up, and to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Scents are often major triggers for nausea during pregnancy. Get plenty of fresh air, and consider takeout or having someone else cook if you can’t stand food smells. Ginger and lemon scents are helpful for many people, and peppermint essential oil is also known to help with nausea. We recommend sniffing it from the bottle, rather than diffusing or applying it to yourself. That way, if you suddenly experience an aversion, you can remove the source immediately. Please consult a certified aromatherapist for any other uses of essential oils, or preparing specialized blends.
Other Ways to Help
Other than controlling what you are eating and smelling, there may be a few other things you can try to reduce the severity of morning sickness.
- Take naps every day and try to get adequate rest at night
- Ask your doctor about Vitamin B supplementation.
- Avoid getting overheated
- Try ginger lozenges, teas, or chewables
- Try Sea Bands for motion sickness
- Get some light exercise each day
- Avoid spicy or strongly-flavored foods
- Avoid lying down after eating
Morning sickness is annoying, but in almost all cases it does go away after 12-14 weeks’ gestation. If your morning sickness persists throughout pregnancy, or if your nausea and vomiting become so severe that they interfere with your quality of life and cause you to become dehydrated and malnourished, these are signs of a more serious condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and should be taken seriously and discussed with your doctor.