I often get emails from pregnant customers asking how to treat morning sickness from a natural approach so I thought I would put a few things down in writing. I suffered terribly from morning sickness myself during my last pregnancy and tried a number of natural approaches to treat the nausea. I was certainly not alone, as many as nine out of 10 mums-to-be experience nausea or sickness during their pregnancy.
The main cause of pregnancy nausea is thought to be the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which is produced in large quantities until your placenta takes over the functions of maintaining and nourishing the pregnancy. This is why pregnant mums are often told that the sickness will stop at around 12 to 14 weeks.
However other hormones, chemical imbalances, even infections and disorders affecting the inner ear can also be responsible, though rarer.
If you find you are vomiting many times a day and are unable to eat and drink without being sick, contact your doctor or midwife immediately as you may have a severe morning sickness, known as ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’. You may become dehydrated and need some treatment in hospital.
Naturally Treat Morning Sickness By Looking After Yourself
It is difficult to completely prevent morning sickness, as it is a natural and normal part of pregnancy. However you may be able stop nausea and vomiting from becoming a major problem.
Like many mums to be I found my morning sickness was much worse if I was tired, hungry, stressed or anxious. It is so important to regularly take time to care for yourself. Try not to become overtired, reduce stress as much as you can (using relaxation, and complementary therapies which help you to relax) and seek answers to any questions about your pregnancy to avoid anxiety from lack of knowledge. Get as much rest as possible and, if possible, consider taking some time off work.
Eating and Morning Sickness
Many mums find it best to eat little and often. Use a simple food diary sheet try to work out which foods suit you and which may make your symptoms worse. Rich, fried, fatty or highly spiced foods frequently make pregnancy nausea worse. If you are feeling very sick, don’t worry about eating a balanced diet at this stage. It’s better to eat something and obtain some energy from your food than not to eat at all.
Thank you for all your kind messages received with my orders. My baby loves the Holle spelt rusks, but the reason I have been ordering so many is because I have been eating them. I am pregnant again and they help with morning sickness! I also love the glass grater and thank you for having introduced me to it. Best wishes. Tansey
If you fancy something – and can be reasonably sure it will stay down – have it and enjoy it. You and your baby will soon catch up with the required nutrients later in your pregnancy when these symptoms will (hopefully) have subsided. If you fancy trying the sugar free Holle Organic Spelt Baby Rusks for yourself order a few packs and you’ll be surprised just how popular they are amongst the whole family. If you, like many other mums, find they help with the morning sickness you better find a safe place to keep them so they are always there when you need them!
Foods rich in vitamin B6 may also be helpful with reducing feelings of nausea. Such foods include wholemeal bread, fatty fish, raw red and green peppers, cod, turkey, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, chicken, beef and pork as well as certain fortified cereals.
Keeping Hydrated When Vomiting
Most importantly, keep well hydrated, sipping iced water, barley water or whatever you can manage. Many mums have told me that the Holle Organic Nursing Tea has helped them keeping hydrated while enjoying its relaxing properties. Taken at a lower dosage of two or three cups a day the tea is ideal to enjoy while putting your feet up and enjoying a bit of me-time. Ask for some free samples when you order your rusks and we’ll pop a few in to try.
Self-help suggestions for Morning Sickness
Ginger and Morning Sickness
Although it never worked for me, many sources will tell you that ginger is the best remedy for sickness in pregnancy. Although there is a fair amount of medical research to show that ginger can be effective against pregnancy sickness, it is not true that it is universally beneficial. For some women, taking ginger can make symptoms worse, trigger new problems such as heartburn, or even be unsafe.
Ginger is a common Chinese remedy, based on the traditional system of yin and yang and other opposing factors, including heat and cold. Ginger is a “hot” or “yang” remedy and will make sickness worse if you are already too hot – not only in temperature but also in terms of your internal energies. Ginger will suit you if you feel and look cold, want hot drinks, keep wrapping yourself up in layers of clothing and blankets, feel miserable, introspective and uninterested in your surroundings.
If ginger is appropriate for you, avoid ginger biscuits as these contain too much sugar and insufficient ginger to be effective. Any temporary relief from your symptoms will be due to an increase in your blood sugar levels. You could try making a tea from grated root ginger. Steep this in boiled water, leave it to cool and sip it throughout the day.
Ginger works in the same way as medicine, and it can have an adverse effect on your blood clotting mechanism. If you take it constantly for more than three weeks, you should ask your doctor to check your blood clotting. If you are taking prescribed anti-coagulant drugs, aspirin or other similar medicines, you should avoid it altogether. You should take no more than 3g of grated raw ginger a day.
Acupressure and Morning Sickness
You could try wearing wristbands which stimulate an acupuncture point (the Pericardium 6 or P6 point) which can relieve sickness. A review of different research studies concluded that acupressure can work for many pregnant women. Make sure that the button in the band is placed onto the acupuncture point. To locate it, use one hand on the inside of your opposite wrist, measuring up three finger widths from the crease between your hand and arm, between the tendons in the middle of your wrist. At the point where your third finger falls, lift the pressure off until you are just touching the skin and feel lightly for a slight dip – if you now press into this dip quite deeply it will feel bruised. Place the button on the wristbands at this precise point on both wrists – preferably putting the bands on first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed.
During the day, if you experience a wave of nausea, press on the button (one wrist and then the other) about 20-30 times at one second intervals, to give more of a stimulating boost to the acupuncture point. If you forget your wristbands, you can simply press on these two points, or ask someone to do it for you on both wrists together.
Aromatherapy and Morning Sickness
Although aromatherapy can help to relax you, many women find that their nausea is made much worse by smells and odours. However, if this is not too much of a problem, essential oils which can relieve nausea include lime, lemon or any other citrus fruit oil – or (occasionally) ginger.
Reflexology and Morning Sickness
Reflexology can also be relaxing – but make sure your therapist is insured to treat you in early pregnancy, as inappropriate reflexology can exacerbate your symptoms. If you do decide to try reflexology you should be prepared for a “healing crisis” where your symptoms become temporarily worse over the first 24 hours, as your body is “kick-started” into dealing with the symptoms.
Hypnotherapy and Morning Sickness
Hypnotherapy may be effective if your symptoms are exacerbated by being stressed, anxious and fearful, or if you have some ongoing emotional issues, such as relationship problems, a stressful house move, or if there is illness in your family.
Homeopathy and Morning Sickness
There are many homeopathic remedies which can be useful, but it is essential to consult an appropriately qualified practitioner, since taking the wrong remedy for too long can actually cause new symptoms to develop without dealing with the original ones.
I hope you find this post useful and if you suffer from morning sickness now, or in the future, I hope you are able to find some working solutions for you, your body and your individual circumstances. Please leave comments and let me know what else you have found helpful.