While pregnancy can be exciting for many people, some of the physical discomforts experienced by expecting moms can distract from the joy of carrying a baby. Morning Sickness, characterized by nausea and vomiting, is a common but unpleasant condition affecting up to 80% of pregnant women.
Although not necessarily considered a dangerous medical condition, morning sickness can disrupt daily activities and affect overall well-being. Let’s review some of the best morning sickness techniques to help manage the challenges of morning sickness so you can enjoy this special and exciting time.
What Is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness, characterized by nausea, vomiting, and sometimes dizziness, often occurs in the morning but can strike any time. While the exact cause is unknown, researchers believe that morning sickness is likely a result of increased human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This pregnancy hormone circulates in the highest amounts during the first few months of pregnancy.
This may explain why so many women often experience morning sickness most severely during the first trimester of pregnancy. Morning sickness can range from mild to severe, and its severity can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy.
Occasional nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are considered normal, but debilitating, persistent, and severe symptoms will likely require a consult from your healthcare provider for further medical attention.
Natural Techniques to Help Ease Morning Sickness
If you’re experiencing occasional queasiness, the following techniques can help ease those feelings while supporting your and your baby's health.
Ginger is one of the most effective natural approaches to help ease morning sickness. Ginger root contains two important plant compounds, gingerols and shogaols, which are thought to be responsible for reducing feelings of nausea. These powerful plant compounds may help speed up stomach emptying time which can help mitigate nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.
One meta-analysis of six studies discovered that women who took approximately one gram of ginger each day in early pregnancy were five times more likely to experience reduced morning sickness symptoms versus those who took a placebo.
Peppermint is a soothing blend of spearmint and watermint and acts as a natural coolant that can help ease nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Peppermint can come in various forms, including essential oils, candies, and teas.
According to one 2020 study, peppermint tea is a popular choice among pregnant women as it appears to not only alleviate nausea and vomiting but also may reduce other digestive symptoms like constipation. It’s important to note that while peppermint may help with nausea, it can also cause heartburn, so if ingested, it’s best to do so in moderation.
Acupressure is an ancient Chinese therapy that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to help relieve discomforts or to boost your overall health. The P6 point, located on the inside of the wrist, has been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting.
You can apply pressure to this point with your finger or wear acupressure wristbands that apply continuous pressure to the area.
Vitamin B6 Supplements
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Vitamin B6 is a safe option that may be used as the first line of defense against pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
Researchers are unsure about how vitamin B6 works to help alleviate morning sickness. Some scientists theorize that B6 may help alter the processes that cause vomiting within your body.
In one 2014 study of 140 pregnant women, researchers found that taking a vitamin B6 supplement significantly reduced nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy nearly as well as the antihistamine dimenhydrinate, a common drug used to treat nausea.
Alter the Frequency and Timing of Your Meals
Eating small, frequent meals can also help alleviate mild feelings of nausea. Having an empty stomach can actually worsen nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. Therefore, it’s best to try eating five or six “mini meals” each day to ensure your stomach is never empty.
Additionally, adding protein to each meal will help stabilize your blood sugars which can help reduce nausea. If meat doesn’t sound appealing, try milk, yogurt, peanut butter, or almond butter.
The Bottom Line
While pregnancy can be exciting, morning sickness can interfere with your daily activities and may prevent you from fully enjoying this joyful time. Thankfully, a wide variety of natural techniques can help manage the condition.
Experiencing occasional queasiness during pregnancy is normal. However, some women experience more frequent nausea and vomiting that can affect their health and their baby's health. If your feelings of nausea continue to worsen, you’re struggling to keep down food or fluids, or you begin to lose weight, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider to ensure you get the help you need.