What causes morning sickness?
Morning sickness affects around 80% of all pregnancies. Its effects range from mild nausea when first waking up to around-the-clock sickness. While science is still looking for the exact cause of morning sickness, the current evidence suggests hormonal changes may be the biggest contributor. Other theories suggest nutritional gaps and genetics may be to blame, while some have found success in reducing their morning sickness severity by building up key vitamins and minerals before becoming pregnant.
A small percentage of pregnant women will experience an extreme form of morning sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is characterized by relentless vomiting that leads to malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, and electrolyte imbalances that commonly result in hospitalization. If you believe you may be experiencing Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I urge you to contact your care provider to make a treatment plan that works for you and your family. Many of the typical morning sickness remedies, like the ones in this blog today, will not be enough for coping with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
What helps with morning sickness?
1. The Right Prenatal Vitamins
Organic, plant-based vitamins instead of synthetic vitamins are easily digested and recognized by the body. Trading out any synthetic vitamins with something like these can make a difference
2. Eat Small, Frequent Meals
Eating high-carb and bland foods often helps to stabilize blood sugar levels that often drop due to hormonal changes in early pregnancy. An organic baked potato with a dash of sea salt can work wonders! Also, keep a few snacks on your nightstand to eat before even getting out of bed each morning. Don't forget to throw plenty of snacks in your purse for outings and a quick pick-me-up at work!
A few ideas are:
Whole grain crackers
Listen to your body and rest when you are tired. This can be tricky between work, other children, and life in general. Even if you're unable to take a nap, make it a point to relax instead of using up energy when you can. It's not uncommon for a pregnant mama to need a mid-day nap during the 1st trimester! After all, your body is doing some amazing work right now.
4. Keep it Cool
It's common for nausea to intensify when we get too hot. If it's cooler weather outside, step outside to let the cool air refresh you for a few minutes. During summer, place a cold, wet washcloth on the back of your neck, then sit or lay in front of a fan. Keep some baby wipes in your car or purse for moments away from home in warmer months. Other ways to control your body temperature is wearing layers, blasting the A/C in a car, and tossing a key chain fan in your bag.
Related Post: First Trimester Checklist
5. Stay Hydrated
Sip on chilled, filtered water throughout the day. To boost the taste and balance electrolytes, try adding lemon juice to your water. To keep hydrated, take small drinks often and incorporate herbal teas designed for the 1st trimester like this one, peppermint & ginger teas, natural ginger ale, mint water, and organic electrolyte drinks.
While candies are no substitute for a meal, they can help to stabilize blood sugar between your frequent small meals. Candy that is tart seems to work much better!
Here are some of our favorite candies to try:
Preggie Pop Drops
Black Forrest Organic Sour Heads
Yum Earth Organic Sour Pops
Trader Joe's Organic Ginger Mints
Altoids Peppermint Mints
Real Fruit Pops
Sea-Bands are cheap and easy to find. They work by applying acupressure on the P6 point located on the wrist area. Because Sea-Bands are a drug-free method, there are no side effects, and they can be worn as long as you need.
8. Vitamin B-6
Increasing your B6 levels can help with morning sickness. This can be done by eating more foods rich in vitamin B6, such as sunflower seeds, or by taking a supplement. Many care providers are suggesting using over-the-counter B6 and Unisom, a sleep aid, to help relieve morning sickness. Ask your midwife or doctor about how and when to use this combo for morning sickness relief.
9. Chiropractic Care
Seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy has many, many benefits! Chiropractic care works by aligning your spine in order for your body to function and heal at its optimal level. If you've tried all the home remedies and are still battling with morning sickness, look into seeing a chiropractor for a few adjustments.
Manage symptoms of morning sickness with some gentle, at-home yoga. Check out this yoga sequence that is especially for morning sickness relief, or put together your own playlist for a personalized energy flow! If you already have a gym membership, check out what yoga classes your guy may offer, or look into joining a local yoga studio that offers prenatal yoga classes.
Even those afraid of needles report not feeling anything when receiving acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture is gentle and relaxing! We are so lucky in Knoxville to have an acupuncturist who specializes in reproductive health! Check out Tennessee Center for Reproductive Acupuncture!
What were the things that helped you cope with morning sickness? Were any not on this list? If so, leave them in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!