Morning sickness affects over half of all pregnant women and can be limiting. Get life back on track with these simple Home Remedies for Morning Sickness.
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ve most likely experienced some form of morning sickness and know how it can affect your day to day life. Let’s look at what causes morning sickness and how you can tackle it with natural home remedies.
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is a term used to refer to an assortment of symptoms experienced by pregnant women during early pregnancy. These include nausea, vomiting, feeling faint and tiredness. A woman suffering from morning sickness may suffer from any of these symptoms or a combination of any of these. It is estimated that approximately over 50% of pregnant women experience morning sickness in some form, usually starting from 5-6 weeks of pregnancy.
Unlike it’s name suggests, the symptoms of morning sickness aren’t restricted to feeling ‘sick in the morning’. For many this is seen as a repulsion to certain food smells, for some it can be a general feeling of queasiness throughout the day and for the unfortunate ones, it can be full blown vomiting at certain times of the day. And then there are those lucky few who don’t experience any of these symptoms at all!
What causes morning sickness?
While there are many reasons attributed to morning sickness, it’s hard to pin point any one as a certain one.
- Production of HCG hormone in large quantities, which does the role of nourishing the baby
- Increase on estrogen and progesterone which slows the passage of food through the digestive tract
- Deficiency in Vitamin B6
- Heightened senses, especially smell
- Increase sensitivity of the digestive system
Morning sickness symptoms usually settle down as the second trimester begins, but it can go on for longer in abut 15-20% of pregnant women. While generally not dangerous, excessive vomiting and complete inability to hold down any food or water can be a sign of something more serious and can lead to dehydration. There are certain OTC medications that claim to relieve nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness, but it’s always best to try natural, safer remedies first. Here we have 15 easy home remedies for morning sickness in pregnant women.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your doctor before implementing any of the remedies below.
15 Home Remedies for Morning Sickness
1. Munch on crackers
An empty stomach tends to increase the symptoms of morning sickness. To avoid this right in the morning, eat something dry as soon as you wake up, like crackers, rusk or toast. Keep them on your bedside table so they’re accessible when you need them.
2. Include more ginger
Ginger is known to have compounds that work similar to anti-nausea drugs, and soothes the stomach. If you can’t think of having ginger juice directly, you can also add it to water or tea, or try dried ginger candy instead.
3. Avoid oily food
Pregnancy is probably when all your friends and relatives visit you with loads of rich and delicious meals. To keep your morning sickness at bay, stay away from oily, greasy foods and opt for bland foods like bananas, apples, rice or white bread.
4. Try Aromatherapy
Most morning sickness cases are triggered by smells. As a result, they can also be alleviated by using the right smells. Try using essential oils like peppermint, lemon or orange. Apply some oil to a cotton ball and inhale it. Test a few scents to know which one is actually helping.
5. Time your supplements
Some prenatal supplements may contain iron, which can increase nausea. Ask your doctor if it’s okay to take them before bed instead of first thing in the morning. This can greatly reduce the nausea experienced on waking up.
6. Practice breathing exercises
Many women find that controlled deep breathing helps to soothe symptoms of morning sickness. To do this, first inhale through the nose to a count of three. Hold your breath for three counts, then exhale to a count of three. Repeat this cycle a few times till you feel better.
7. Eat small frequent meals
Just as oily meals increase nausea, so do large meals. Eat smaller meals, about 5-6 times a day, so you’re grazing and never letting your stomach go empty. Choose meals rich in protein and with less carbohydrates and fat.
8. Don’t drink with meals
Just making your meals smaller isn’t enough; to avoid feeling over-full, it’s better to skip drinking anything while you eat. Stick to drinking fluids between meals, so your stomach is more relaxed.
9. Do light exercise
Exercising may feel like the last thing you want to do when suffering from morning sickness but some movement tends to improve symptoms. Light walking or certain yoga poses are ideal, low impact ideas for pregnant women.
10. Drink lemon juice
Lemons contain neutralizing acids that are known to form bicarbonate compounds that help with nausea and morning sickness. The citrusy smell also helps you feel better, which is why lemon juice is a good option for when you’re feeling queasy.
11. Eat foods rich in Vitamin B6
One of the reasons for morning sickness is a lack of Vitamin B6 in the body. Rather than going for supplements in capsule form, you can try eating foods rich in this vitamin, such as bananas, chicken, avocado and soya.
12. Choose cold foods
For many women, the smell of food cooking is enough to trigger morning sickness. Even cooked food on the table may induce nausea, so it may be better to choose cold foods during such days. Salads, sandwiches and fruit Popsicles are all good ideas to get in some nutrition without feeling heavy.
13. Get enough rest
Simply lying down for a while can ease morning sickness symptoms, especially if you’re on your feet for a great part of the day. Avoid napping right after a meal though, since this can increase feelings of nausea.
14. Track your symptoms
If your morning sickness is confusing you, it’s a good idea to keep a log. Track when you get morning sickness, and what the trigger is and how and when you felt better. This information will help you prepare for sickness bouts properly.
15. Try mint
Mint has been used for generations to ease morning sickness. The peppermint flavor of the leaves offers a cooling and soothing effect. You can either add it to your tea or juice, chew on the leaves or simply smell them when feeling nauseous.
Despite all your precautions, you can’t predict when morning sickness will strike, so it makes sense to stay prepared with a ‘Nausea Kit’. Pack it with plastic bags, wet wipes, a towel, drinking water and a breath freshener.
Please be aware that while some morning sickness is normal, continuous vomiting or fainting requires medical attention. It could be a sign of Hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a more serious illness. Watch out for the following signs:
- Vomiting multiple times a day
- Not being able to eat or drink anything for 12 hours or more
- Dark colored urine
- Feeling dizzy
- Stomach cramps
If you notice any of these, rush to the doctor straight away. You will probably require complete rest and intravenous fluids.