Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Although dealing with nausea, upset stomach, dizziness and those constant sprints to the porcelain thrown are not things you ever feel like celebrating, it is the sure sign that you have a beautiful little peanut sprouting in your belly! If you are experiencing “morning sickness” during your pregnancy, look at it as a good sign that pregnancy hormone levels are high enough for your baby to develop, grow and flourish in your womb. If you are one of those mums who don’t experience morning sickness, though, just enjoy your nausea-free pregnancy, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong.
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is one of the most common and well known pregnancy symtoms. The precise cause of morning sickness is not known, but it is likely the result of the large change in hormone production.
When Does Morning Sickness Occur?
“Morning” sickness can happen during any time of the day, not just in the morning! Bouts of nausea and vomiting last longer in some women than others, and some women don’t experience it at all.
The symptoms usually take place during the first 12-14 weeks of being pregnant. Remember, even if you do fall into the category of women who experience nausea or vomiting during pregnancy, is IS only temporary!
Remedies For Morning Sickness
Each pregnant woman is unique and will experience different symptoms, cravings and solutions to deal with nausea and vomiting during pregancy.Every woman is different, and it’s important to experiment and figure out what works best for you.
Some common ways to alleviete symptoms of morning sickness during pregnancy are:
- Herbal therapies
- Acupuncture: we recommend Acubalace for prenatal acupuncture.
- Yoga: Lori Lucas specializes in prenatal and mom-and-baby yoga classes, at the best price we’ve seen in Vancouver!
- Chiropractic Care: Birth Takes A Village loves Dr. Jamie Hennessay.
- Nutritional remedies (see below)
Talk to your care provider and practitioners who specialize treating women experiencing challenging pregnancy sypmtoms to make sure you are making safe and healthy choices to alleviate any pregnancy symptoms you may be experiencing, including managing morning sickness.
Foods Choices That May Aggravate Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy:
- Deep-fried, greasy foods
- Spicy foods
- Caffeinated or sugary drinks
- Be mindful of which foods you trigger your personal nausea symptoms, and avoid them!
Food Remedies For Morning Sickness
- Eat 6-8 small frequent meals throughout the day. Low blood sugar / blood sugar crashes can lead to nausea. Eating small, frequent meals helps to stabilize your blood sugar.
- Keep hydrated, drink 10-16 glasses of filtered water
- Herbal teas can help alleviate nausea associated with pregnancy., ginger, peppermint, lemon are good ones, although you should avoid peppermint if you also have heartburn! Speak to a herbalist or your midwife before taking herbs during pregnancy. Click HERE for a good list of herbs for morning sickness.
- Lemonade is a great drink to fight off nausea. Even just the scent pf fresh lemons may provide some relief.
- Try drinking 1-2 fruit smoothies a day
- Keep crackers, dried granola, nuts and other snacks by your bed so you have snacks to eat as soon as you wake up. Although you may not want to eat or feel hungry, nausea is much more likely to occur on an empty stomach
- Eat mostly bland high carb foods, like dry toast, plain baked potatoes, crackers, crisps, pretzels, popcorn and pastas
- High-protein foods work great as well, lots of lean meat, beans, legumes, nut butters (try avoiding peanut ones, and choose almond instead), hard cheeses, poultry, milk (try avoiding soy), and nuts, almonds are the best choice to have in a bag handy to snack on throughout the day
- Try drinking 1-2 fruit smoothies a day
- “Liver-clearing” foods such as radishes, artichokes & beets are good choices to include in your diet
Cereal (dry or with a little milk)
- Snacks (plenty throughout the day)
Plain, dry crackers (Saltines, Ritz)
Plain popcorn (no butter or salt)
Pretzels, almonds and potato chips (salted, not spicy flavors)
Celery sticks, carrot sticks, apples, raisins, prunes
- Lunch & dinner
Soup or broth
Rice (white or brown)
Unseasoned plain mashed potatoes, plain baked potato
Water – filtered is best. Visit water matters near Vancouver General Hospital for info on healthy drinking water in Vancouver.
Fruit juices, frozen fruit juice bars (Popsicles)
Decaffeinated/ herbal teas: (peppermint, chamomile, Gingerroot tea)
Consider consulting a Holistic Nutritionist or a Registered Dietician. A consultation can give you a more throrough and personalized nutritional remedies for pregnancy symptoms, while ensuring you are getting all the nutrients you need for you and baby. Most extended health plans cover Registered Dieticians. Holisitic Nutritionists and Dieticians take different approaches to nutritional health, so look into your options and pick a practitioner that fits for you. We recommend Urban Dieticians and The Health Nerd for nutritional information.
- Vitamin B6 is a good morning sickness treatment. Oral B6 can be difficult to take while nauseated, so look into B6 injections.
- Folic Acid can also help alleviate symptoms of morning sickness
- Milk Thistle is known to relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
- Iron is a common supplement prescribed to women during pregnancy. It sometimes causes nausea. Speak to your doctor or midwife about this, and ask for suggestions before altering your dose in any way.
- Get plenty of fresh air
- REST! REST! REST! REST! Very important to nap during the day, and try to stay in bed for an extra 30-60mins before getting up
- Avoid smoking, as it can add to nausea symptoms during pregnancy
- Make slow and mindful movements
- Avoid strong odors, perfumes, scented lotions which can aggravate nausea
A Naturopathic Doctor may be able to help you manage morning sickness and other common uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Naturopathic Doctors are covered by most extended health plans, and have prescription prescribing rights in B.C. They can administer vitamin injections such as Vitamin B6, and build you a treatment plan based on a combination of nutrition, supplements, acupuncture, homeopathy and lifestyle. Try Dr. Karen Nguyen in Vancouver, or Dr. Rikst Attema if you are on the island!
Stay tuned as Teresa continues to build a library of nutritional resources for Birth Takes a Village, or sign up for our newsletter to receive new articles as they are published!