Morning sickness is no stranger to pregnancy. In fact, it starts pretty early in the 1st trimester (week 6-8) and typically becomes worse until the end of 1st trimester in week 13.
But some do get it almost for the entire pregnancy term. Yes, for over 39 weeks! About 2% of the pregnant women face an even more severe version known medically as “hyperemesis gravidarum.”
The more common morning sickness varies between each woman and even each pregnancy. But luckily, the treatment might not be that complicated.
In this article, I’ll share with you some tips on how to cure morning sickness when pregnant naturally. Some of these are based on personal experience, while others were gathered from friends and family. Let’s see!
First Things First: Why Does Morning Sickness Happen During Pregnancy
It’s crucial to understand the changes that happen in your body when you’re expecting. That way, you can differentiate between normal things that can be overlooked and serious conditions that need immediate attention.
Whenever something goes off in your pregnancy, know that hormones probably have something to do with it! In the case of morning sickness, doctors think the following hormones can be potential culprits.
Estrogen is believed to be the main cause of morning sickness, but the exact mechanism remains a mystery. “We know estrogen can cause nausea because when women start birth-control pills, they often experience a bout of nausea,” says Dr. Julian Peskin, Ob/Gyn, MD.
Without progesterone, your uterus will have continuous cycles of contractions, which might increase the likelihood of a miscarriage. But as it relaxes the uterus, it also relaxes the stomach. Most of the time, this relaxation stimulates stomach acid to flood, which can explain that dreadful vomiting.
The human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is among the first hormones your body secretes after the egg is fertilized. Most of the over-the-counter pregnancy tests depend on its level to determine the test result.
HCG is primarily secreted from the cells surrounding your developing baby. Doctors believe it’s essential for the healthy development of your placenta. While it might not directly cause nausea, it can induce the secretion of more estrogen.
A Physiological Side Effect
First-time moms can easily overwork their bodies, especially during the first weeks. Your body shifts most of the nutrients to nurture your bundle of joy. If you don’t compensate with a balanced diet, you’ll feel queasy as a side effect for low blood sugar.
The Best Home Remedies For Morning Sickness
Now we can start exploring remedies that can put your mind and body at ease.
Calm Down Your Stomach With Ginger
Ginger is hands down the best substance to soothe an upset stomach, thereby alleviating nausea. Try ginger tea, ginger chews, or ginger preserves. But keep your daily ginger intake capped at 1.5 grams to avoid any potential side effects.
Space Out Your Meals
If your stomach is flooded with acid, you have to keep it busy with food to minimize the irritation. To do that, shift your diet from having 3 large meals into having more frequent, smaller ones. This will also ensure your blood sugar never gets too low.
Before you go to bed, leave some crackers, dry bread, or cereal by your side. Having a quick bite right after you wake up should ease out the symptoms sooner.
Although you want to keep your stomach busy, you should never overwork it in the process. Avoid fatty foods with a high amount of grease. Sweets and spices are also among your enemies at this point.
Alternate between high-protein, carbohydrate-rich, salty, and bland foods to achieve the best balance.
Nutrition is important during pregnancy and also during breastfeeding. Here is a simple guide to keep you on track.
Respect Your Food Aversion
That’s where pregnant women differ the most. There will be certain foods that you just can’t stand smelling, regardless of how much you used to love them before. Don’t let this depress you, though. Food aversion will probably phase out after the first trimester ends.
Drink Peppermint Tea
Just like ginger, peppermint is a great stomach relaxant. Adding it to your morning tea should relieve the symptoms faster.
For an enhanced effect, you can try a commercial tea that’s specifically made to fight morning sickness. This should have a bunch of different soothing herbs.
Give Aromatherapy a Try
Unlike cooked food, the smell of some fruits, like orange and lemon, can help your whole body relax. To get the best experience, spray oil extracts over a cotton ball and place it right under your nose.
Get Lots of Prenatal Massage
How about setting back and asking your significant other to pamper you with a light massage? As your muscles lose their tension, you’ll feel less stressed, which should naturally dial back the release of stomach acid.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
After vomiting, your body becomes in an urgent need for water and electrolytes. If you fail to satisfy it, you’ll end up feeling worse after you lose more and more minerals.
Consume Prenatal Vitamins Alongside Meals
Iron-rich prenatal vitamins are crucial for healthy baby growth. However, taking them on an empty stomach will ramp up the possibility of irritation.
And since you’ll increase your meal frequency, you can easily adjust your dose. But always consult your physician before making such changes. Better safe than sorry!
Check this article on everything you need to know about prenatal vitamins.
Eat Crackers, A LOT!
Crackers should be your best friend in the first trimester. Thanks to their sodium bicarbonate content, they’ll settle your stomach acids and prevent the annoying episodes from starting altogether.
I know the struggle. Actually, 9 out of 10 pregnant women experience morning sickness with varying rates and severities.
What’s the silver lining? Well, some doctors believe morning sickness is a good sign that lowers the risk of a miscarriage. So cheer up, mommy! Enjoy your pregnancy journey and don’t let that sickness take over your life.
Most of the time, you’ll find the majority of the mentioned remedies to be effective. Nonetheless, your condition might respond to a specific remedy better than anything else. That’s why I always recommend trying different things until you know what works and what doesn’t.
Now go on and let your pregnancy glow shine all over the place!