Morning sickness is an uncomfortable, yet a very common condition in early pregnancy. Around 50% to 75% of all pregnant women complain of the infamous morning sickness during the first trimester. Regular vomiting and loss of appetite are not only unpleasant side effects in everyday life, but can also lead to a shortage of essential nutrients and a lack of fluids in both mother and child. Our five tips against pregnancy sickness help you to combat the symptoms naturally, providing yourself and your baby with optimal care regardless of nausea, thanks to small but effective tricks.
1. Get your ginger on – Homemade ginger tea against nausea
Sufficient fluid intake is vital in pregnancy. In addition to at least two to three liters of water daily, the right teas help relax stomach and mind. Drinking a cup of freshly infused ginger tea before breakfast helps to prevent morning sickness. The ingredients of this spicy tuber are proven to be just as successful as a medical painkiller, as they target the serotonin receptor ion channels, which are involved in vomiting. In addition, ginger is especially useful in the cold winter months. Its typical spiciness creates a cozy warmth from the inside out, boosts the digestive system, and, with plenty of vitamin C, is an unbeatable home-remedy during the cold period.
Keep in mind that for pregnant women, a mild ginger tea variety is recommended and also smaller doses. Simply grate one to two centimeters of fresh ginger and pour one liter of hot water over it, letting it soak for about 15 minutes. Drink the infusion while it’s warm and in smaller gulps instead of all at once. Although ginger has been said to promote labor-inducing activity, it is considered harmless in small doses during early pregnancy. Nevertheless, to make sure that ginger is the right choice for your pregnancy you should ask your gynecologist for advice before consuming it, same as with other foods.
2. Ice cubes or frozen fruit during acute loss of appetite
If drinking or eating is not an option on some days, frozen fruit can provide you with at least some fluids and vitamins. As a pregnant woman you should always have a stash of frozen fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or the like in a bag in your freezer. Simply eat the icy fruits as you would a lollipop or candy, one at a time. This ensures you still get vitamins and some sort of food into your system, even if the sheer thought of eating makes you nauseous. Even just drinking can sometimes be a real challenge for expectant moms. On those days, the slow sucking of an ice cube is a more enjoyable alternative to conventional fluid intake.
3. Citrus oil and lavender compresses – Aromatherapy against morning sickness
Essential oils are gentle and soothing helpers against nausea. Essential oils with citrus fruit scents like lemon, orange and grapefruit directly improve the symptoms and help to elevate the mood. In the cold season, for example, you can try placing small bowls of water with two to three drops of citrus oil on the radiator or use a diffuser, in order to avoid a dry room climate. In the evening, the senses shouldn’t be stimulated too much. Soothing lavender compresses on the stomach and forehead are a relaxing blessing for the body and mind before going to bed.
Attention: Use only natural oils and inform yourself in advance at the pharmacy. Make sure to ask which oils are absolutely harmless during pregnancy, as certain substances could cause premature labor. The power of natural essences should not be underestimated!
4. Acupressure against nausea 4. Acupressure bracelets to fight sickness
A proven method from seafaring and travel sickness: the acupressure bracelet. As the name suggests, this bracelet uses the power of acupressure. A small elevation on the inside of the elastic band pushes continuously (but lightly) on the acupressure point Kei-Nuan, which is located in the middle of the wrist. This physical method has been proven to relieve nausea. Acupressure bracelets are available from different manufacturers and in different colors in pharmacies or on the Internet.
5. Vitamin B6 and B12 – Vitamins and minerals to combat nausea in pregnancy
Although classic pregnancy nausea is hormonally controlled, a vitamin B6- or vitamin B12 deficiency may promote nausea and loss of appetite. For acute and long-lasting symptoms you should therefore consult your gynecologist and check your vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 household with a blood test. If a deficiency of the essential B vitamins is detected, you will be prescribed the appropriate supplements, as a sufficient vitamin B supply during pregnancy is extremely important for the healthy development of your baby’s nervous system.
The right diet can easily provide a good vitamin intake. For example, vitamin B6 is found in higher amounts in whole grain cereals, wheat germ, meat, sea fish, soy, cabbage, leeks, bananas and peppers. Vitamin B12 occurs in milk, sour milk products, meat, cheese or eggs. In between, small snacks with plenty of potassium can counteract nausea; try chewing dried fruit like apricots and hazelnuts or almonds frequently and slowly. For long-lasting nausea it’s recommended to eat a lot of small snacks throughout the day, instead of a few large portions.