Straight out I have to apologise. To all you mums-to-be who have just come back from hugging the bowl, I must confess that I haven’t suffered a day of ‘morning’ sickness during my pregnancy. That’s not to say that I’ve escaped without incident, I’ve certainly had my crosses to bear, but morning sickness hasn’t been one of them and for that I am definitely grateful. I know a lot of ladies suffer through ‘all-day-every-day-every-time-I-eat-and-often-when-I-don’t-knock-me-on-the head-I’ve-had-enough-of-this’ sickness, and there are many remedies and strategies that have been tried and tested with varying results. All of which are worth a shot because, hey, we’re all different and you just don’t know what might turn out to be your knight in shining armor.
Most women will have heard the advice of eating small amounts of food often – 5-6 meals every few hours with a balance of carbs and protein to maintain blood sugar. Another well known gem is to try eating some crackers before you get out of bed in the morning, and it is also recommended that you make sure you get out of bed slowly, giving your body time to adjust to the cruel harsh world around you. Other dietary ideas are to eat a protein rich snack before bed; avoiding sugary, spicy, fried, and greasy foods; as well as caffeine or artificial sweeteners (what a buzz kill!). Try one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in hot water with honey to taste, peppermint or chamomile tea, mineral water with lemon juice, potato soup, or umeboshi tea (have half a teaspoon of umeboshi in hot water with honey to taste).
Helpful foods might include almonds, crackers, dried fruits, egg sandwiches (go figure), grapefruit, yeast extract, miso, noodles, pasta, peaches, pears, peppermints, potatoes (any form), white bread, and yoghurt. Try to keep to food that are easy to digest to give the body a bit of an easier ride during this time. Keeping apple juice beside your bed and sipping on that through the night is another idea to help maintain blood sugar levels (although it can’t be too great for those cavities), and eating all things ginger – cutting or grating ginger to make ginger tea (with honey to taste), taking ginger root in capsule form, ginger ale, crystallised ginger, ginger chews… is another well-known cure for that nasty nausea. Just be mindful that you should limit your intake of ginger tea to three cups a day, and that it will take a couple of days for the antiemetic properties in the ginger to reach therapeutic levels so don’t expect instant results.
Certain vitamins and minerals can also be helpful in treating morning sickness. Taking 25mg of vitamin B6 three times a day has been shown to help ease nausea, but it’s effect on vomiting is less definite. Increasing your overall intake of B complex vitamins as well as iron intake may also help – Floridex Liquid Iron Formula is a great way to boost your iron levels and it’s a food-based supplement so it won’t block you up (because the last thing you need is to add constipation to your list of woes). A zinc supplement of 25mg per day may also be useful in getting you back on your feet.
Sea sickness bands are another idea, as they activate the Acupuncture point Pericardium 6, which is a proven point for easing nausea. Acupuncture itself is an excellent therapy to try to help combat morning sickness, and many women have found great relief by utilising it. My experience with treating morning sickness with Acupuncture has been overall very positive. What I have found is that, as is often the case with Chinese Medicine, treatments tend to be accumulative. This means that ladies come in and after one treatment they might have relief for 1-3 days. After the next treatment the results will usually last a bit longer, maybe 3-5 days, and then after another treatment results will last a couple of weeks or the issue is resolved. Often after 3-4 treatments I don’t see ladies again for this problem, which is great news all round!
With all these ideas to try, you should hopefully be able to find some relief from this very unfortunate part of what is a truly magical process. Good luck!!!
Tanya Kane is a Chinese Medicine practitioner who at the time of writing is 32 weeks pregnant and has had the good fortune to not have experienced anything beyond a brief glimmer of nausea less than a handful of times during her pregnancy. Tanya does however offer a disclaimer in that she has a few other rather unpleasant stories she could share that may (or may not) even the score. Tanya offers Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for fertility, pregnancy and everything either side.