Morning sickness is a common complaint for many women in the first trimester. Persistent nausea and vomiting can start from the early weeks, usually petering out by the start of the second trimester, although it can occasionally persist throughout the entire pregnancy. But morning sickness need not mar the enjoyment of this special time. Here are some tried and tested natural remedies to ease your symptoms.
Whilst there are many conventional theories as to what causes pregnancy-related nausea, such as hormones, stress and fatigue, Traditional Chinese Medicine believes it to be linked to a simple obstruction of what is known as the 'Chong' channel, an energy meridian that has a strong connection to both the uterus and the stomach. With a new pregnancy, the flow of energy in this channel (also known as 'qi') can get impeded leading to nausea. This is why acupuncture is so well known for treating morning sickness, and is supported by research. Select a practitioner with experience in obstetric acupuncture, and expect to feel significant improvements from the very first session.
Every woman's morning sickness is different, so it is worth experimenting with a variety of gentle herbal teas to see what suits you. Ginger, lemon balm, peppermint, fennel and chamomile can all be helpful for easing nausea.
Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the remedies I find most effective for my patients is apple cider vinegar. Add one teaspoon of organic, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar with one teaspoon of honey to warm water. This is especially effective if your nausea is accompanied by a bitter taste in the mouth, sinus issues or feelings of irritability.
Nausea can sometimes be triggered by low blood sugar, a common issue for pregnant women. Keep your energy levels up by eating regularly, every one to two hours, even if this snack is something very small and palatable such as a piece of fruit, almonds or raisins. This will keep your blood sugars stable. It is wise to limit sugary foods as they can lead to unstable blood sugars.
Studies have shown increasing your intake of vitamin B6 can help with morning sickness. Try eating more B6-rich foods such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit, especially prunes and apricots, and bananas. Consider adding a B6 supplement with the support of your doctor.
Generally, the only complication of morning sickness is dehydration. Severe morning sickness can require a hospital stay with rehydration through IV fluids. But even mild dehydration can leave you feeling pretty miserable. Make sure to sip fluids throughout the day, adding a splash of fresh lemon or orange to aid absorption.