Four Things That You Can Do For Pregnancy Nausea (and A Fifth That Your Acupuncturist Can Do For You)
After my recent post on helping Maisie with her onerous pregnancy heartburn, I thought I would put together this list of my best lifestyle advice for helping with pregnancy nausea. Taking onboard these adjustments should go a long way to helping with any pregnancy nausea and vomiting that you might be experiencing.
Before we start it’s important to say that women’s experience of morning sickness can vary as much as their experience of labour. So, don’t be upset if the advice you receive from other people doesn’t help in your case.
Also, please try not to feel judged by people who ‘just got on with things’ when they had pregnancy nausea. There are massive variations in the degree to which women can experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
So, with that said, here are four top tips for helping to manage your pregnancy nausea and vomiting:
1. Take Care with Your Fluid Intake to Avoid Pregnancy Nausea
Becoming even slightly dehydrated will make any nausea you are experiencing more intense. Signs to look out for include dry lips, feeling thirsty, and reduced urine output. (Note: you should inform your doctor or midwife if your urine output decreases to only once a day)
Drink Little and Often
If you’re finding it difficult to drink fluids in large quantities, then focus on consuming small amounts frequently.
Soups can be a great source of liquids, and potato soup is well-regarded for being easy on the stomach.
Try Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is often recommended for morning sickness, but avoid consuming more than three cups in one day. (see below for guidance on how to make ginger tea)
Try Peppermint Tea
Ginger tea is warming for the stomach but, according to Chinese Medicine, nausea can also be a result of excessive heat in the stomach. If ginger tea isn’t working for you, you should try peppermint tea which has a cooling effect.
Try Carbonated Drinks
If you find that belching helps your nausea, then you could try carbonated drinks for their ‘support’ in this area. You could even combine this with the advice above and go for a ginger-based drink.
Try Ice Cubes & Watermelons
If your practitioner hasn’t advised you to avoid cold foods and drinks, you could try sucking on ice cubes and eating watermelon or pears.
2. Pay Attention to How What You Eat Affects Your Nausea
Listen to your own body
Pay attention to what food and drinks increase your nausea, and be aware that this may be very different from the advice that you receive from others.
Find those moments when you feel least sick, and eat the most nutritious foods you can.
Eat Little and Often
Having small regular snacks helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Try to have a small snack every one to two hours, before a feeling of hunger sets in – this could be just a few raisins or nuts (almonds are recommended), a sandwich, or a piece of fruit.
Overeating can intensify nausea so you must find your own balance.
You might want to give up the idea of having regular meals, and just spread your food intake throughout the day.
Cut Down on Sugary Foods
Sugary foods will quickly elevate your blood sugar levels so they should be avoided. Try to consume slower-releasing carbs such as fruit, potatoes, bread, pasta, and rice.
You may find it helpful to have a high-protein snack (such as nuts or yoghurt) before bed and a carbohydrate snack (such as toast or oat cakes) on waking.
Get More of the Vitamins that May Help
A B-complex vitamin is particularly helpful for nausea in early pregnancy.
If you find yourself craving sweet foods, it could be a sign that you are low in one or more of the minerals that help to regulate blood sugar balance – zinc, magnesium, chromium, and manganese. Taking these along with a B-complex vitamin should help. (I like Viridian, but other suppliers are available)
3. Get All the Rest Your Pregnant Body Needs
Acknowledge that Your Body is Going Through Big Changes
Although you may not yet be able to see any external signs of pregnancy, your body is already going through tremendous changes, and rest will be very beneficial.
If you feel the need to go to bed early then just go ahead and do it. Your body is very good at telling you what it needs.
Please don’t feel guilty that you are tired, and don’t think that it’s a sign of weakness if you need to rest. As mentioned before, all women respond differently to pregnancy and you need to do what’s best for your situation.
If possible, you might consider arranging some time off for those periods of the day when you feel worst. You might think about starting work an hour later or arranging some childcare for a few weeks.
4. Avoid Smells That Might Set Off Your Nausea
Surround yourself with more pleasant odours. If you are feeling overwhelmed by smells you can try applying lemon oil (or whatever scent works for you) to a scarf or use an aromatic oil burner.
5. Get Acupuncture Treatment for Pregnancy Nausea
Acupuncture can offer great relief for pregnancy nausea but, if you seek treatment, you should understand the importance of getting on top of the imbalances that are causing your nausea. This could mean coming for 3 or 4 sessions spaced every couple of days in order to really allow the treatment to have a good effect.
In my clinic, I like to see a client with pregnancy nausea for a normal weekly appointment and then arrange a time for them to come back that same week and have a shorter treatment at no extra charge. See my page on pregnancy-related issues to find out more.
Also, do note that Acupuncture treatment can offer great support for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, but it’s important to remember that your nausea will likely return if you overstep your body’s limits.
The following drinks are recommended for helping with pregnancy nausea:
- Chamomile Tea, Ginger Ale, Water with Lemon Juice, Peppermint Tea, and Potato Soup.
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar – Pour 1 tbs into a mug, fill it with boiling water, and then add honey to taste.
- Ginger Tea – grate a piece of root ginger the size of your thumbnail and steep it in boiling water for 10 mins, then add honey to taste. (Note: drink no more than 3 cups a day)
The following foods also come recommended for helping with pregnancy nausea:
Almonds (Almond Milk), Oat Cakes, Dried Fruit – especially apricots and raisins, Egg Sandwiches, Grapefruit, Marmite, Miso, Noodles, Pasta, Peaches, Pears, Peppermints, Potatoes, Baby food, White Bread, and Yoghurt.
Remember. given the variety of responses that women may have during pregnancy, listen to your own body and find what works for you…