Learn natural recommendations for morning sickness from a homebirth Midwife.
Many people wait until they are past 10 weeks before their first appointment with a care provider. But, a lot of people are already starting to experience nausea a few weeks after conception! So, here are a few tried-and-true tips while you may be waiting for your first appointment.
For most, morning sickness tends to peak at around 9 weeks and by the beginning of your second trimester (13 weeks) you should be feeling pretty good. BUT, everyone is little bit different and some of these time periods may vary depending on hormone levels and how your body deals with them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You should always call a care provider if you haven't held anything down, including water, for over 24 hours! You may be sent to an emergency room, where they can give you IV fluids and will likely prescribe some anti nausea medication.
SNACK BEFORE GETTING OUT OF BED
Most people that get morning sickness tend to experience it worst, when they have low blood sugar. Since you probably ate dinner hours before you went to bed, chances are your blood sugar is low when you wake up in the morning (hence why the 'morning' sickness). To stop this cycle from the start, I recommend keeping a snack on your nightstand. This can be crackers, fruit, candied ginger, granola bar.. whatever seems appetizing. But, don't get out of bed until you've nibbled on something.
GINGER TEA & CANDIES
Ginger, whether fresh or dried makes an excellent tea that is best taken first thing in the morning to help avoid the first waves of nausea. Ginger in normal amounts, such as a cup of tea, should be completely safe to take up to 3 times a day. I like to add 1 tsp of dried ginger root to a cup of boiling water, cover and let steep for 15 min, strain and add a little raw local honey to taste.
If tea isn't your thing, you can also find some great candy options. If you like the taste of ginger, candied ginger is a great item to put in your nightstand (to eat upon waking up) and put in your purse to eat throughout the day. A guilty pleasure of mine is actually the Chimes Mango Ginger Chews *drool*, they are delicious and I keep a bunch of them at my office.
WARM LEMON WATER & ESSENTIAL OIL
Part of the reason why some may experience morning sickness, is because all of our elimination organs (like your liver and kidneys) are doing extra work while we're pregnant. To help them out, there are simple things we can do like drink a cup of warm water with a squeeze of lemon in the morning.
Citrus scents have also been shown to help those with nausea. Lemon essential oil is very easy to find and not very expensive. You could toss it in your purse and smell it anytime you needed. Spearmint is also a nice essential oil for nausea if you don't like citrus. Essential oils are a great tool to have if you work (or live hahaha) in a place with offensive smells.
If you find you are having a hard time keeping things down, chances are plain water might also not seem appealing. If you aren't drinking enough water, it can cause complications. So, if you are feeling nauseas and especially if you are throwing up, I would highly recommend that you add electrolytes to your water. You can find a flavor you like and it should help with dehydration. My favorites are Nuun Tablets and Liquid IV (watered down). An even more natural alternative would be coconut water with a pinch of Celtic sea salt.
INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN
Remember that most people experience more morning sickness when they have low blood sugar. Protein is not only the very building blocks of life and should increase during pregnancy, but they also help us regulate our blood sugar. You want to aim for 80 grams of protein in early pregnancy and try avoiding sweets. If this seems like a lot, remember that 1 serving of chicken is the size of a deck of cards and contains 33g of protein. We often eat more than that without realizing. When food just isn't appealing, protein shakes can be a good alternative.
B6 & MILK THISTLE CAPSULES
If you've tried these suggestions and you are still struggling, you might try a vitamin B6 supplement and milk thistle capsules. B6 is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in many foods and supplement recommendations for nausea are 100mg, timed release capsules of vitamin B6, taken before bed. I should note here that if you take too much vitamin B, it can make you feel flushed and tingly. Which is why I prefer the timed release capsules. If you can't find those, get a 25mg dose.
Milk Thistle capsules work similarly as the warm lemon water, but with a bit more action. Milk thistle works to support your liver, which is responsible for metabolizing hormones and getting rid of toxins. It is important to note that you should never take an herbal detox product while you are pregnant. Milk thistle works differently in that it is a hepatoprotectant and acts like an antioxidant. I recommend taking 1 capsule, 3x times a day.
PRACTICE YOUR DEEP BREATHING
Now is a great time to practice your breaths! Deep breathing has long been
shown to help decrease nausea and stress levels. Start out by closing your eyes and breath in through your nose until your lungs are full, pause 3 seconds and slowly breathe out through your mouth. Continue until you feel the nausea pass and you are nice and relaxed. These are exactly what we recommend during labor contractions!
For those you might be experiencing more nausea than normal, maybe their care provider has mentioned you might have hyperemisis, acupuncture may also offer some relief.
VITAMIN B6 + UNISOM
For my last recommendation, if you still feel like you need something more powerful and you're not ready to see your provider, you can combine vitamin B6 with 25 mg of Unisom SleepTabs once before bed. This should really only be used as a temporary fix and not a long term solution for hyperemesis. If your nausea continues past the first trimester or you find yourself still unable to keep anything down for more than 24 hours, it's time to see a care provider for anti-nausea prescription medication.
It’s also important to note that in Unisom SleepGels and some other Unisom formulations, the active ingredient is diphenhydramine (not doxylamine). So double-check the active ingredients to be sure you’re getting the right kind.
Randomized trials offer evidence that this combination treatment can reduce nausea and vomiting by up to 70 percent, though drowsiness is a known side effect of Unisom.