Thursday, January 11, 2007

Remedies for morning sickness - do they really exist?

Remedies for morning sickness - do they really exist? by Barbara Eastcairn


Morning sickness and nausea are experienced by the vast majority of women during pregnancy. Traditionally, the symptoms are most severe in the mornings, and between the second and third months of pregnancy, but many women say that morning sickness can persist right through to the end of their pregnancy.

Before we look at the available remedies, it will be useful to look at the causes of morning sickness. While medical science has not reached a consensus, it is widely accepted that it is caused by a number of factors in combination. These factors include the increase of estrogen in the body during pregnancy (hormone changes), low blood sugar levels (these are at their very lowest after sleep), extreme sensitivity to smells, and the body reacting to limit the intake of foods that may be harmful to a developing embryo.

If it is of any comfort, it has been shown in various studies that pregnant women with the severest morning sickness have a lesser chance of a miscarriage, so it may be an adaptive advantage to be sick and nauseous.

There are many, many traditional remedies for morning sickness which may work for you and we will only cover the most popular here.

Remedies for morning sickness include -

1. Ginger - taken in capsules, in tea or in food (ginger biscuits) is one of the most common recommendations. You can also suck natural ginger root.

2. Dry crackers or dry toast - eaten instead of, or before breakfast. You can also snack on these during the day.

3. Lemons - taking a little lemon juice or simply smelling it.

4. Meal size reduction - instead of large meals, have smaller ones spread throughout the day. Snack if you feel even a little hungry - do not allow yourself to get very hungry then gorge food.

5. Only eating bland foods with no strong flavors or spices, no rich sauces, and no greasy foods.

6. Avoiding cigarette smoke (it goes without saying you should not be smoking yourself).

7. Taking a small snack during the night if you get up.

8. Getting outside and breathing deeply.

9. Sucking some ice or sipping some water.

10. Taking vitamin B6 (many prenatal supplements will have this).

11. Sipping warm or cold peppermint tea.

12. Lying down and not moving for a couple of minutes if you feel nausea.

If you try all these and find none of them work for you, and you are vomiting all food back up, you should see a physician - you do not want to get dehydrated or undernourished.

It may also help you to vary your diet for a week, and at the same time to keep a daily journal of exactly what you are eating. Also note down whenever you have particularly bout of nausea or vomiting. It should become obvious after a week (or less) which foods your body doesn't want.

Good luck, and morning sickness will eventually pass!

About the Author

Barbara Eastcairn writes about health issues. To see her recommended remedy for morning sickness, see Morning Sickness at Eastcairn.com.

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