During my first pregnancy, clean eating and natural morning sickness remedies were not on my radar. I was convinced I needed a prescription, and took whatever my conventional doctor gave me. Morning sickness had me so ill that I missed work and needed to see the doctor for dehydration and nutritional help. I lost enough weight to require intervention. Both my baby and I are thankful to have survived those months.
My second and third pregnancies arrived with the same nausea. This time, I had heard some scary commercials for attorneys representing mothers who took the same prescription I had during pregnancy—with very unhappy outcomes. So I asked my doctor if there was anything proven to be safe, and she gave me a combination of Vitamin B6 and a sleep aid. When taken together, they’ve been proven safe and effective in helping new moms keep meals and fluids down during pregnancy.
“Safe and effective” sounds good, but what about remedies that actually promote wellness? Research some of your own options and consider implementing some natural cures for nausea. A few ended up worthless to me (Saltines? Really?), but a few are true keepers. Here they are:
Acupressure, a Chinese practice that predates acupuncture, has been proven to decrease nausea, according to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Traditional Asian medical philosophers say that when you’re sick—even with the happy condition of creating life—your body’s energy is either blocked, diminished or out of balance, and finger pressure on certain acupoints can alleviate the trouble.
Indeed, some natural remedies take a little longer to yield results as opposed to prescriptions that knock out symptoms right away. That’s not to say they’re less effective, though. In fact, if you stick with it for a day or two, wearing a couple firm acupressure wristbands can significantly decrease pregnancy-induced nausea, according to the National Institutes for Health (NIH).
The last thing I want to do when I’m sick is jog. According to Mayo Clinic, however, fresh air can help. And in my case, it has: I take walks with my other children, and although it’s initially difficult to gain momentum, I have never once regretted it.
This was a frustrating suggestion to me at first, because like acupressure, it’s not a quick fix. I dismissed it early on, thinking ginger root would target digestion, rather than the hormonal spike that causes pregnancy sickness. The truth? Ginger alleviates both digestion trouble and nausea during pregnancy.
Most people are deficient in minerals without knowing it. Instead of using our doctor as a reactive measure, my family looks to prevent medical problems at home by making sure we’re all getting the vitamins and minerals we need. After all, if the body isn’t getting this vital balance, you shouldn’t be surprised when it malfunctions. So I switched the refined iodized salts in our home with unrefined sea salt, which has 84 trace minerals the other kind just doesn’t have, according to Dr. David Brownstein. Vitamins and minerals are brilliant in that when one is lacking, the others may not do their jobs. The B6 vitamin my doctor prescribed isn’t the endgame, but a conduit for absorption of the mineral magnesium, found in unrefined sea salt.
Also mentioned by Mayo Clinic is aromatherapy. A few years ago I never would have believed essential oils would help something as intense as my morning sickness. But as with my other remedies, the key is diligence and deliberate resolve. To make it work, you need to be intentional about administration of peppermint oil before the nausea strikes each day. I use a diffuser, but I also keep a spray-bottle mixture of peppermint oil and water to spritz around the house on tested fabrics and linens.
Before starting any of these morning sickness remedies for yourself, call your doctor. Run the concept by your health care team before taking anything for your nausea symptoms. And remember, the sickness will all be worth it someday soon.
How have you tackled morning sickness? Leave a comment with your go-to remedy, or tweet us @TomsofMaine!
Image sources: Bethany Johnson
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.