Now that you’re pregnant you’ve probably discovered that in addition to being a wild and wonderful ride into motherhood, pregnancy can also come with some rather unpleasant side effects. From exhaustion to leg cramps, and calf cramps to sleeplessness, each woman’s chief pregnancy complaint can differ, however there is one that many would agree is the worst; morning sickness. In fact, morning sickness affects more than half of all pregnant women with some estimates placing the number of women who suffer with it at closer to 80%. Contrary to what its name implies, morning sickness can strike at any hour and in the worst cases, last all day.
Also known as NVP, (Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy), morning sickness typically starts to affect women around six weeks after they have conceived and for most, will start to wane by week fourteen. There are a number of factors that contribute to morning sickness but the rapid increase in hormone levels is thought to be the biggest culprit.
We know how difficult it can be to deal with morning sickness, particularly if you are working, caring for other children, or both – so we thought we’d dedicate today’s post to some of the ways you can minimize and alleviate the symptoms of NVP.
Eat Your Way to Wellness
You’ve likely heard it before, and with good reason. Stay away from fried, greasy, or spicy foods. Not only are the least nutritious options for you and your growing baby, they are likely contributing to your nausea as well. Protein rich, nutrient dense foods like peanut butter, lean meats, nuts and brown rice are recommended, as are plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Keep Your Blood Sugar From Dipping
Morning sickness seems to be exacerbated when your blood sugar gets low, so it is recommended that you eat throughout the day to keep it up. Keeping juice at your bedside, along with some plain saltine crackers will prove helpful if you sip when you wake through the night, and eat a few crackers before rising in the morning.
Dehydration can worsen nausea so try to take in the recommended 8 glasses of water per day. If you are having trouble drinking large amounts due to vomiting, you can freeze juice or Gatorade in ice cube trays and suck on them throughout the day. Juice popsicles are great for keeping hydrated too!
Take a Prenatal Vitamin with Coated Iron and B6
Not only will a prenatal vitamin help support the nutritional needs of your developing baby, one with increased levels of B6 can actually help to dramatically reduce nausea in pregnancy. It is also important to carefully scan labels as the iron in some prenatal vitamins can actually make your symptoms worse. The iron in your prenatal vitamins should be micro-encapsulated as this is slowly absorbed and less irritating to your digestive system.
Many women have found relief from morning sickness by using the following natural remedies:
Ginger – Studies are inconclusive with regards to whether or not ginger is successful in treating morning sickness, but it’s helped many an expectant mother make it through those first few months. A popular remedy in Chinese medicine for treating stomach upset and digestive disorders, ginger can be taken in the form of a tea using fresh ginger root and hot water, grated on to foods, or blended in to a smoothie. It is also available in capsule form.
Lemon – A little aromatherapy can go a long way to battle morning sickness. Studies have shown that some women experience relief simply from slicing a lemon in half, holding below the nose and inhaling deeply.
Sea Bands / Acupressure – Man women swear by acupuncture wrist bands. These apply pressure to the Nei-Kuan point (located on the forearm, three finger widths above the wrist crease, between the flex tendons) and can alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness. The constant pressure should minimize the nausea, and you also can press on them for added relief if a wave of sickness does take hold.
The good news is that there for the majority of women, there is an end in sight as morning sickness should start to taper off as your enter into your second trimester. Until then, get plenty of rest, follow the tips above and don’t overdo it. You’ll be feeling better in no time at all, and can start to look forward to the arrival of your beautiful baby!
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