Nausea during pregnancy is common which may be reassuring if you are suffering but we aren’t sure that makes it any more tolerable. 70-80% of pregnant women experience nausea throughout their first trimester, and 50% experience nausea plus vomiting; so if you are experiencing it, you are not alone!
What causes nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy?
Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure. There are many contributing factors that can impact nausea and morning sickness such as hormonal changes, blood sugar levels, pregnancy induced exhaustion, hydration levels, and pregnancy related digestive issues.
In some cases nausea and morning sickness can be caused by more serious issues like a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum or HG. HG can be serious, and should be treated by your midwife or doctor.
Okay, so what helps?
For those who experience morning sickness and cases of nausea without severe vomiting, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks from our team of providers (most of whom are mamas themselves)! We hope they will help ease some of that pregnancy related queasiness.
Holistic treatments such as:
- Homeopathy: Homeopathy is a holistic and natural approach to treatment, and its practitioners prescribe remedies similar to the cause of the problem and/or symptoms of the problems, so as to treat it naturally, and help the body overcome disease states. Homeopathy can be effective in treating many pregnancy related ailments, including nausea.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture can be used throughout pregnancy, even during the first trimester. Acupuncture can help common first trimester issues such as fatigue, nausea, and hormone imbalance. A skilled acupuncturist knows which points are safe for pregnant people, and which aren’t, so it is important to find a practitioner who is skilled in treating pregnant people.
- Chiropractic care: Chiropractic adjustments can support overall wellness and alignment. Regular chiropractic care can help the body release built up tensions and stress optimizing the body’s responses, digestion patterns and overall well-being; and are a great way to ensure your body is able to adapt to change and stress that can be brought on by pregnancy.
Nutrition: We can’t stress enough the importance of nutrition during pregnancy. We recommend a whole food diet, filled with plenty of protein, water, and greens. Seek out support from a holistic nutritional counselor for more personalized meal plans and tips that can help you throughout your entire pregnancy (and beyond!). A personalized consult can help you determine what you may be deficient in, and your practitioner will be able to offer personalized suggestions for attainable diet changes that can have a positive impact on you and your baby – including combating that nausea!
In the meantime here are some general tips:
- Eat small protein filled snacks every hour or every couple of hours
- Suck on lemon wedges
- Warm, natural Gingerale (not the kind with added sugar!)
- Keep nuts or other protein filled snacks on your nightstand so if you wake up in the middle of the night you can have a handful easily. This also helps you to eat something before you get out of bed in the morning
- Increase intake of foods which contain B6 Vitamin. Here are some foods high in Vitamin B6:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pistachio nuts
- Fish: Tuna and Salmon (wild caught)
- Poultry such as chicken and turkey (pasture raised)
- Grass Fed Beef
- Pinto Beans
- Dried fruit such as prunes, raisins, or apricots
- Sesame Seeds
*Products / supplements: As with any supplements, it is important to find quality, whole food supplements with minimal or no additives.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, Vitamin B6 is “crucial for the healthy function of the brain and nervous system and thus plays a critical role in the development of your baby.”
Taking a B6 supplement can help to:
- Support a healthy nervous system
- Support energy metabolism
- Provides you with the niacin and vitamin B6* you need for pregnancy
Unisom is an over the counter sleep aid that is said to help reduce nausea. Use with caution and only after speaking with your medical provider. Often times Unisom is prescribed along with B6.
Essential oils can be an effective way to curb nausea; and using them can be as simple as smelling the right out of the bottle! They are small and compact so easy to travel with for those unanticipated bouts of nausea. Note it is not safe to ingest essential oils, or use directly on skin. Our in house oils consultant Melissa Mortimer recommends the following oils:
- QueaseEASE – a blend of essential oils
- Alkalime – essential oil based fiz sticks
CBD oil can be used to treat a variety of ailments. It is plant-derived and therefore natural but little research has been done to know if it’s completely safe during pregnancy. However, many tout about CBD and it’s effectiveness in curbing nausea.
A pregnancy safe bitters formula that contains chamomile and ginger. This pairing of chamomile and ginger can helps to soothe and calm occasional upset stomachs, occasional nausea, can help soothe your stomach during stress, and can be used for occasional heartburn, gas & bloating. Just overall, a great tool to have in your toolkit!
Digestive Enzymes like Papaya Enzyme Chewables or Vital-Zymes Chewable 180 Chewables – Klaire Labs can help your body’s improve digestion.
Sour sucking candies – Any kind you like! I always had a pack of Sour IceBreakers on hand.
And finally, this tip from our doula, Janalyn Pomeroy:
Nausea during pregnancy is common but never fun. Just remember that when you are feeling nauseous it can make your pregnancy feel miserable. It’s ok to not be excited or happy every moment of pregnancy. Give yourself permission to rest and adjust when you are feeling bad the majority of the day.
*Speak with your OB or midwife before ingesting any supplements.