Sunday, 9 September 2012

Natural Remedies for "Morning" Sickness

Morning sickness is not always the first sign of pregnancy but it's certainly the most notable. Morning sickness will typically begin at any time during the first trimester and usually stop by week 12. By this time, you'll realise that it isn't only "morning" sickness...but afternoon and evening sickness too. For some women, this nausea can strike at any time of day and continue throughout the entire pregnancy.

Unfortunately nobody can really say with any certainty what causes hormones but we do know that it's linked to changing hormones. We've compiled a list of age old and natural remedies for morning sickness - as well as some modern treatments.

Interestingly, there are some remote parts of world where morning sickness is completely unheard of! These women haven't been preconditioned by the tv and movie industries shows to believe that they must suffer from it, that's it's an inevitable part of every pregnancy. Combined with healthy eating and sleeping habits, few of these women even know that morning sickness exists.

Natural remedies to help you control morning sickness

  • Salty crackers are a popular remedy as long as you can get to them in time.
  • Try a little soft drink, especially ginger ale which calms the stomach.
  • Get plenty of rest - throughout your pregnancy you'll need to tune into your body, now is a really good time to start.
  • Try to work some ginger into your diet - ginger has lots of benefits and is an age old remedy for nausea.
  • Keep yourself hydrated! Dehydration will trigger even more nausea and this can lead to a vicious cycle which ends with a saline drip in the Emergency Room of your local hospital. 
  • Small portions are more likely to stay down (and if you can't manage to keep them down they're easier to bring up again!)

So those are the age old traditional,  natural remedies for morning sickness. But we can do better than that. On a personal note, I survived three pregnancies and suffered morning sickness until full term throughout all of them. Here's what I learned.

Morning sickness was linked to my blood sugar.
If I felt hungry, I felt sick too. I learned to watch the clock, tune into my body and eat just a little (a cracker or a slice of toast) before I felt hunger. Once that slice of toast had time to settle in my tummy, I could go ahead and eat a full portion half an hour later.

Take note of your triggers.
If you notice that long distance driving makes you feel queasy, you can take steps to prepare yourself or even avoid your triggers entirely. During pregnancy (especially early pregnancy) many women are hyper-sensitive to smells. If the smell of bacon in the pan makes you tummy turn, stop buying bacon. With a little trial and error, once you're aware of your triggers, you can avoid them.

Find your "Fall-Back Food"
We all have one food that we can eat no matter what. It doesn't matter if you've eaten an eight course meal, you can still make (just a little) room for your fall-back food. It's possibly the first food you crave for after a bout of gastro. It's something that you can fall back on no matter how nauseous you feel.

If you're fall-back food is chicken soup, boil up a bit pot (it freezes well) and make sure that you're never more than five minutes away from a small bowl of food. Your body will soon recognise what you're doing and even the smell of re-heating a cup of soup in the microwave will settled a restless tummy.

Ginger really works
Ginger has been providing us with effective relief from nausea for centuries. Granted, it has a very strong and distinctive flavour, not all of us can palate it and you're probably asking yourself "How on earth can I work ginger into my diet at 6am!?"

You'll find dried or crystallised ginger in the same aisle as dried fruit. The crystallised ginger is dusted in sugar which helps to mask that strong taste and a couple of cubes at the first signs of nausea really does work wonders.

Like mother, like daughter
It's official, you're turning into your mother! Because we share the same genetic make-up as our mothers, many of us will have very similar triggers and treatments for morning sickness as our Mums had. Talk to you mother and grandmother about how they managed this chapter of their lives.

Morning sickness is different for every woman and there's no fool-proof way of relieving yourself of it completely but by tuning into your body, with some trial & error and with some careful planning, you'll be able to manage your symptoms.

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