When we ask our doctor or midwife about ways in which we can combat morning sickness they may well tell us that it’s just a part of pregnancy, to deal with it and it’ll go in a few a weeks. Hmmm cheers doc, that was very helpful ( not ).
So, is there a miracle cure to morning sickness?
Ummm well in a word no, but don’t turn away just yet as there may be certain foods that we can eat that may help and I’m not talking lemon and ginger here.
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are very common during the first half of pregnancy and the prevalence of nausea can even reach up to 90%, with 50% of us suffering with vomiting as well.
It can interfere with our daily routine and quality of life and for anyone that’s experienced the throes of nausea on top of having to deal with another small child running around, it be can a huge burden.
Although it usually occurs in the morning, it can actually present at any time of the day with most occurrences starting at around the 6-12 week point of gestation. However, many women will unfortunately still experience the symptoms by the 20th week and for around 20% of women, nausea and vomiting may even persist for the duration of their pregnancy.
Incredibly, despite the advances in todays medicine the reasons behind morning sickness remain a mystery. ( Wonder if Scooby Doo & The Gang can get on the case ) Even though the reasons are not fully understood, it is thought to be caused by the various changes that take place in the body, especially an altered hormonal status and slower movements of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as psychological factors.
In general, although being very unpleasant, there’s no danger for you or your baby. However, if it first appears after the 12th week, you should consult your doctor or midwife because it may be a result of something completely different.
In case you have the feeling that you can not keep anything down, not even fluids, which is accompanied by weight loss of more then 5% of your pre-pregnancy weight, this may be a sign of something more serious going on and may well be a sign that you’re suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. This can lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies, and has to be monitored by a doctor so please don’t delay in getting in contact with your health advisor if this is the case.
In most of the cases, diet and lifestyle can help to ease sickness.
Common ways to alleviate morning sickness include;
- Staying in bed for around 15 minutes after waking up, before you get up slowly.
- Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day, rather than big portions. Often the smell of food can worsen sickness.
- Fluids should be consumed in small amounts throughout the day and avoid drinking just before, during, or immediately after the meal.
- Fresh air can help, as well avoiding the heat. Some women have good experiences with acupressure and acupuncture. But it’s important to look for an experienced and licensed professional.
- In case multivitamin supplements worsen morning sickness, they should be taken with food or just before bed and especially iron supplement which can further irritate the stomach.
- And if it’s not possible to take a multivitamin, a separate folic acid pill should be taken until morning sickness passes.
- If medication is required, a safe and effective commonly used medication in pregnant woman contains doxylamine for reducing nausea, and pyridoxine vitamin B6 for reducing vomiting.
- All in all, nausea and vomiting is not a concern for the health of mother and child. I will encourage women to try to find dietary and lifestyle based solutions to help ease morning sickness. And to keep in mind that for the majority of women, this condition will go away on its own as pregnancy progresses.
Foods that may help alleviate morning sickness and vomiting during pregnancy.
Studies have shown that adding Vitamin B6 to your diet may help in alleviating morning sickness. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that is present in many foods and is needed for maintaining healthy brain function, the formation of red blood cells and the breakdown of proteins and synthesis of antibodies in order to support our immune system.
During pregnancy it is recommended that we get at least 1.9mg of vitamin B6 per day and during breastfeeding, women are advised to up that to at least 2.0mg.
Vitamin B6 is found naturally in;
- Sweet Potatoes
Vitamin B6 Morning Sickness Smoothie
- Smoothie maker or blender
- 1 Sliced Banana
- 1/2 A Ripe Avocado
- 1 tbsp Wheatgerm
- 1 Cup Plant Based Milk
- 2 Cups Fresh Spinach
- 1 tbsp Sugar Free Peanut Butter
- Add your milk and spinach to the blender or smoothie maker and blend on high until smooth
- Add the remaining ingredients and blitz until you have the right consistency.
- Serve immediately
Make sure you always consult with your midwife or doctor if you feel like you’re not getting sufficient nutrients during pregnancy.
Happy healthy pregnancy to you all.