The Eleven Best Cures For Nausea During Pregnancy

The Eleven Best Cures For Nausea During Pregnancy
March 17, 2013 6:23 AM

Almost all women suffer from some amount of nausea and vomiting in the first weeks and months of pregnancy. Around 50% of women vomit and at least 30% experience severe nausea.

Unfortunately, this tiresome side effect can strike you at any time of the day, so the common expression 'morning sickness' is actually rather misleading (though many expecting mothers do find that they feel more nauseated early in the day). This can lead to severely diminished quality of life if you are prone to feeling unwell during the working day or when you are trying to socialize. As nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is generally thought to be caused by your rapidly changing hormone levels, you may wonder what you can possibly do in order to get some relief. Thankfully, there are some fairly straightforward diet and lifestyle modifications than can help to alleviate your symptoms. Read on to learn about the eleven most effective.

1) Switching to cold meals

When you feel well, the scent of hot food can be a tantalizing and wonderful part of your meal. However, when you are suffering from nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, the smell of food can be enough to prompt intense queasiness. You can avoid this problem by eating cold meals instead of hot ones, as cold food does not give off the same strong odor.

2) Eating something small before you get out of bed

If you experience traditional morning sickness, do not force yourself to immediately lurch out of bed as soon as you wake up. This will only make you feel more nauseated, and will increase your likelihood of throwing up. Instead, lie in bed and give yourself a while to fully come out of sleep before trying to get out of bed. Ideally, you should have someone bring you something easily digestible that you can eat in your bed. Good examples include plain biscuits, dry crackers, and dry toast.

3) Taking ginger

Several clinical trials support the claim that ginger is highly effective at relieving nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. For example, one study found that women who take one gram of ginger on a daily basis for a period of four days report reduced levels of nausea and vomiting than women who are taking a placebo. However, if you are interested in taking ginger then it is important that you discuss this with your doctor. It is not suitable for everyone, and cannot be taken by people who are on blood-thinning medication. Further, you should never take more than one gram of ginger per day while you are pregnant.

4) Dressing to accommodate nausea

Even if you are not currently feeling unwell, if you are prone to feeling sick while you are pregnant then you should deliberately pick outfits that do not encourage or enhance nausea. In the main, you should aim to avoid wearing tight things, especially clothing that digs into any part of your abdomen.

5) Eating many small meals instead of a few large ones

If you are feeling nauseated much of the time, the very idea of eating full lunch or dinner portions may turn your stomach. However, if you do not eat enough then this malnutrition will also increase the severity of your nausea. One solution is to switch from having three large meals each day to having small meals every few hours. Choose foods that are rich in carbohydrates (like rice and bread), and avoid things that are very sweet or spicy.

6) Trying acupressure

Although some believe that the practice of acupressure is dubious, there are some reports that acupressure on the wrist can help to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. This will involve wearing a band that applies pressure to the underside of your wrist, and some studies suggest that this pressure promotes the production of certain painkilling chemicals in the body. Acupressure poses no risk to the health of you or your baby, so even if you are skeptical about its efficacy then it may be worth trying in case it does afford you some relief.

7) Having a snack before bed

If you tend to wake up during the night feeling nauseated or overcome by the urge to vomit, try eating a satisfying snack before you go to bed. Ideal examples include bread, cereal, and milk. Having a snack late at night is also a good idea if you are prone to feeling ill while falling asleep, though you may want to opt for bland foods like dry crackers or dry toast instead.

8) Keeping yourself hydrated

You should always drink around ten glasses of water each day, but be sure to sip this water. Gulping it is more likely to make you feel nauseated.

9) Sticking to a good sleep pattern

Tiredness exacerbates feelings of nausea, so make sure that you get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night while you are pregnant.

10) Eating more bananas

Studies show that a reasonable number of women find that eating banana helps to reduce their nausea during pregnancy. In addition, the potassium in bananas will help to decrease the severity of swelling during pregnancy (especially around the ankles).

11) Drinking peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is a popular remedy for all forms of nausea, including travel sickness and the vomiting associated with being pregnant. If hot drinks make you feel worse, remember that cold peppermint tea can taste just as good (and is just as effective at suppressing nausea).

If you follow the above advice, the frequency and severity of your nausea should be substantially reduced during your pregnancy. However, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough to alleviate the symptoms of some women. If you continue to suffer from severe queasiness or are vomiting several times a day, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor in order to discuss the possibility of being prescribed antiemetics. These drugs suppress nausea and vomiting, but they are not suitable for everyone.

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: March 17, 2013 6:23 AM
Next scheduled update: March 17, 2015 6:23 AM
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