More severe form with excessive nausea and vomiting is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum
What is Morning Sickness?
Symptoms, not necessarily confined to the morning - include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, lightheadedness, and dizziness during the early stages of pregnancy. Women with morning sickness may be particularly sensitive to certain odors and foods.
On a positive note - recent studies have suggested that mothers who have morning sickness have fewer miscarriages;
Causes of Morning Sickness?
No one knows for sure what causes morning sickness - but it is probably a combination of rapidly increasing estrogen and Progesteronelevels, an enhanced sense of smell and excess stomach acids.
One theory is that Progesterone (the dominant hormone during pregnancy) is to blame - Progesterone has a "relaxing" effect on the muscles in the body, preventing preterm labor by effecting the uterine muscles. However, it also effects other muscles, such as the stomach and intestines. The Progesterone relaxes the workings of the whole digestive track which makes the elimination of bodily wastes slower, leading to slower stomach-emptying, causing excess stomach acids.
Another more popular theory is that morning sickness is caused by the buildup of hCG (human chorionic gonadotopin) - hCG is produced after implantation takes place and continues to increase until about the 12th week of your pregnancy, at which point the levels of hCG starts to decrease. For many women, but not all, this is also when your morning sickness symptoms will start to decrease.
Women with a high intake of saturated fat during the year prior to pregnancy had a much higher risk of severe morning sickness - than did women eating less saturated fat, according to a Harvard University study,An increase in saturated fat intake of 15 grams per day (E.g. a four-ounce cheeseburger or 3 cups of whole milk) was associated with a greater than threefold increase in the risk of developing morning sickness. (Signorello et al, 1996)
What Can I Do To Relieve My Pregnancy Nausea?
OK, so the misery of nausea is not what you might call the joy of motherhood!
All you care about now, is what can I do to make it stop? - Long and short, there is no one tried and true method that will relieve everyone's case of morning sickness, but below are ideas to try that have worked for others going through the same ordeal:
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
"Morning sickness Magic" is a herbal remedy containing Ginger, Vitamin B-6, Red Raspberry Leaf and Folic Acid (B9).
The results of two double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that used B6 suggest that vitamin B6 may be beneficial in alleviating morning sickness - Each study found a slight but significant reduction in nausea or vomiting in pregnant women:
• 25 mg of B6 every eight hours for three days (Vitamin B6 is effective therapy for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. )
• 10 mg of B6 every eight hours for five days (Pyridoxine for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial).
Ginger - in 250 mg. capsules 3x daily can be beneficial. Ginger has long been associated with alleviating nausea. A review of six double-blind trials concluded that ginger is probably an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. (Borelli et al, 2005)
Ginger Tea Recipe
4 cups water
2-inch piece of fresh, ginger root
Honey and lemon slices (optional)
Peel the ginger root and slice it into thin slices. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once it is boiling, add the ginger. Cover it and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea. Add honey or sugar and lemon to taste.
Get enough sleep at night / Take naps during the day (but not right after eating) -tiredness plays a big part in morning sickness.
Get out of bed slowly in the morning
Eat plain crackers or dry cereal before you get out of bed in the morning
Open windows /turn on exhaust fans when cooking and after meals - to avoid nausea-promoting smells.
Carry a handkerchief with a few drops lemon essential oil to breathe - when you can't get away from a smell that is bothering you.
Avoid greasy or spicy foods - often cause nausea or heartburn.
Follow your cravings - they will not lead you the wrong way.
Have frequent protein snacks - Low fat meats and seafood, nuts, eggs and beans;
Eat smaller meals every two hours or so - to keep blood sugar levels even; eat meals high in protein and complex carbohydrates;
Eat something salty before a meal
Drink liquids and eat solid foods at separate times - do not drink fluids with your meals;
Drink non caffeinated peppermint and ginger tea
Avoid dehydration - drink small amounts of fluids regularly though the day;
Do not skip meals
Avoid spicy and fried food
Cold food may have less nausea inducing smells associated with them
Utilize accupressure - or wear a Sea-band, a small band to put pressure on the inner wrist .
See How to apply acupressure, using Acupoint 12.
Acupoint 12 - On the largest crease of the inner wrist, on a line with the thumb, approximately three finger widths up from your hand.
Meridian Tapping Technique - MTT;
Ensure good liver function - nausea is worse if liver not removing toxins and excess hormones from the blood. During the first trimester there is a surge in the production of three major hormones: estrogen, Progesterone, and HCG. The liver is responsible for breaking down the excess hormones produced during pregnancy.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin K - stimulate detoxifying enzymes in the liver.
specifically high in Vitamin C include: citrus fruits; lemons, limes, oranges,* strawberries, tomatoes, honeydew,
melons, sweet potatoes, green peppers, potatoes.
Foods high in both Vitamin C and Vitamin K include: broccoli, kale,cauliflower, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass.
- Vitamins B6 and B12 - also help the liver to perform optimally.
Borrelli F et al (2005) Effectiveness and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Obstet Gynecol;105:849-56.
Signorello LB et al, (1996) Saturated fat intake and the risk of severe hyperemesis gravidarum. Am J Epidemiol;143 (11 Suppl):S25 [abstract # 97]
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