Many pregnant women suffering from morning sickness may be wondering why it happens and whether it serves a purpose. When nausea and vomiting occur, they are often an indication of elevated hormonal levels, which is a sign that the pregnancy is in progress. However, it doesn’t mean that pregnant women who do not experience morning sickness are more likely to have a miscarriage.
This condition, according to traditional Chinese medicine, is a result of toxins that overburden the liver, hindering its ability to process the high levels of pregnancy hormones. Imbalance in the liver can cause nausea and vomiting.
Whatever the reasons may be, the odds of having morning sickness are greater if you:
experience nausea as a side effect of birth control
suffer from motion sickness
have female relatives who also experienced morning sickness
are pregnant with twins
Morning sickness usually lasts throughout the first trimester. To be relieved from its hassle and inconvenience, a combination of lifestyle and dietary changes as well as some alternative approaches should be tried by the expecting woman.
Simply follow the “slow, steady” rule when eating. It is better to eat six small meals spread throughout the day than consume three large meals. Don’t let yourself get hungry because the rise and fall in blood sugar can only add to your queasiness. Having gone without food for quite a while is the reason why many women feel nauseated in the morning. To avoid having an empty stomach, nibble on bland foods such as dry toast and saltine crackers. It is advisable if you can keep a box of crackers at your bedside to munch on before getting up in the morning.
Passing up foods that have strong odors and refraining from eating greasy or spicy foods help prevent morning sickness. It is also important for the pregnant woman to drink lots of water and to take prenatal vitamins.
If you still experience nausea after giving your best efforts to avoid it, try cold foods which can be soothing, especially water-rich choices such as melons, grapes, berries, fruit smoothies, cucumbers and oranges. Eating any form of citrus alleviates nausea. Sniffing on a slice of lemon can help also relieve morning sickness. Another great antidote for morning sickness is ginger which comes in different forms such as fresh ginger, ginger powder, dried ginger tablet or capsules, ginger ale, ginger snaps, and ginger tea.
Pregnant women experiencing morning sickness should always remember that staying hydrated is essential to replenish lost electrolytes, the minerals such as sodium and potassium that regulate the fluid balance in the body. Take slow, steady sips when you drink anything. Taking in more than 2 ounces at a time tend to bypass the tissues and fluids travel directly to kidneys and bladder.
When morning sickness starts to interfere with a woman’s quality of life, doctors may recommend vitamin B6 supplements which are easily depleted and absorbed by the body when pregnant. That’s why it is important to take a supplement or to load up on food sources that contain B6 such as egg yolks, yoghurt and whole grains to help alleviate morning sickness.