Morning sickness has become one of our cultural norms of pregnancy and women assume they will experience it at some point in their pregnancy. But there is a lot you can do to prevent or minimize morning sickness.
Some women feel nauseas constantly and vomit frequently, other women feel nauseas once in a while but never vomit, and there are women who never feel any nausea throughout their whole pregnancy. Interestingly, in some cultures morning sickness is not common at all. There have been many cross-cultural studies that show that morning sickness is reported with more severity in Western cultures in comparison to non-Western cultures. Social anthropologist and natural childbirth activist Sheila Kitzinger writes in her article “Eating for Two: Our Own and Other Cultures” in The Vegetarian that in other cultures sickness is often not expected.
Women who do experience morning sickness tend to feel the nausea during just the first trimester of pregnancy, and then it should subside. If you continue to have morning sickness after your first trimester, seek support from your care provider and a nutritionist, because the nausea could be an indication of nutritional deficiency.
Although this pregnancy discomfort is called “morning” sickness, you may feel these nauseas sensations any time of day. You may experience morning sickness for physical reasons and/or emotional and psychological reasons.
Some physical reasons could be:
~ hormonal changes
~ low blood sugar
~ eating oily or sugary food
~ smelling a strong odor
~ not enough exercise
~ feeling tired
~ nutritional, vitamin, or mineral deficiencies
Or, you may feel nauseas for emotional and psychological reasons including feeling stressed, afraid, anxious or ambivalent about having a baby, or unresolved issues within yourself or relationships. Nurture yourself with sleep and rest, meditation, hot baths, and going for walks in nature. Take a yoga class; get a massage. Let your family and friends know that you are feeling stressed and share your fears or worries. If you are feeling tired and overwhelmed or depleted of energy, ask for help both emotionally and practically, you deserve to be taken care of and supported. When you receive this support you may find that the morning sickness will completely subside.
You can do a lot to prevent and minimize morning sickness. Midwife and herbalist Aviva Jill Romm, author of The Natural Pregnancy Book, recommends the following:
~ sleep and rest as much as you feel you need to
~ stay hydrated
~ eating easily digestible, healthy, nutritious meals in small quantities but frequently (for example eating 5 small meals per day, plus snacks, rather than 3 large meals per day)
~ avoiding oily, fried, processed, refined, and sugary foods
~ eating high quantities of fresh vegetables and fruits and whole grains
~ cooking foods using techniques like steaming, roasting, and baking (avoid sautéing and frying)
~ eating foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates
~ being flexible about food, for example if you are vegetarian but you are craving chicken, try eating some chicken, the nausea may subside
~ avoid strong odors
~ exercise every day
~ drinking herbal teas and taking herbal remedies that contain ginger, dandelion root, chamomile, mint, or wild yam
~ drinking raspberry leaf tea
~ massage therapy
I hope these tips will help you prevent or minimize morning sickness so you can enjoy a sense of well-being during the beautiful beginning of your pregnancy.