How to Treat Morning Sickness
Pregnant women worldwide tend to struggle with morning sickness during pregnancy. Patients often speak with their OBGYNs about effective nausea remedies to help them keep down food and not feel as though they are unable to leave their homes during their pregnancies. There are both natural remedies and medicinal remedies that can help fight off nausea and vomiting. Here are some tips and tricks to make treating morning sickness easier.
Understanding Nausea During Pregnancy
Throughout most pregnancies, women experience some degree of nausea. In the most extreme cases, women endure hyperemesis gravidarum, in which case they are unable to keep any food or liquid down during their pregnancy.
Research shows that women who often have increased incidences of nausea have a lower risk of miscarriage. It is due to the higher levels of the growth hormone (HCG) needed to keep the pregnancy going. Also, women who carry multiples during their pregnancies tend to struggle with increased morning sickness over those carrying a single fetus.
Many Women Struggle with Both Nausea and Vomiting
Researchers say that most women face nausea while pregnant. However, only half of those who struggle with nausea deal with vomiting, as well. For those that deal with both, medication is often the best option to help with the symptoms. While some can treat morning sickness symptoms through home remedies and food choices, most need something stronger to be able to keep the most nutritious foods and beverages down.
Women who do not find a remedy quickly need to make sure to speak with their OBGYNs right away. The risk of becoming dehydrated while pregnant is higher than when not pregnant and dehydration can lead to a wide array of health concerns for both the mother and child. Having enough water allows the baby to continue to receive nutrients during development. The American Pregnancy Association says some of the concerns of dehydration during pregnancy include:
- Low levels of amniotic fluid
- Premature labor
- Decreased quantities of breast milk
- Ailments in the developing baby, including problems like neural tube defects
Foods That Can Alleviate Morning Sickness
The food choices a woman makes during her pregnancy can go a long way toward combating the effects of nausea. Some foods that pregnant women should eat to avoid nausea during their pregnancies include:
- Apples: By eating apples, pregnant women add more fiber into their diet, which can soothe the stomach and alleviate other problems, such as constipation or diarrhea. The best way to eat apples for nausea relief is raw or unsweetened since sugars can increase nausea.
- Ginger: This cure-all has been used for thousands of years to battle stomach ailments, especially nausea and vomiting. It can be eaten with meals, digested as a tea, or even sucked on as a ginger lozenge.
- Nuts: When pregnancy nausea takes over, it can make eating enough protein difficult. However, nuts are a safe way to help increase a woman’s protein without adding anything harsh into their digestive system. Nuts are best eaten raw or lightly cooked, ideally without any salt or sweetener added.
- Electrolyte Drinks: Having small drinks of electrolyte drinks, such as sports drinks, can help stave off dehydration. The goal is only to have a sip or two every few minutes. It is often enough to keep a pregnant woman from experiencing dehydration. A caution when drinking sports drinks: if a pregnant woman is throwing up, a sports drink increases the acid in her mouth. It could lead to oral health issues, making eating more difficult even when she is feeling better.
Medicines That Can Help with Morning Sickness
Doctors have many medicinal options when it comes to bypassing nausea and vomiting, whether it stems from morning sickness or another ailment. These types of medicines have been used for decades to help with problems stemming from issues such as chemo, the flu, and motion sickness. Common medications that can help alleviate the symptoms include:
- Zofran is commonly prescribed to help alleviate nausea and vomiting.
- Emetrol is an over-the-counter medication to alleviate nausea.
- Benadryl is available both over the counter and in the prescription form to help reduce nausea and help a pregnant woman sleep better during her discomfort.
- Gravol can alleviate nausea and vomiting for 12 hours instead of 4-6 like most other medications.
- Dramamine is available in over-the-counter strength and prescription form to bypass nausea most commonly associated with motion sickness.
- There are even some over-the-counter vitamins that can help reduce nausea, such as vitamin B6.
Natural Remedies to Battle Morning Sickness
Many of the remedies in other categories that help alleviate morning sickness show up in this category, as well. For example, drinking ginger tea or taking vitamin B6 supplements are both natural remedies as well as effective medications or foods to combat nausea. Thankfully, there are also other natural remedy options available. For example, the scent of peppermint helps some women who struggle with nausea during pregnancy. Other women find relief from the scent of citrus fruits. Still, others only get relief when they smell fennel or cinnamon.
Many women find relief using acupressure. One of the most effective points is the webbing between the thumb and pointer finger. Alternately, there is a pressure point on the wrist that provides nausea relief. Acupuncture is another natural remedy that gives some women relief. Many pregnant women also get a measure of relief by staying as active as possible. Even though moving may be difficult while nauseated, women who can exercise and remain active tend to experience fewer nausea-related symptoms than the rest.
Women who struggle with the ups and downs of morning sickness have options. They can use pressure points, natural remedies, food choices, or even medicine to help keep nausea and vomiting at bay. The goal is to keep the mother healthy and nourished during the baby’s development. Any of these remedies that can work for the mother can give her and her baby the best chance possible for a safe pregnancy and delivery.