About 50% of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness during their first trimester. If you have suffered from the nausea and vomiting like I did throughout both of my pregnancies, you know it isn’t really “morning” sickness, but all day sickness. My midwives were wonderful at suggesting natural remedies to ease my suffering. The following suggestions for herbs, foods, and lifestyle practices are from my own personal experiences and from a great list of natural remedies posted on Mothering.
Herbs that Alleviate Morning Sickness
Ginger is well-known for its nausea reducing qualities, and many women have had success with ginger tea for relieving their morning sickness. The herb I found most useful was peppermint. I drank my own blend of herbs for a pregnancy tea (I’ll be posting that recipe soon!), and the peppermint really made me feel better. You can drink the tea cold or hot, depending on what makes you feel better. Fennel seeds also relieve queasiness, whether in tea or simply chewing on the seeds. Slippery Elm is another herb that may calm your stomach.
Foods that Alleviate Morning Sickness
Almonds are the best food for morning sickness. The key is to not eat too much at one time during the first trimester, yet you should never leave your stomach empty. My midwives suggested keeping a jar of almonds by my bed, so that every time I had to get up to go to the bathroom, I could eat a handful of almonds. Chewing the almonds for as long as possible before swallowing them releases the enzymes in your mouth, where they are absorbed faster by your body. Almonds are actually an amazing food for anyone, as they are high in protein and may provide important nutritional support to combat diabetes, cholesterol, inflammation, and obesity. Other enzyme rich foods, such as papaya and pineapple, can also help with morning sickness. There is also a link between low blood sugar and morning sickness, so it is important to eat small snacks throughout the day.
Lifestyle Practices that Alleviate Morning Sickness
Gentle walks in the fresh air, even though you may not feel up to it, really do help alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness, as well as prepare you for labor. My midwives recommended at least a mile walk a day, as exercise is important during pregnancy. Delivering a baby is the hardest physical labor I have ever experienced and being in the best shape possible made the experience easier. Yoga also helps alleviate nausea, and you may find your pregnant body more limber than you are used to. Drink lots of water, at least a half gallon a day, and nap and rest as needed.
The best way to alleviate morning sickness is to take care of yourself! Eat well, rest, and stay active with gentle hikes and yoga. A few months of nausea is a small price to pay for healthy child!