Morning sickness often manifests at different times and in different ways in pregnant women. Some have a mild aversion to food while some of them tend to throw up every few hours. This is one of those early pregnancy symptoms that aren’t enjoyable and often leads to poor appetite, loss of electrolytes and hydration and weakness in the to-be mothers.
Misnomer or morning sickness is not a “treatable” condition but a switch in diet and some additional medical tweaks can contribute to optimal management of symptoms. As unpleasant as the condition is, studies have found that morning sickness often reduces the risks of pregnancy complications.
So, if you are looking for remedies to combat morning sickness in pregnancy, this article should walk you through all the possible options. Before opting for one, make sure to consult with your doctor to avoid any complications.
In this Article
- 1 How is Morning Sickness Diagnosed?
- 2 How to Combat Morning Sickness at Home?
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Conclusion
How is Morning Sickness Diagnosed?
There are no definitive diagnostic tests to determine the cause of morning sickness. However, morning sickness is often considered an early pregnancy symptom, so you might be propelled to take a pregnancy test if you are nauseous and if you have missed your period.
Generally, your OBGYN will diagnose morning sickness based on the symptoms. Unless there are additional concerns like elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar, etc., experiencing morning sickness is a common consequence of pregnancy.
Based on your symptoms, your doctor might adjust the pre-natal vitamins and walk you through some effective remedies to manage the symptoms.
We shall discuss them in detail next.
How to Combat Morning Sickness at Home?
Unless your degree of morning sickness is severe as in the case of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), you can manage the symptoms at home.
But, if you are diagnosed with HG and you are experiencing rapid weight loss, no appetite, strong food aversions, etc., you might have to consider hospitalization to up the hydration and electrolyte balance intravenously.
Besides that, there are some effective ways to manage the morning sickness symptoms naturally. Some of them are:
1. Focus on Smaller Portions but Frequent Meals
When you are struggling with morning sickness, the last thing you want to do is to overeat and make yourself feel uncomfortable.
Most doctors suggest eating smaller “snack-like” meals throughout the day. Instead of eating 3 full meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), eat 6-7 smaller meals.
Since hypoglycemia induced by hormonal imbalance is a common trigger of morning sickness, eating smaller but frequent meals helps reduce those risks exponentially in the mother.
Instead of completely stopping eating due to food aversions, switch to more neutral and lighter foods like crackers, ginger tea, cereal, dry bread, etc.
2. Include Ginger in the Diet
Not just morning sickness, ginger is hands down one of the best remedies for nausea and vomiting. It has a prevalence in Chinese medicine in soothing the tummy and reducing digestion-related nausea during pregnancy.
However, since ginger contains certain active ingredients in it, we’d recommend discussing your proper dosage with the doctor before including it into your diet.
Ideally, ginger can be consumed in multiple forms, including ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger soda, ginger candies or lollipops, etc. Avoid eating raw ginger since that can cause heartburn in some cases during pregnancy.
3. Steer Clear off Certain Foods and Smells
By the time you have settled into your morning sickness routine, chances are that you are aware of the triggers. You should have a clear idea by then of which specific foods or smells contribute to nausea and vomiting.
Your work is to avoid them at all costs. Since these are triggering, the last thing you want is to be surrounded by them to further worsen your symptoms.
In most cases, eating a meal with an extra greasy, high-protein, high-carb meal can trigger your morning sickness. Instead of giving into your cravings, try to avoid them as much as you can.
The same applies to some of the stronger smells. It could be perfumes, cigarette smoke, or even the smell of certain foods. If you aren’t feeling comfortable surrounded by such smells, avoid them at all costs.
4. Try Mint
Much like ginger, even mint can combat the complaints of nausea and vomiting during your pregnancy. It might not be as potent as ginger but the smell and fresh taste of mint can reduce the bout of morning sickness that you were just about to experience.
You can chew peppermint chewing gums, or even carry a handkerchief sprayed with some peppermint oil to smell it when you feel nauseous. However, always ensure to use diluted peppermint oil. Concentrated ones can be too harsh during pregnancy.
Mint lip balm can also do the trick quite well. They are handy and fairly easy to travel with as well, which is a bonus.
5. Talk to your Doctor about Prenatal Vitamins
The prenatal supplements you are on could be a reason behind your morning sickness. As weird as it sounds, it is true.
Iron in the prenatal vitamins can potentially exacerbate nausea, leading to extreme impacts of morning sickness. What you can do is switch up the time of taking your prenatal vitamins. Instead of taking them during the morning on an empty stomach, consume them during the night after your meals.
If the symptoms still don’t get better, it could be that your body’s digestive system isn’t responding well to the iron during pregnancy. In such cases, you can discuss alternative options with your doctor about taking supplements without iron.
However, your OBGYN will advise getting your iron from dietary sources in that case. Iron is crucial during pregnancy, so if you aren’t getting it from supplements, you’d need to rely on food sources like red meat, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, tofu, brown rice, etc.
Does doing exercise reduce morning sickness?
Some pregnant women suggest that staying on the feet and staying active throughout the pregnancy potentially reduces the impacts of morning sickness. It could be an extra mile of walk or even prenatal yoga that could help.
Do I need to take Vitamin B6 to combat morning sickness?
If you know what is morning sickness, you’d know that it causes food aversions, dehydration and loss of appetite. Adding Vitamin B6 to the list of supplements during pregnancy has shown promising results in reducing nausea quite well.
Does acupressure work for morning sickness?
Acupressure is an alternative medicine that uses the body’s pressure points to relieve the symptoms. Although there isn’t much scientific evidence, it is a favored method of recovery in some women. Since there aren’t any complications, you can give it a try and see if it helps.
Understanding the morning sickness meaning isn’t as difficult as handling it. The symptoms are often sporadic and sometimes affect the quality of life of a pregnant woman too. If you are struggling to balance the symptoms, we hope these remedies bring you some relief. However, if the symptoms are persistent and don’t get better even after 16 weeks, it is ideal to consult your OBGYN about the same.