It’s no secret that morning sickness is the bane of many pregnant women’s existence, and finding ways to prevent morning sickness is one of the most popular search terms on Google! It is a condition that affects around 75% of `women during pregnancy, most commonly in the first trimester. And, is characterised by nausea and vomiting, as well as other symptoms such as headaches, and fatigue.
.Although it’s normally nothing to worry about, it can be an incredibly uncomfortable and debilitating condition for many pregnant women. Even worse, there’s no way to know when morning sickness will end! It typically begins at around week 4 and lasts until week 12, but, some women will experience it throughout their entire pregnancy and beyond!
But can anything be done to prevent morning sickness? Could it be avoided altogether?
Keep reading to find out!
Why Does Morning Sickness Happen?
Scientists don’t fully understand why morning sickness happens, but there are a few theories that do explain the phenomenon.
The most common is that morning sickness is caused by the body’s reaction to hormonal changes during pregnancy. In particular, increased levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which causes a rise in oestrogen and progesterone levels. These hormones stimulate the mother’s digestive tract, causing nausea and vomiting.
Despite this popular belief, researchers are now theorising that morning sickness may actually be a protective mechanism against toxins or harsh chemicals in food. By vomiting and by learning to avoid certain foods altogether until the foetus develops beyond the most susceptible stage, morning sickness may protect both mother and child.
It is also possible that morning sickness is caused by an increased sense of smell and taste associated with pregnancy, which makes normally accepted foods seem unpleasant.
And finally, it may be that morning sickness is caused by an increase in blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
While researchers are still trying to figure out exactly what causes morning sickness, they have been able to identify some risk factors, such as being pregnant with more than one baby or carrying twins. Women who have had morning sickness before are also more likely to experience it again during subsequent pregnancies.
Can I Prevent Morning Sickness?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but morning sickness is completely out of your control.
Although morning sickness can’t be prevented, there are things you can do to reduce the severity of symptoms so don’t give up hope just yet!
It’s important to know that morning sickness is not just an annoyance—it’s actually a sign that your body is working hard to support the growing foetus inside of you. So while it can be difficult and uncomfortable, focus on this and try not to let it get you down!
How To Reduce Morning Sickness: The 10 Best Natural Remedies
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for morning sickness. Your best bet is to try different remedies and see what works for you. But if you’re looking for a place to start, here are some of the most effective ways to reduce nausea during pregnancy:
1. Eat small meals throughout the day
Little and often is the way to go in pregnancy.
Rather than eating a larger meal once or twice a day, eating small meals frequently helps maintain a stable blood sugar level and reduce nausea by giving your body more frequent access to nutrients. This will also help ensure that you get enough calories to stay healthy during pregnancy.
Eating little and often helps keep your energy levels up throughout the day, which is crucial because growing a human is tiring work!
2. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine
Staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do to help ease morning sickness. Drink water and lots of it, even if you don’t feel thirsty. In fact, it’s best to drink water before you feel thirsty because that means your body needs it most!
Caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea are also not recommended as they can increase nausea in some women. Nor are carbonated beverages as they may cause heartburn due to their high acidity levels (and who wants another reason to be sick?).
3. Get enough sleep at night
When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a lot of changes. One of those changes is a shift in hormones that affects your sleep patterns. Hormones like melatonin are released during pregnancy, which can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. These hormonal changes can also affect your circadian rhythms.
It’s frustrating, then, that the lack of sleep that accompanies pregnancy can also make morning sickness worse!
When you’re sleep deprived, your body is less able to regulate its hormones—including those that control nausea.
When you’re not getting enough sleep, your body also has trouble controlling blood sugar levels, which can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels—and fluctuations in blood sugar levels are one of the primary culprits of morning sickness.
So if you’re feeling nauseous every day while you’re pregnant, it might be worth thinking
about sneaking some daytime naps in. If you’re really finding it hard to get enough sleep at night, do talk to your doctor or midwife for advice.
4. Avoid certain foods that cause nausea
Avoiding certain foods will help to reduce the severity of your nausea. Some of the main culprits include:
Salty foods – These foods can cause dehydration and trigger nausea in pregnant women.
Spicy foods – Spicy foods can cause heartburn, which can be painful and make you feel nauseous.
Fatty/greasy foods – Fatty and greasy foods can make morning sickness worse because they are difficult to digest, which means that your body has to work harder to break them down. The extra effort of digestion can cause nausea and other symptoms associated with morning sickness.
5. Use sickness bands
Sickness bands are elasticated bands that you wear around your wrist to help ease nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. They have been shown to be effective in by creating pressure on the wrist which stimulates nerves that run through your body right above the elbow. This stimulation sends signals through your body that reduce nausea and vomiting.
The bands are easy-to-use, cost-effective, and comfortable to wear, and they come in a variety of colours and sizes so you can find one that best suits your needs! Here is one great example.
If you want to splash your cash, then there are Advanced Options Such as this which will offer advanced, targeted ‘Neuromodulation’ without any nasty side effects. It also works with Motion and Travel sickness too!
6. Keep active.
You might not want to hear this, but you should get out of bed and do something.
Exercise increases blood flow to your muscles, which stimulates the release of endorphins—natural painkillers that can help reduce nausea during pregnancy. The increased blood flow also helps to prevent dehydration, which is another common cause of morning sickness symptoms. Additionally, exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve sleep quality—both of which may help alleviate complications associated with morning sickness.
In addition to helping with morning sickness and keeping your mood up, staying physically active can also help prepare your body for labour by strengthening muscles and boosting cardiovascular fitness
7. Avoid strong odours
When you’re pregnant, your sense of smell gets more sensitive than usual—so even if certain smells didn’t bother you before this time in your life, they might now!
So what smells trigger morning sickness? The most common ones are cigarette smoke, perfume, household cleaners, and foods with strong odours like fish, onions and garlic. If you’re starting to feel sick in the mornings due to your pregnancy, try avoiding these smells as much as possible!
Meditation can help with morning sickness in several ways. First, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which may be contributing factors to morning sickness. Additionally, meditation helps you to focus your mind away from negative thoughts and onto positive ones (such as your baby growing inside you).
Meditation also encourages deep breathing, which can help regulate your digestive system.
9. Dress to suppress
If you’re suffering from morning sickness, it’s best to wear loose, comfortable clothing that don’t put any pressure on your abdomen
Loose clothing allows air to circulate around your body which helps to avoid overheating and dehydration, which can exacerbate symptoms of morning sickness.
Layers are helpful too, If you are feeling overheated or uncomfortable in any way, the ability to just peel off a layer or two can make all the difference in helping you feel better and continue with your day without the interruption of nausea.
10. Eat foods proven to reduce nausea
Morning sickness can make even the simplest tasks almost impossible—like eating!
Thankfully, there are foods that can help! Here’s what you should be eating to ease your morning sickness:
Bananas are an excellent choice for morning sickness. They are high in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and is important for the nervous system. Bananas also contain fibre, which aids digestion by moving food through your system more quickly.
Bananas contain vitamin B6, which helps with nausea, as well as vitamin C that can help the body fight off infection or illness.
If you’re craving something sweet but don’t want to indulge, then go ahead and grab some bananas instead!
Crackers are good for morning sickness because they’re a great source of carbohydrates, which can help you feel full and replenish energy stores that may be depleted by nausea and vomiting. They are also easy to digest and help to keep your blood sugar balanced.
Rice is a great food to eat if you have morning sickness. It’s bland, which is good for your stomach, and it’s easy to digest. Rice is also high in carbohydrates, which provide energy for pregnant women who are feeling weak or nauseous during their first trimester of pregnancy.
Ginger is good for preventing morning sickness because it’s a natural nausea reliever. It reduces the symptoms of morning sickness by calming your stomach and helping digestion, which helps you feel better. Ginger tea is a great way to get hydration and relief from nausea at the same time.
Protein-rich foods are an important part of a healthy pregnancy diet. Protein helps with nausea, energy levels and feeling full for longer.
Mints or gum
Mints and gum are both effective at reducing nausea. They are natural antacids, so they can help neutralise the acids in your stomach that cause you to feel queasy. The minty flavour also stimulates saliva production in your mouth, which can help relieve dry mouth caused by pregnancy hormones (called “pregnancy glossitis”). Plus, chewing gum reduces stress and anxiety levels–so if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out about being pregnant with morning sickness (or any other aspect of your life) get chewing.
Lemon water can also be used as a way of hydrating yourself if you are suffering from morning sickness or other symptoms associated with pregnancy.
If you’re experiencing nausea and/or gas and bloating after eating certain foods, lemon water can help ease your discomfort by aiding digestion and reducing gas build-up in the intestines. If you suffer from constipation during pregnancy (and many do), lemon juice may be just what the doctor ordered! The vitamin C content helps stimulate bowel movements while also improving overall nutrient absorption from food consumed throughout the day.
Cold food and ice lollies
Ice lollies are the perfect food for morning sickness. The coldness will help to soothe your stomach and ease nausea, while the sugar helps to boost your energy levels.
Avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame though as they may cause headaches and migraines when consumed regularly by pregnant women
Morning Sickness Toolkits
There are many ‘Kits’ on the market which have been designed to significantly reduce the symptoms of Morning sickness. For example, This Kit developed by Midwives, utilises Ginger, Vitamins and essential oils to help combat the effects of Morning sickness.
What to do to prevent morning sickness from causing serious complications.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a more severe form of pregnancy sickness that can lead to dehydration and malnutrition if not treated.
To make sure you prevent morning sickness from causing serious complications, make sure you seek medical advice, if you’re vomiting and:
- have very dark-coloured urine or have not had a pee in more than 8 hours
- are unable to keep food or fluids down for 24 hours
- feel severely weak, dizzy or faint when standing up
- have tummy (abdominal) pain
- have a high temperature
- vomit blood
- have lost weight
Every woman is different
While there is no cure or way to prevent morning sickness altogether, we hope this post has given you some helpful tips on how to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
The key to dealing with morning sickness is figuring out what works for you!
Every woman is different, which means that some remedies might work better for some people than others.
If you’re feeling down and out, just remember that pregnancy is temporary, and try not to let being sick get in the way of enjoying this special time in your life.
Thanks for reading!