Struggling with Morning Sickness?
I have a feeling it’s another baby season coming up because I’m getting asked this question A LOT. I know how miserable morning sickness can be. It’s my least favorite thing about pregnancy. During the first trimester of pregnancy, it’s a delicate situation. There are A LOT of hormonal things happening. Important baby development is underway, so moms are SUPER limited on what to take and what to do. If it makes you feel any better, there is a study that links morning sickness to a lower risk of losing the pregnancy.
Side note: I TOTALLY understand when moms resort to anti-nausea medicine – I FEEL YOU MAMA! Seriously. Don’t feel bad if you decide to go that route. I always recommend trying natural remedies first and seeing what you can do naturally before resorting to medication.
What’s actually been studied to be safe and effective for morning sickness? (Remember, everyone is DIFFERENT. All these remedies can work for some mamas and won’t work for others. Just a heads up, that goes for parenting too. Just saying! 😉 )
I know this really isn’t a “natural remedy”, but it’s a tip that I give to ALL mama’s struggling with nausea in the first trimester. This is what SAVED me when I was pregnant. I constantly had to have food in my stomach. I would literally wake up every morning at 2 AM to eat something. If I didn’t, I would get too hungry and become nauseous. And then I would be too nauseous to eat. DO NOT let yourself get to that point – it’s not fun. I would consistently have a snack every couple of hours and eat more smaller meals throughout the day versus 3 big meals. (This usually isn’t my recommendation if you aren’t pregnant, but you’re busy growing a baby! 😉 )
Ginger is a root that has been long known for relief of nausea and vomiting. Ginger is one of the few safe “herbs” in the beginning of pregnancy. Studies show that ginger didn’t harm the baby or increase risk of miscarriage. In Integrative Medicine Insights, they found…
the meta-analysis demonstrated that ginger was better than placebo in improving NVP when given at a dose of ∼1000 mg/d for at least four days.
Vomiting + nausea has been shown to decrease while using ginger in the first trimester. In another study, three groups of women showed improvement in nausea + vomiting with taking ginger or B6 (which I’ll go into next!) moreso than the placebo group.
Most studies do favor ginger over placebos showing that it can be an effective remedy for morning sickness. It seems though that the dosage should be 1 gram per day to find ginger really effective. Many ginger supplements on the market, you may need to triple the dose to get to that amount. Be aware of how much is in the capsule, so it can be effective.
B6 is thought to help with pregnancy nausea as B6 helps eliminate and break down certain pregnancy hormones. A study that compared B6 versus dimenhydrinate showed that both were effective in lowering nausea + vomiting, BUT dimenhydrinate was more effective. (If you are trying to avoid any type of medication, still be assured that women taking B6 in this study still saw a reduction!)
The dosage of vitamin B6 seem to be between 30-50mg per day. Ideally, you’d want to use the active form of B6, which is Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate.
Vitamin K + C
Back in the 50’s, there was a study that was done that took the combination of 25mg of vitamin C and 5mg of Vitamin K (I would recommend K2) and while it was a very small study, all the women saw disappearance of their morning sickness in three days.
I haven’t seen much other research on this, BUT since we’re talking about nutrients that we need anyway and not at a high dosage – I would love to see people try this combination out and see if it works.
Ever heard of those seabands? I used them during pregnancy + it really did help me! I wore them everywhere. The idea is that these bands put pressure on a point in our arm that can reduce morning sickness. A systematic review took a look into the various studies about acupressure and morning sickness…
Habek and colleagues reported that acupressure for 30 minutes daily for seven days significantly improved nausea and vomiting compared to placebo acupressure in patients with hyperemesis gravidarum
Werntoft and Dykes38 found that acupressure using Sea-Bands daily for two weeks (removed only when showering) significantly reduced nausea in healthy pregnant women compared with both control (no antiemetic) and placebo (Sea-Bands at non-meridian) groups
Now, I do want to emphasize that throughout the systematic review, they determined that the risk of bias was high in the studies that they looked at. When quality of studies are so-so, I always keep that in mind as I’m researching. Since these bands don’t really have a side effect and they are cheap to buy, I always recommend trying it out for you because I don’t care if it’s placebo effect or not, if it takes away morning sickness – I’LL TAKE IT!
Lemon Essential Oil
A study that was done in an Iranian Medical Journal showed that women had a reduction in nausea and vomiting when they inhaled lemon essential oil right when nausea hit. They compared this to a placebo. I also personally can attest to lemon and lemon drinks to help with morning sickness.
If you’re asking how does smelling something actually impact your body? Stated in the study that I just mentioned,
Smells in the lowest basic level, can be stimulate the body to respond physically and psychologically. When inhaling aromatic substances such as herbal oil emit odor molecules, the receptor cells in the nasal send impulses directly into olfactory region of the brain. The region is closely related to the other systems that control the memory, emotions, hormones, sex, and heart rate. Impulses act immediately and the released hormones are able to stimulate, appease, calm, or elate the person, leading to the creation of physical and mental changes
Some women will not love the smell of lemon + some women might love it. Peppermint essential oil is known to be helpful to reduce nausea in general. Inhalation is an easy + great way to use EOs. Aromatherapy can be tricky with pregnancy, since women are more likely to have strong aversions with pregnancy.
If and when I find new natural remedies for morning sickness that are studied to be beneficial and safe for pregnancy, I will always update the blog. XO