Let’s face it ladies, those nine months of pregnancy can be a long and bumpy ride. Between cravings, aches and morning sickness, enduring the early stages of pregnancy can feel like a never-ending battle. A whopping 70 percent of pregnant women experience nausea in the early stages of their pregnancy and about 50 percent experience vomiting. While this is a symptom many newly pregnant women face, the severity of the nausea they experience varies. According to Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, an OB-GYN and author of “The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book,” some pregnant women feel sick toward the evening, some feel sick all throughout the day and some even feel sick if they haven’t gotten enough sleep. Morning sickness can begin as early as six weeks into pregnancy and typically peaks around the eighth or ninth week.
Before you panic, it is important to know there are plenty of natural and efficient ways to combat morning sickness. From simple lifestyle changes to the use of acupressure bands, warding off nausea can be simple, useful, and ultimately make your pregnancy much less stressful!
Sure, it may sound crazy, but a mere whiff of a soothing scent has many physiological benefits! What many pregnant women do not know is that morning sickness is often brought on by certain smells. According to Miriam Erick, a senior dietitian and nutritionist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, estrogen is the hormone responsible for the sense of smell. If your estrogen hormones are exceptionally high like they tend to be during pregnancy, your sense of smell may be keener than it normally is. This influx of hormones means that potent smells can take an exceptional toll on your well-being, making you more susceptible to nausea and vomiting.
Don’t have access to an open window? No problem. A good way to combat this is by exposing yourself to fresh, natural scents and aromas. Try carrying a small bottle of lemon extract or a bit of mildly scented potpourri with a spring of fresh rosemary in your bag or backpack. Whenever you encounter a smell that turns your stomach, simply take a whiff and experience relief!
Drink A Lot of Water
Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day has a wide variety of health benefits. Drinking plenty of water has been proven to relieve fatigue, promote weight loss, flush out toxins, and even boost immune system functions. Making sure your body is in proper working order is of particular importance during your pregnancy and can help you combat the issues that often arise from morning sickness. The more dehydrated your body becomes, the more prone you are to nausea. Often, drinking so much water every day can be a particularly difficult challenge. To help with this, try snacking on salty snacks, like chips or pretzels, throughout the day. These snacks will settle your stomach and trigger your thirst, making it much easier to reach that eight glasses a day goal.
Some pregnant women also swear by crunching on ice chips or sipping hot or cold beverages. It may sound odd, but temperature makes a huge difference physiologically. If a beverage is at room temperature, it often can make people feel sick and queasy. Avoiding room-temperature beverages is a simple trick to help prevent the pesky nauseousness that puts a burden on your body and your life!
Make Adjustments to Your Diet
During pregnancy, you will face some extreme changes, both physically and emotionally. These changes often warrant obsessive cravings or reversely a disinterest in eating anything at all. Regardless of which category you fall into, unhealthy eating habits consequently result in intense bouts of nausea and vomiting. It is important to remember that one of the most important things a woman can do during your pregnancy is to find foods that work for her.
Even if munching on a snack is the last thing you want to do, you need to get food into your stomach—the struggle is often just a matter of figuring out what! Every woman is different, and therefore every woman has different preferences on what foods settle their stomachs and which foods upset their stomachs. Unfortunately, there is no bona fide list of foods that settle the upset stomachs of all pregnant women. However, a general rule of thumb is that bland, carb-rich foods like saltine crackers, dry cereal and pretzels, can settle a stomach during instances of morning sickness. On the other hand, foods that are spicy and rich in fat tend to cause nausea more quickly. To suppress morning sickness before it begins, keep a few packages of saltines by your bed and snack on them slowly before getting up in the morning!
Also, pairing complex carbohydrates with proteins, such as those found in whole wheat bread or cheeses, can combat feelings of exhaustion and fatigue throughout the day. Not a fan of saltines? Luckily for you, there are plenty of healthy options to choose! Try cold treats like fresh watermelon or popsicles to ease your upset stomach.
Adjust the Brightness of your computer and other devices
During periods of morning sickness, you will often find yourself spending long days in bed cuddled up with your laptop browsing the web and living vicariously through your friends on social media. What many people do not know is that the brightness of your screen, whether it be at home or work, can regularly affect your general sense of wellbeing and can prompt feelings of nauseousness. The majority of computer screens have an undetectable strobe effect that may cause nausea, initially, or worsen preexisting nausea. To combat this, try adjusting your screen’s brightness to reduce eye strain. Also, play around with your computer’s settings and make the font size bigger and bolder. Changing your desktop’s background to a more subtle color can also be a benefit. Try choosing a soothing, muted color like a soft pink or tan. While these changes may not offer immediate nausea relief, they will help you feel a little better in the long run.
Don’t feel afraid to take breaks from your device frequently throughout the day. Spending hours upon hours focused on a digital screen can be draining, both mentally and psychically! Simply closing your eyes from time to time is also a way to reduce this strain.
Consider Acupressure Bands
If you’re prone to travel or motion sickness, you may have already heard of acupressure bands. Many women who are weary of medical treatments swear by these natural nausea treatments. Sea-Bands are reusable and washable and made from a soft, knitted elastic which provides pressure to the Nei-Kuan pressure point of your wrist. This point is known to provide relief from nausea in just minutes! The band is 100 percent drug-free and completely adjustable, making it suitable for adults and children alike. Next time you are feeling a bit queasy in the morning, strap one of these acupressure bands and get the relief you deserve for a happy, healthy pregnancy!
Did we forget to add your go-to nausea relief method to the list? Share your ideas in the comment section below!