Greetings friends. Today I am talking about morning sickness. Often pregnant mums come to me asking what can they do naturally for morning sickness. Natural health care has some great help to offer pregnant mums in relation to morning sickness. But first let’s have a bit of a look at what morning sickness is. The odds are 50-50 that if you are pregnant, you will experience some level of morning sickness that will see you experiencing varying degrees of nausea and / or vomiting in early pregnancy generally. For some this can go far longer and can occur at any time of the day or night; you have my undying sympathy! The absolute cause of morning sickness is not fully known but the general consensus is that is related to the profound hormonal and metabolic changes that occur when a woman’s body during the first trimester of pregnancy. Low blood sugar, nutritional deficiencies, sluggish liver function and hydrochloric acid deficiency and psychological factors are all co-factors and contribute to the overall experience of morning sickness.
Gentle, pleasant tasting herbs are the safest ones to use during pregnancy. Taking them in tea form is advisable as it aids in maintaining optimal hydration. The herbs that I list below are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Experiment with various combinations to find the ones that most suit you. If you are experiencing severe nausea, don’t try to force yourself to drink something that is unpleasant tasting or smelling and don’t be surprised if your preferences change without warning or logic. It’s part of deal I am afraid.
Herbs For Morning Sickness
My favourites and most recommended herbal remedies for morning sickness are as follows:
- Ginger – Research has shown ginger to be a safe and effective natural remedy for nausea that can be used safely during pregnancy. Ginger calms stomach spasms and relieve wind. Typical dose for an adult is 1 to 3 cups of tea daily/ Make it fresh by simmering 1 to 2 teaspoon of fresh chopped ginger in a 1/4 litre of water for 10 minutes. Alternatively; 1 x 250mg capsule once daily. Beware of using ginger if you suffer from gallstones as it contraindicate.
- Chamomile – Gentle soothing chamomile is both soothing to the digestion and the nervous system and make for a lovely tea. Particularly useful if you are feeling stressed. Typical dosage for an adult is 1-3 cups of tea sipped slowly daily. Best made fresh using 2 teaspoons of dried flowers in a 1/4 litre of hot water. Leave to brew and steep for 10 minutes. Tastes great with some organic raw honey.
- Peppermint – This is an aromatic herb that soothes the entire digestive tract and is especially helpful if you have wind or feel bloated. Typical dosage 1 – 3 cups sipped frequently throughout the day. Best made fresh using 2 teaspoons of dried herb or 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs steeped in hot water for around 5 minutes. If you suffer from GORD or regular bouts of heartburn, perhaps avoid peppermint as it can sometimes make this flare up.
These are my most recommended and favourite herbs to use as they are quite well tolerated and generally very safe. There are other herbs safe to use during pregnancy for morning sickness and general stomach upsets associated with that and these include;
- Fennel Seed
- Lemon Balm
- Slippery Elm
- Flax Seeds
You will often find these in commercial preparations as synergistic herbs but they are quite reasonable to use on their own. Along with these herbal remedies, there are some other tips for helping to reduce morning sickness. Small changes can make a big difference in the frequency and severity of morning sickness.
- Eat Small Meals Frequently – Make these meals healthy as possible. Include plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates to help maintain stable blood sugar. This goes a long way to reducing nausea.
- Ensure Proper Hydration – Dehydration will make nausea worse. If you are severely nauseous then suck ice cubes or sip water frequently. Frozen herbal teas are often a nice way to help with this. Aim for around 2-3 litres of water daily.
- Get More Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – B6 deficiency is common during pregnancy. and it may even be causing your nausea. Eat plenty of food rich in B6 such as nuts, legumes, wheat germ, whole grains, dark green vegetables, lean meats and fish. Alternatively; supplementation is a good idea. Eating can be a problem so this is an option many take. See your natural health professional for a good quality pregnancy vitamin supplement.
- Hydrocholric Acid – Yep, it’s the stuff in your stomach that breaks down food. Deficiency is common early in pregnancy. It may be a supplement consideration if you are finding yourself bloated after meals, especially those high in protein. Betaine H-CL supplements are what is used and these are best obtained through a consultation with your natural health care professional.
Lastly, never underestimate the role that emotions play in your experience of morning sickness. If you suffer from severe or long lasting morning sickness you may have need of some psychological support to help you deal with the emotions and feelings this brings up. There are many safe and drug free options around such as NLP, Hypnotherapy, EFT, TFT and meditation that can really help you reduce your severity of symptoms. Don’t be afraid to try some out. After all the more relaxed and happy you are, the more relaxed and happy your baby will be as well.
Until next time, be well, naturally.
Craig Hitchens – Natural Health Practitioner / Remedial Therapist
Alternative & Natural Health Disclaimer:
The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of posting but may change thereafter. The information provided on the various natural health subjects from this website of www.craighitchenstherapies.com is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as any form of medical advice. The information in the article this disclaimer is linked from is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with your health professional before taking any products or following any advice that you believe may conflict with other forms of health care. Always consult your health care professional before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed. Certain herbs and holistic remedies are unsuitable to take if you are pregnant or nursing and must always be cleared by your health professional before use.