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Nausea & Vomiting

One of the most common and well known issues faced in pregnancy is morning sickness. Almost 8 out of 10 women are said to report experiencing pregnancy sickness in the first trimester.  It usually starts around the 4 weeks and subsides before the 16th week.   It is often referred to as ‘Morning Sickness’ as usually occurs in the morning but can occur any time in the day.  There is no definitive confirmed reason for the sickness but some studies say its down to increase in Pregnancy hormones especially the Pregnancy hormone hCG.

Other studies say say it may be serving a protective function with the food aversions to things like caffeine, tobacco, strong tasting vegetables and alcohol.  The food aversions usually happen at the same time that Pregnancy sickness symptoms peak (6-8 weeks Pregnant) which is around the time that when the tissues in the embryo start becoming organs (Emryonic Organogenesis) (3-5).

Symptoms

The symptoms can begin as early as 4 weeks into pregnancy then peaking around the 6-8 mark and can continue until mid pregnancy.  For some the symptoms can extend beyond.  They include varying degrees of:

  • nausea
  • food aversions
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite

If they become severe it is termed Hyperemesis Gravidum when there is prolonged severe nausea and vomiting, dehydration and weight loss.

Risk Factors

There certain risk factors that incline you towards Pregnancy sickness such as:

  • sensitivity to nausea prior to pregnancy such as with motion sickness, migraines, sensitivity to smells or tastes
  • pregnancy with multiples (twins or triplets)
  • pregnancy sickness in previous pregnancies
  • obesity
  • stress
  • pregnancy sickness runs in the family

Treatments

The research supporting treatments that can help is limited but there some home remedies that are reported to help or have some degree of evidence of their benefits.  Each pregnancy is unique and the below remedies are natural and can be tried to see if they work for you.

If however the Pregnancy sickness is severe or prolonged with or without weight loss then it is advisable to see a Medical Professional to check you over and see if they can help.

Home Treatments To Try include:

Eating Small And Frequent Meals

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Try and eat small meals more frequently rather than 2 or 3 large meals. Try to avoid any foods that smell or make you feel nauseous. What works best is usually high in carbohydrates but low in fat such as crackers, rice, bread or pasta.

Carbohydrates

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Eating a couple of plain crackers or other plain carbohydrate when the nausea is starting for some women can stave off the nausea worsening.

Ginger

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

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Some studies report that this vitamin can help with feelings of nausea but not the vomiting.

Eat or drink ginger or foods containing ginger as there is some evidence that it can help with nausea (do not take ginger supplements unless discussed with your healthcare providers).

Sip

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Try to sip water, weak tea or ginger beverages when feeling nauseous rather than gulping or drinking fast.

Acupressure

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Sea sickness bands can be worn which put gentle pressure over an acupressure point that can for some help nausea.

Acupuncture

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The evidence is not clear cut that Acupuncture can help but some report it to be helpful.  But it is important to see an Acupuncturist who is experienced in treating Pregnant clients as there are certain Acupuncture points which should be avoided during Pregnancy.

Fresh Air

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Open a window or turn on a fan, or go for a walk if you can manage. The fresh air may help some ease the symptoms.

Essential Oils

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Some women find relief with essential oils, such as ginger and cardamom but should not be ingested during pregnancy and if applied to the skin should be sufficiently diluted in a carrier oil and ideally after the first trimester. During the first trimester try using it in a diffuser.

REFERENCES

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