Pregnancy is a magical phase in a woman’s life but it can also be difficult at times, especially in the initial phases of their pregnancy.
Our article focuses on home remedies for nausea during pregnancy and also includes additional tips so your pregnancy journey can be as seamless as possible. We have used references from case studies and medical sites to keep the information as factual as possible.
1. How Common is Nausea in Pregnant Women?
Nausea is a common problem most women go through during pregnancy. Nausea, also called morning sickness, occurs mostly in the initial phases, ergo the first trimester of a woman’s pregnancy cycle. With time, nausea subsides and can be controlled with tried and tested home remedies.
Even though nausea is coined morning sickness, you can feel nauseous at any given time of day. Sometimes, it can last the whole day, i.e. from morning to night, and comes in waves.
In exceptional cases, the expecting mother wakes up wanting to throw up and falls under spells of dizziness, whilst in other cases she also experiences weakness which may also be followed by intolerance to certain smells. Sometimes the intolerance toward certain smells may also result in vomiting.
In other words, nausea is a feeling that may or may not be accompanied by vomiting and an upset stomach.
2. What Causes Nausea During Pregnancy?
Several factors contribute to nausea during pregnancy. An article by Mayo Clinic suggests the production of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG is the main cause of nausea.
HCG is a hormone produced by the placenta when a fertilized egg is attached to the uterus lining.
It is believed that women pregnant with twins have higher levels of HCG and thus are more nauseous than those who are pregnant with merely a child.
However, the same study suggests that nausea may also be a sign of placental issues which need to be treated by a doctor.
Another factor that leads to morning sickness is an increase in estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that helps maintain female characteristics and helps maintain the female reproductive system.
During pregnancy, estrogen levels shoot up which causes nausea. It is important to note that the level of nausea experienced from woman to woman differs due to estrogen production.
3. Top 4 Home Remedies for Nausea During Pregnancy
Our home remedies for nausea during pregnancy are simple remedies you can try at home without medical prescriptions from your doctor. Let us get started with an ingredient that you can find easily at home;
3.1. Ginger All The Way –
Ginger is a staple you will find in many households. This magical ingredient can ease nausea by easing the discomfort felt during pregnancy.
Ginger roots contain compounds that soothe the stomach and help empty the stomach faster, reducing the chances of feeling nauseous. If you do not want to chew on ginger chunks, you can opt for a mild ginger tea.
If you do not prefer ginger tea either, you can get a prescription for ginger capsules from your gynecologist. There are herbal capsules available so you won’t have to worry about any side effects.
3.2. Aromatherapy to Soothe You –
Aromatherapy is an effective and easy way to ease your nausea. Then again, many people dislike certain smells, so if you like and can still stand citrusy and mild fragrances, you can opt for aromatherapy.
It is believed that lemon and peppermint essential oils can treat or reduce nausea caused during pregnancy.
Lemon essential oils contain neutralizing acids that form bicarbonates which neutralize nausea. These essential oils contain active compounds that relieve pain, aid digestion and treat nausea.
Peppermint essential oils, on the other hand, relax the gastric muscles and prevent your muscles from either contracting or over-contracting. The choice of essential oils depends on your tolerance.
How to use essential oils to treat your nausea?
You can either use a diffuser to make use of your essential oils or take a cotton ball and apply 2-3 drops of your preferred essential oil. Once you have added the desired amount to the cotton ball, take a sniff whenever you feel nauseous.
You can also add a few drops of oil when bathing. Instead of going for bath salts, add a few drops of your preferred oil to the bathtub. Do not add too much unless you can stand the aroma.
Avoid ingesting the oils because they are not meant to be consumed and may cause irregularities in the body due to their high concentrations.
3.3. Acupuncture to the Rescue –
If you cannot stand the smell of essential oils or hate ginger, you can rely on acupuncture to help you feel better. Acupuncture is a type of massage that focuses on certain pressure points located throughout your body. By pressing or massaging these pressure points you help relax your muscles.
Additionally, if you feel your blood isn’t flowing properly, you can opt for acupuncture to improve your blood flow.
The first place you can locate your pressure point is below your wrist. Take three fingers, place them below the start of your palm, and with one finger press the point below the three fingers with your thumb.
Each step takes about two to three minutes. You are required to rotate your thumb in the area till you feel better. Try the same process on both arms.
3.4. Tamarind or Anything Sour –
Anything sour like tamarind or lemon, high in citric acid, helps with digestion and treats nausea.
You can suck on a lime or lemon wedge or bite into a small piece of tamarind to curb your nausea when you feel uneasy.
It is also important for you to get your daily dose of vitamins, so do not skip out on your fruits and veggies.
4. Additional Home Remedies for Nausea During Pregnancy
4.1. Avoid Fatty Foods –
It is best to avoid certain fatty foods to keep you and your baby safe. Not only do fatty foods lead to nausea, but they are also unhealthy for the mother and the baby.
The problem with foods like commercially baked goods, fried food, creamers, and microwaveable or frozen products is that they are high in trans-saturated and saturated or solid fats.
Avoid anything that is processed, unnaturally sweetened, or fried. You should go for foods that contain good fats, like nuts, fish, or even seeds.
You can also include avocado in your diet with toast for breakfast or add it to your salad for lunch. The options are limitless, but ensure you make a smart and healthy choice for yourself and your baby. Keep in mind to eat healthy fats in moderation to avoid excessive weight gain.
4.2. Power up on Protein –
Proteins are high in carbohydrates and healthy fats that reduce nausea by secreting gastrin at larger levels. These are also essential for building hair, skin, tissue, and overall development. Additionally, protein is required to balance the fluids in your body to maintain proper blood levels.
Ensuring the health of you and your baby throughout the pregnancy is very important. Hence, it is important to consume enough protein, which may be 75 grams to 100 grams a day, depending on your weight.
Since protein helps fight fatigue and weight loss and builds your immunity, you should invest in quality proteins such as poultry, beans, and dairy products free from adulteration.
4.3 Avoid Heavy and Large Meals –
You might be confused with this recommendation because you will be eating for two people at this stage.
However, it is important to note that large meals or overeating during pregnancy can lead to nausea in addition to weight gain which can pose a threat to the health of you and your baby. In some cases, heavy meals lead to gastric problems and heartburn, whereas in other cases it may only lead to nausea.
Either way, eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day is recommended to fill your stomach. Make sure to include enough vegetables and fruits in your diet – you will need your daily vitamin and mineral intake.
4.4. Light Excercise –
Light exercise is essential during pregnancy because it releases counteractive hormones that fight nausea and keeps bloating and constipation at bay. Moreover, exercise reduces pain and even makes delivery more bearable. You also boost your mood and energy levels which is essential during pregnancy.
If you are looking for ways to lose weight post pregnancy our article here shares some tips.