Treating morning sickness
A doctor will likely recommend various homecare remedies which have shown to improve mild cases of morning sickness. If it is noted that a woman’s symptoms of nausea and vomiting are persistent, vitamin B-6 supplements may be recommended, as well as antihistamines, antacids and anti-nausea medications safe to take during pregnancy.
Intense bouts of morning sickness may be alleviated with a combination of doxylamine and pyridoxine (Declegis) which is safe to take during pregnancy (approved by the FDA – Food and Drug Administration). A side-effect is drowsiness and impaired alertness which a woman will be warmed about if this medication is prescribed by her doctor. Severe morning sickness may require hospitalisation and appropriate treatment and monitoring.
How to cope with and alleviate bouts of morning sickness
Ways morning sickness may be alleviated include:
- Food selection: Some of the better foods to eat include those that are high in carbohydrates and protein, as well as low in fat. These should be easier to digest. Foods which are salty or contain ginger are great to nibble on and help alleviate nausea (settling the stomach). Foods to avoid are those that are spicy, fatty or greasy. Sweet foods may not be tolerated well either. Bland foods such as rice, chicken broth, bananas or gelatine are easier to digest and may be better tolerated. Snacking frequently can also help. Many women have found some relief by nibbling on a few crackers or dry toast first thing in the morning, as well as snacking throughout the day instead of eating three large meals. Snacking helps to keep the stomach fuller for longer. An empty stomach can aggravate nausea and make it a little worse too. There may be certain foods (especially warm or hot foods which tend to have more of an odour) that a woman will find aggravates symptoms due to their taste and/or smell – these can be avoided, especially while nausea and vomiting is at its worst. A good solid food to nibble on which also helps with hydration is watermelon.
- Hydration and fluids: Plenty or water, ice chips (made of water of frozen juice) or ginger ale can also help to keep nausea at bay, settle the tummy and also keep an expectant mom sufficiently hydrated. Small intake amounts at regular intervals throughout the day work better than larger quantities less often. This not only helps alleviate nausea, but can considerably reduce rounds of vomiting. It may help to avoid drinks that are particularly cold, tart or sweet, including citrus juice, as well as milk and caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea. For some women, water just doesn’t sit well with them, doing little to alleviate nausea. This is when ginger ales can help. Some women find some relief with herbal and flavoured teas such as chamomile, lemon, peach, raspberry or spearmint.
- Prenatal vitamins and supplements: Some women find that taking their prenatal vitamins aggravates nausea. It can help to rather take them at night with a meal or along with a snack during the day. Alternatively, chewing gum or sucking on a hard sweet after taking these pills can also help keep nausea to minimum. Prenatal vitamins are important to take to ensure that an expectant mom gets enough iron, vitamins and minerals during her pregnancy. Iron can make nausea worse, so it is best to follow intake guidelines from a doctor. A ginger supplement can also be taken if preferred, instead of in hot tea, as a syrup or in crystallised form.
- Fresh air: It’s a good idea for an expectant mom to ensure that her home or place of work is well ventilated. An environment that is free of odours (and cigarette smoke) which aggravate nausea can be helpful. Fresh air can help in more ways than one. Regular walks outside are not only good for the body, but can also help ease the queasies.
- Plenty of rest: If a pregnant woman is very tired and fatigued, this will not help her body to cope with the nasty effects of nausea and vomiting. It can make it worse. For more reasons than just morning sickness, an expectant mom needs adequate rest during her pregnancy.
Some alternative remedies include:
- Acupressure wristbands
Before trying any alternative remedies, it is wise to consult your doctor to ensure that there is no medical reason why it may not be safe to do so.