Natural Supplements for Morning Sickness
Many pregnant women suffer with morning sickness, especially during the second and third months of pregnancy. Many of these women will experience nausea without the vomiting. Although it is called morning sickness, it can affect pregnant women at any time of the day. There are natural supplements available that can help to ease the symptoms of morning sickness for many women.
Morning sickness usually wears off by the 14th to 16th week of pregnancy, but a few women can continue to suffer after this time. This is called hyperemesis, and can result in severe vomiting which causes dehydration, weight loss and chemical imbalances and requires urgent medical treatment.
It is not yet clear why severe nausea and vomiting occurs, but there is a potential link with high levels of the hormones, oestrogen and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). This hormone is produced by the placenta in large quantities until the end of the first trimester. Other possible causes of morning sickness are stress, anxiety, tiredness and low blood sugar levels.
There are a few measures that you can put in place to prevent morning sickness that are safe to use during pregnancy. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of rest and time off work if necessary. Overdoing things in the early stages of pregnancy will increase stress levels and possibly also increase blood pressure. Eat little and often. Regular small meals are easier to digest and will also help to maintain even blood sugar levels.
You should incorporate foods with a low glycemic index (GI) into your diet. These foods will keep your blood sugar levels at a consistent level, so you don’t suffer with energy dips throughout the day. Whole grains, porridge, beans, pulses, fruits and vegetables are examples of low GI foods. It is generally better to avoid fried and spicy foods, as they usually make the symptoms worse, although if you have been sick, don’t worry about following a balanced diet. It’s more important to eat something at this stage. You should also keep hydrated with water, fresh juices and herbal teas.
There are a few natural supplements that can help to treat morning sickness. Ginger is the most commonly used herb for sickness in pregnancy. You can take ginger in many forms. It can be taken as a tea, as a sweet, capsule / tablet, or you can cook with it. The best way to take ginger is as a tea. You can make this with fresh ginger. Ginger is a “warming” herb, so it is important not to take too much, as it may result in heartburn.
Another useful herb is peppermint. This is also best taken in the form of a tea. You can make this with fresh mint leaves and hot water. Peppermint tea will help to relax the stomach muscles and relieve the nausea. Lemon and lime juice can also help to calm down the digestive tract, and alleviate the nausea.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) has been found to reduce nausea in pregnancy, although it is not yet clear on how it works. Magnesium has also been used to treat morning sickness. It is thought that this mineral reduces nausea by improving digestion and reducing heartburn. A balanced diet should provide you with the correct amounts of these supplements. Multivitamin pregnancy preparations will also contain these supplements.