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Morning Sickness

What causes morning sickness?

Morning sickness is caused by the rapid change in hormonal levels that occurs during the first weeks of pregnancy, often resulting in nausea. Other causes of morning sickness may include diet and emotional factors. Strong smells and certain foods can trigger nausea, so avoid these if you can. There are a percentage of lucky women who never feel any morning sickness at all, and most women begin to feel better at the beginning of the second trimester. If you have severe and/or long-term nausea, consult a doctor before you get seriously dehydrated.

What can I do?

The following are some suggestions that can alleviate, to some extent, morning sickness. If you have considered doing body cleansers at any time, before conception is an excellent time for both partners to do a liver cleanse and upgrade their diets. And, a liver that is working at optimum efficiency can relieve PMS symptoms and may help lessen nausea during early pregnancy.

Herbs: The following herbs are recommended if experiencing morning sickness.

  • Ginger: recommended for both morning sickness and sea sickness. Drink ginger tea or “ginger beer”, or take ginger capsules (ginger tea with milk and honey will also help raise blood sugar.) Note: do not use excessive amounts of ginger.
  • Raspberry and mint tea.
  • Slippery elm: made into a nutritious gruel, is easily digested. You can also buy slippery elm lozenges to suck on.
  • Peach leaf tea.
  • Wild yam root tea or tincture in water.
  • Sucking on ice cubes made with any of these teas throughout the day may feel better than drinking cups of tea.

Nutrition: Eat small frequent meals with complex carbohydrates. Avoid high fat and junk foods. Eat a protein rich snack before you go to bed. Low blood sugar in the morning can cause morning sickness so eat something before you get out of bed. Drink plenty of liquids and remember that it may be easier to drink a nutritious broth for some of your meals. Take B complex vitamins, especially vitamin B6.

Homeopathy: Natural Healing For the Pregnant Woman, by Elizabeth Burch (see publisher information below), lists many symptoms of nausea along with specific remedies for each. Common remedies for nausea include ipecac, sepia, nux vomica, and arsenicum. Only take these remedies in a homeopathic form and consult a homeopathic practitioner if you have questions.

Flower Essences: Flower essences work on the emotions. They are made by placing flowers in a clear bowl filled with spring water, and infusing them in sunlight for several hours. The finished water is usually preserved with brandy or some other type of alcohol. Bach flower essences are probably best known because of Edward Bach’s work in discovering their use on healing emotions. Mimulus and Scleranthus are two flower essences used for morning sickness.

Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy involves using a plant's essential oils, which are normally very strong, and should not be taken internally without supervision. Oils can be simply sniffed or used in a spritzer to relieve nausea, stress or headaches, or drops can be put on a handkerchief to inhale and use as a compress. Add a few drops of your favorite scent to a massage oil. Citrus smells help relax queasiness, so it may also be helpful to smell lemon slices.

Acupressure: Acupressure works by stimulating the energy meridians of the body, thus alleviating stress, increasing circulation, and relieving nausea and headaches. The acupressure points that control nausea are on the wrist crease, in line with the little finger, and in the hollow between the collarbones. Press and rub on these points throughout the day. Also, acupressure wrist bands are available in most drug stores for dealing with nausea and sea sickness.

Relaxation: Fears or apprehensions you may have of parenthood can cause stress. There are many ways to relieve this and other types of stress, so take the time to find those that work best for you. Quiet time alone, reading, and exercise can help. Fresh air also does wonders to relieve nausea, so get outside and breathe or keep the windows open to encourage air circulation. Daily meditation is very helpful — bring your focus to a place of calm and centered-ness repeating “I am peace.” Lay comfortably on the floor or bed and release any tension you have in your body. Start at your feet and work your way up your body, tensing and releasing all your muscle tension. Be sure to release all that you are holding onto in your belly. There are also relaxation tapes available on the market.

Visualization: Is there anything in your life that is making you “sick to your stomach?” Visualize yourself moving through it and letting go. See yourself as the radiantly healthy being that you are, creating a perfect vehicle for the soul that has chosen you to be its mother. You are part of a miracle!

More Information: There are many books available if you want to pursue these recommendations further. We suggest the books listed on our Resource Page under the category of “Women's Health and Pregnancy.”

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