It’s one of the less-pleasant aspects of pregnancy — morning sickness. For some unfortunate souls, the nickname is a misnomer. Their nausea lasts all day.
Excessive vomiting warrants a trip to your OB/GYN. Your developing child needs nutrients, and too much tummy trouble can leave them deprived. However, for the occasional queasiness, the following eight home remedies for nausea during pregnancy can help.
Saltines are the most well-known morning sickness remedy, but any plain and starchy food will do. Part of the reason is that an empty stomach increases nauseous feelings and reactions to strong smells.
Putting something plain in your stomach can help soak up any excess acid. If you are prone to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), these juices backing up in your esophagus can spur nausea. Even if you don’t typically have acid reflux, the extra pressure on your internal organs from your growing uterus could cause it to arise.
An Asian root herb, ginger is one of the best remedies for nausea Mother Nature offers. However, you won’t get many benefits if you turn to soda. Most commercial ginger ales do not contain any real ginger — any perks you perceive come from carbonation, not medicine.
However, you can find ginger tea at nearly any grocery store. If you’re fortunate enough to have a teapot complete with an infuser, you can shave the dried root and add it directly to your favorite blend. It adds a flowery, earthy flavor that marries well with herbs like lavender and chamomile.
Plants in the mint family have a longstanding reputation among herbalists for helping tummy trouble. These plants contain bioactive compounds like polyphenols and menthol that might calm tummy muscles and affect the nerves that carry nausea signals to your brain.
Adding mint leaves to your tea or dessert dishes also gives you a potent punch of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant goodness. You might also benefit from aromatherapy. Try a few drops of peppermint essential oil in your diffuser and keep it by your bedside if you typically wake up feeling queasy.
Women have used red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy for millennia. This herbal uterine tonic promises to do everything from quelling morning sickness to making delivery less painful.
However, you need to use caution in the first semester — which is, ironically, when morning nausea is likely to strike. Some people use it to trigger uterine contractions, which can cause a miscarriage if it occurs too early. As few as four cups can cause problems, so during early pregnancy, stay on the safe side by having no more than one.
Fennel is another well-known folk remedy for women during pregnancy and after childbirth. Many women take it to help stimulate milk production once they give birth.
However, if nausea is your problem while expecting, try adding some fennel to your tea. The Indian herb contains a substance called anethole, which also prevents excess acidity and flatulence. You can use it even when you aren’t pregnant to treat stomach trouble — it could spare you from embarrassing gas.
The aroma of citrus can help to calm nausea. One way to take advantage is to use these fragrances in your aromatherapy diffuser. Another way to benefit is to add lemon to your bedside glass of water.
Some experts recommend drinking plain lemon juice with a pinch of salt and sugar as a morning sickness remedy. The astringency will make you pucker your lips. You can also fill a pitcher with lemon and ginger and leave it in your fridge for stomach relief.
Nausea often results when your nervous system grows too excited. Learn how to calm it — and a stressed-out mood — by harnessing the power of your breath.
Learn to practice 2-to-1 breathing, where you exhale for twice as long as you inhale. Yoga practitioners use this technique to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and help attain calm. Another method is to inhale for a 4-count, hold your breath for four, then exhale for the same length of time.
If you can get to a licensed practitioner, you might find that acupuncture helps to calm your nausea during pregnancy. Eastern practitioners say the method works by stimulating the flow of chi, or vital energy, through your body. Western scientists believe that the needles activate surrounding nerves.
However, if the idea of needles turns you off, you can practice acupressure. You’ll use the same points as those used in acupuncture, but without breaking the skin. Try rubbing a circular motion on the tendon inside your wrist about two inches from your thumb joint. See if that calms your upset stomach.
The eight home remedies above can help cure nausea during pregnancy so that you can get back to the joy of expecting. While severe stomach pain warrants a call to the doctor, you can find relief for occasional morning sickness through these methods. If you are also experiencing acid reflux, here are some home remedies to help you feel better.