“If only it was just in the morning!”
Nausea in pregnancy signifies the rise of Beta HCG, the pregnancy hormone, which is actually good thing. What seems to make some people more sensitive to this than others? Possible theories relate to blood sugar fluctuations. If you are more susceptible to the rise and drop of your blood sugar then nausea is likely to be more severe. The efficiency of your digestive system at breaking down food can also play a role in the severity of nausea in pregnancy.
A number of psychosocial factors are thought to contribute to the development and severity of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. These include; stress, lack of social support, being single and personal conflicts.
Research suggests that women who experience normal levels of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy tend to have improved pregnancy outcomes such as fewer miscarriages, pre-term deliveries, a lower incidence of low birth weight and stillbirths.
- Start early! It helps to eat something before you get out of bed. Blood sugar is low in the morning for obvious reasons, and eating before you stand up helps reduce low blood sugar symptoms. You can leave some rice crackers or oat cakes by the bed.
- Eating small, regular meals, not more then 2-3 hours apart can help to stabilise blood sugar. It’s important that the carbohydrates are more complex such as brown rice and quinoa.
- Protein is important for growth periods and sustaining energy, so try nut butters, nut milks, feta & goats cheese, good quality protein powders, stews & casseroles.
- Dehydration can make symptoms more severe. Lemon in sparkling water and good quality spring and mineral water can provide essential electrolytes. Using Pink Himalayan Rock salt on food is also popular, as pregnant women often crave salty food.
- Avoid Triggers such as being hungry, large meals, fried and spicy foods, travelling, alcohol, strong tasting vegetables. Also strong smells such as coffee, perfume & tobacco.
- Ginger is the most popular treatment for nausea in pregnancy and can be ingested in many a varied way. Fresh grated ginger in cooking, steeped in boiling water as a tea, real ginger ale, crystallised ginger and ginger syrup.
- Peppermint is also often used for nausea and you can alternate organic spearmint or peppermint tea with ginger tea.
- Vitamin B6 – has been prescribed for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy but to do so safely you need to consult a qualified health practitioner.
There isn’t one magic bullet to treat nausea in pregnancy. A a combination of a number of diet and lifestyle choices that will have the greatest effect – leaving you symptom free and able to enjoy your pregnancy.