Pregnancy is a magical journey filled with excitement and anticipation. However, for many expectant mothers, it can also come with its fair share of challenges, and one of the most common ones is nausea, often referred to as morning sickness. This blog aims to shed light on the causes, treatment options, and management tips for dealing with nausea during pregnancy.

Understanding the Causes of Nausea

Morning sickness, a misnomer as it can occur at any time of the day, affects approximately 70-80% of pregnant women. While the exact cause remains unknown, several factors contribute to this queasy feeling:

  1. Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones, especially human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and oestrogen, play a significant role in triggering nausea.
  2. Enhanced Sense of Smell: Pregnant women often develop a heightened sense of smell, making certain odours intolerable and inducing nausea.
  3. Sensitive Stomach: The stomach muscles relax during pregnancy, causing food to stay in the stomach longer, leading to indigestion and nausea.
  4. Stress and Fatigue: Emotional stress and exhaustion can exacerbate feelings of nausea. Especially at the end of the day.

While morning sickness can be challenging, there are several ways to alleviate the symptoms and make the experience more manageable:

  1. Start early! It helps to eat something before you get out of bed. Blood sugar is low in the morning, and eating before you stand up helps reduce low blood sugar symptoms. You can leave some rice crackers, almonds or oat cakes by the bed. Eating small, regular meals, not more than 2-3 hours apart can help to stabilise blood sugar.
  2. Dietary Changes: Opt for bland, easy-to-digest foods and eat small, frequent meals to prevent an empty stomach. Avoid spicy, fatty, and fried foods, as well as strong-smelling or overly sweet dishes. Carbohydrates such as brown rice are preferable over pasta. Protein is important for growth periods and sustaining energy, so try nut butters, nut milks, eggs, feta & goat’s cheese, good quality protein powders such as hemp, stews & casseroles.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can worsen nausea, so it’s crucial to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sipping ginger tea or lemon-infused sparkling water can also help ease queasiness. As well as coconut water, soda water and mineral water.
  4. Ginger & Vitamin B6: Ginger has natural anti-nausea properties and is the most popular treatment for nausea in pregnancy. Try freshly grated in cooking, ginger tea (steep in boiling water with Lemon/honey), ginger beer/cordial or real ginger ale, crystallised ginger or ginger syrup. Ginger and vitamin B6 supplements (under supervision) can be included as necessary to also reduce nausea.
  5. Peppermint is also often used for nausea and you can alternate organic spearmint or peppermint tea with ginger tea.
  6. 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.
  7. Acupressure Bands: Wristbands designed to apply pressure on specific points have been found helpful in relieving nausea for some pregnant women.
  8. Prescribed Medications: In severe cases, healthcare providers may prescribe medications safe for pregnant women to manage nausea and vomiting.

Survival Tips

Apart from the treatment options, adopting certain lifestyle changes can significantly improve your overall well-being during this challenging period:

  1. Rest: Ensure you get plenty of rest and sleep to combat fatigue and reduce stress levels.
  2. Fresh Air: Take short walks outdoors to get some fresh air and light exercise. Avoid stuffy or strong-smelling rooms.
  3. Manage Stress: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, prenatal yoga, or meditation to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. Click here to read more on emotional wellbeing during pregnancy.
  4. Seek Support: Women with limited social support experience worse symptoms. Talk to your partner, friends, or a support group about your feelings. Emotional support can make a significant difference in managing pregnancy-related challenges.

Experiencing nausea during pregnancy is a common yet challenging aspect of the journey to motherhood. By understanding the causes, exploring various treatment options, and implementing effective management tips, expectant mothers can navigate this phase with greater ease and focus on the joyous moments that pregnancy brings. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so consult with your healthcare provider to find the best approach tailored to your specific needs.

I would love to work with you to create a positive pregnancy and birth experience. You can book an appointment via Brunswick Health or call Brunswick Health on 03 9380 8099.

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