5 Simple Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness
Nausea during pregnancy (often called morning sickness) is something that affects over half of pregnant women to some degree during their pregnancy. Symptoms can be as mild as stomach queasiness or an aversion to certain foods or as severe as all day nausea and vomiting.
There is no single cause or known reason for morning sickness. It could be due to the changing hormones throughout pregnancy and/or a more sensitive digestive system.
Symptoms typically fade by the beginning of the 2nd trimester, but for about 15-20% of women they can continue longer. (1) It should be noted that these remedies wont help with a serious condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, also referred to as HG. If you suspect you have HG, you should consult with your health care provider and establish a support group.
Fortunately, there are some simple natural remedies that can be used to help alleviate symptoms of morning sickness. These remedies range from herbs to vitamins to eating habits.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that everyone’s body is different, and you may find that a remedy that works for someone else is not as effective for you.
Here are 5 natural remedies to try out to relieve your morning sickness.
Ginger is one of the most popular and most used herbs for nausea in general, and it can work wonders for morning sickness as well. Studies seem to indicate that ginger may act in a similar way to anti-nausea medication, although its mechanism of action is still not fully understood. (2)
Ginger has long been used as a home/folk remedy for morning sickness and research is coming in to back this tradition up. One study, in particular, found that ginger significantly improved symptoms of nausea in pregnant women without the risk of side-effects or adverse reactions. (3)
There are many different ways to consume ginger to help with morning sickness. Grating the fresh root and steeping it in boiling water to make a tea is one of the easiest methods and can be very effective.
Crystallized ginger and ginger chews can also be very effective as can ginger ale made from real ginger. The only downside of these remedies is that the sugar content can be much higher than homemade ginger tea, so be sure to pay attention to the amount of sugar and other ingredients.
Capsules containing ginger can also be purchased and used. This could be a good option if you want to try ginger but don’t like the flavor.
Side Effects: Ginger is considered safe for pregnancy and rarely has side effects. However, if you are taking blood thinners or are prone to low blood pressure, you will want to consult your doctor first. Ginger is also considered to be a “hot” herb and may be most effective for those with cold-type constitutions.
Mint, especially peppermint, is another herb that’s often used as a remedy for nausea. It is safe for use during pregnancy and some find that it helps alleviate morning sickness. Spearmint may also be beneficial, though it’s used less frequently than peppermint.
Like ginger, there are many ways to use peppermint and/or spearmint for nausea.
One of the easiest methods to try is making a cup of mint tea. 1-3 teaspoons of fresh or dried peppermint can be used per cup of boiling water and steeped for 10-15 minutes to make the tea.
Even inhaling the steam from the tea may help reduce nausea, and if it is effective, you can make a larger batch of tea and store it in the refrigerator.
Aromatherapy using peppermint essential oil may also be just as effective as actually consuming the mint. One study showed that participants (women who had just given birth via C-section) given peppermint aromatherapy reported significantly lower levels of nausea than those who were given a placebo or traditional anti-nausea medication. (4)
Peppermint oil can be used in a diffuser for aromatherapy, inhaled directly from the bottle at the onset of nausea, or placed on a cotton ball and held to the nose.
Side Effects: Peppermint and spearmint are very safe herbs to use without documented side effects. Unlike ginger, peppermint has a cooling effect and may be more helpful to those with hot-type constitutions.
Lemon & Other Sour Flavors
Although there isn’t much research done on this yet, sour flavors and smells may help to reduce nausea during pregnancy (perhaps explaining why dill pickles are such a common pregnancy craving).
Lemon, especially, has been used by different women to help with morning sickness. Drinking hot or cold lemon water in the morning can help both with hydration and nausea symptoms. Making ginger-lemon tea can be especially effective as it combines two remedies.
Citrusy and sour smells may also be effective enough to help with morning sickness. A freshly sliced lemon or lime or a bottle of essential oil can be inhaled at the onset of nausea to help reduce it.
Smaller + More Frequent Meals
When nausea hits, it’s difficult to want to eat anything, but spreading meals out into smaller and more frequent portions throughout the day can help with nausea that comes from getting too hungry or too full.
This way of eating also helps to prevent blood sugar dropping or spiking, which can also contribute to nausea. (5)
Including protein in each meal may also help with pregnancy-related nausea (6), possibly because it helps to regulate blood sugar. For some women, it helps to get nutrients from some kind of shake or smoothie rather than solid food.
Supplement with Vitamin B6
Supplementing with vitamin B6 is becoming more and more common as an alternative to traditional anti-nausea medications. Studies are showing that vitamin B6 (also called pyridoxine) can be effective at treating nausea during pregnancy and is considered safe with virtually no side effects. (7)(8)
You can also try consuming more foods that are vitamin B6-rich like bananas, avocados, certain nuts, and sunflower seeds.
Give Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness a Try
All five of these natural remedies for morning sickness are fairly simple to add into your daily routine and are worth a try to see if they will bring you some relief. For severe nausea and vomiting, be sure to contact your doctor for help.
And if you need some extra, natural nourishment during pregnancy, try out the Womb Wellness Enriched tea, this special tea has the addition of peppermint and wild yam to help balance progesterone levels and supports your overall health during and after pregnancy!