There’s nothing like a bit of morning sickness to throw a damper on the exciting party of pregnancy. This is supposed to be one of the most exciting and joyous times in a woman’s life - but how can she enjoy any of it with her head hanging in a toilet?!
Odds are high that a pregnant woman will face nausea and queasiness at some point during her pregnancy. In fact, up to 75% of pregnant women will be affected by morning sickness. It typically starts at the six week mark, making it one of the earliest symptoms to confirm a pregnancy. And while in most cases, the nausea and stomach upset tend to disappear by the 12 week mark - this isn’t always the case.
The effects of morning sickness can be long-lasting and far-reaching making it more than just a slight annoyance for some expectant mothers. For these poor women, morning sickness can actually be a crippling and debilitating illness. It can disrupt their lives in terms of work and day-to-day responsibilities and even result in vitamin deficiency.
When it comes to facing this battle against nausea, sometimes the run-of-the-mill remedies just won’t cut it. For any readers out there who believe they have exhausted all potential treatments for morning sickness, don’t give up just yet! Here are 15 unconventional ways to combat pregnancy queasiness.
15 Say What?!
Partaking in oral sex and ingesting ejaculate as a cure to morning sickness?! Not only is this suggestion highly suspect but it seems to be a wacky idea concocted by some desperately undersexed man.
The man in question is Dr. Gordon Gallup, a New York area psychologist specializing in human reproductive behavior. He maintains the belief that morning sickness is caused by an expectant mother’s body treating the semen’s genetic material as a foreign, invading substance. And that her body is in fact rejecting it. He further submits that if she was to ingest the same sperm that resulted in the pregnancy, it would help her body develop a tolerance to it - and thus alleviate her morning sickness.
According to Dr. Gallup, if a woman made a point of building up her tolerance to the semen, it would help control her morning sickness for subsequent pregnancies as well (as long as they are by the same father). Research in this area is still definitely required but Dr. Gallup clearly is partial to sperm and its purported healing qualities. He also feels sperm ingestion can help stave off depression.
14 Acquire Sea Legs
Seasickness wrist bands have been praised in helping out people with seasickness as well as morning sickness by using acupressure. Essentially, acupuncture without the pesky needles, the wrist bands apply constant pressure to specific points on the wrist. Studies have also shown that acupressure helps alleviate anxiety and depression.
While many expectant mothers claim great success with seasickness wrist bands, just as many have noted no difference in their nausea or queasiness levels. That said, research conducted in the late 1980s proved that women using the acupressure bands reported significant relief from nausea and vomiting than women who did not.
Despite the mixed results, it may make sense to give them a shot if nothing else has put a lid on morning sickness to date. There are a variety of brands out there - all making similar claims. Before selecting the brand to try, do a bit of research by talking to others for input.
13 Chip Off The Block
Especially in the case of pregnancy, dehydration needs to be avoided at all costs. Not only can dehydration result in dizziness, fainting, headaches as well as constipation but it is often the culprit behind severe morning sickness as well. Yet, keeping hydrated may not be an easy feat when the thought of ingesting anything can be downright revolting.
If a woman’s stomach churns at the thought of a tall glass of water, consider drinking it with a twist of lemon or lime, enjoying some homemade lemonade or chewing on ice chips instead. For some reason, many preggos notice that crunching on ice cubes or chips doesn’t activate their gag reflex in the same way as downing a glass of liquid does.
Many expectant mothers swear by making trays of specialty ice cubes that help them get through any nauseous rough patches. Gatorade is an ideal ingredient as it replenishes necessary sugars and electrolytes while typically remaining gentle on a rumbly tummy. Any woman looking to quell her morning sickness with ice can find simple DIY recipes online using beverages like ginger ale as well as coconut water too.
12 Pass The Dutchie
This particular method of relieving morning sickness comes with severe controversy, warnings and possible risks. That said, more and more women suffering from crippling nausea during pregnancy are turning to less conventional methods to ease their pain. And one such method is using marijuana.
The American Medical Association is most definitely not on board with marijuana use during pregnancy. They have issued warnings against its use and currently are trying to get regulations in place. While studies are currently ongoing, marijuana use during pregnancy is thought to result in low birth weight, premature birth, stillbirth and behavioral issues in childhood.
On the flip side, many believe marijuana use during pregnancy is no more risky than taking some of the prescription medications available. Unfortunately, when it comes to the recreational use of marijuana (as opposed to medical usage), it’s sometimes impossible to be certain of all ingredients present.
Due to the riskiness of ingesting marijuana in any form while pregnant, expectant mothers are urged to try more commonplace cures for morning sickness before heading straight to this supposed miracle cure.
11 Get Tech Savvy
Most people know that heightened sensitivities to food and scent can exacerbate pregnancy nausea, but eye strain can lead to feelings of morning sickness as well. If a woman spends a lot of time on the computer for work or recreation, her tired eyes may be churning things up down below.
Computer Vision Syndrome - sometimes known as computer sickness - is a real thing that can even happen to the non-pregnant. Caused by eye strain due to long periods of computer usage (or reading and driving too), it can lead to dizziness, headaches and in some circumstances, nausea.
In order to prevent nausea or at least keep it under control, try some of these tips:
- Duh - avoid long bouts of computer use, reading or driving. Take regular breaks.
- Adjust the level of screen brightness so that it is easy on the eyes.
- Keep the computer background color something soft and soothing as opposed to bright and bold.
- Consider enlarging the font size.
- Be aware of the monitor's strobe or flickering. Despite being virtually undetectable, it can still wreak havoc on the eyes.
10 Tongue In Cheek
There is a particular yoga move that supposedly works wonders when it comes to nausea and queasiness. Any expectant mother suffering through morning sickness really has nothing to lose in trying it. It goes by a couple of names: the “yoga tongue pull” or “lion’s breath” but basically entails sticking one’s tongue out.
Here’s how to do it: she should assume a kneeling position with palms on knees while leaning forward slightly. Then stick her tongue out as far as possible, bending it toward her chin. At the same time, roll her eyes upward while exhaling. Hold this pose for ten seconds or until exhaustion. Repeat four to six times each session.
The reputed benefits of this fancy tongue work are many and include:
- Removing tension from the chest and diaphragm.
- Helping people who suffer from bad breath or stammering.
- Relieving jaw stiffness as well as teeth grinding.
- Improving vocal qualities.
- And of course . . . taking care of nausea and queasiness.
9 Combo Therapy
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the combined therapy of taking vitamin B-6 as well as a sleeping pill containing doxylamine to help alleviate morning sickness. While vitamin B-6 can often improve symptoms of nausea, it won’t necessarily help stop vomiting. There are possible side effects when it comes to ingesting B-6 such as headache, fatigue as well as the sensation of pins-and-needles. But depending on how severe the morning sickness is, it may be worth a try.
Generally, it is recommended that B-6 be taken throughout the day (probably three times daily at six to eight hour intervals) followed by one sleeping pill before bedtime. Of course, this dosing may vary depending on each individual’s unique circumstances which is why it’s best to consult with a doctor or midwife beforehand. It’s also important to double check the sleeping pill’s ingredient list to ensure that doxylamine is one of the active elements.
8 Blow Some Bubbles
Another trick of the trade when it comes to combatting morning sickness is the bubble gum remedy. Many an expectant mother has extolled the virtues of chewing gum in order to get respite from the internal churnings of her tummy.
Apparently, anything peppermint flavored or minty in nature seems to work best while steering clear of fruity flavors. What happens is that gum chewing creates a more than normal amount of saliva. This extra spit builds up stomach acid which in turn aids in the digestion process. It is sometimes even suggested that gum be used as a digestive aid in older adults or in individuals suffering from heartburn. Doctors have even been known to prescribe gum chewing for patients recovering from digestive surgery.
Again, gum chewing is only a temporary fix to morning sickness symptoms. It does not replace the actual ingestion of nutritious food. Keep it on hand to settle any queasiness so that eating a healthy meal is possible. It’s also recommended that pregnant women be choosy in their gum selection and avoid any containing aspertame.
7 Taste The Feeling
Tummy upsets have been calmed with the help of carbonated and fizzy drinks since the dawn of time. Typically, it’s flat ginger ale that is the go-to cure-all, perhaps because ginger is often considered to be an anti-nausea herb.
Coca-Cola is also touted as a huge help for morning sickness-related nausea and vomiting; possibly due to the fact that one of its active ingredients is baking soda. An alkaline substance, baking soda can sometimes help balance the stomach’s delicate pH level which can be thrown off kilter by pregnancy. Baking soda also does wonders in relieving stomach acid levels. That said, caffeine can sometimes exacerbate queasiness as well as pose some risk to pregnancy.
Something else to be aware of is that while fizzy drinks can be stomach-soothing for some, it can have an opposite effect on others - causing irritation and heightened nausea levels. Whatever the case, drinking pop to alleviate an upset stomach should be used as a temporary fix only.
6 Last Minute Vacay
Suffering the effects of extreme nausea while pregnant? Well then - a brief hiatus from work may be just what the doctor ordered. During the early stages of pregnancy, a woman’s sense of smell can become extremely heightened which can inevitably lead to queasiness and nausea.
Many office and/or work environments can be a cesspool of scents and aromas wafting about - from that co-worker’s re-heated salmon dinner to the secretary’s ritual of perfume-bathing. Until an expectant mother is able to get a better handle on her nausea, it may make sense for her to take some time off. Not only will she be able to rest and put the stress of her day-to-day job temporarily to the side, but she’ll be able to focus on figuring out her nausea triggers. She’ll also have time to learn what remedies work for her.
If this is something to be considered, then schedule a meeting with Human Resources to learn more about work policies regarding sick leave and how it will affect future maternity and parental leave benefits.
5 Pop A Drop
Chances are if nausea and vomiting have plagued a woman’s pregnancy, she has heard the terms “preggie pops” and “preggie drops” cast about within her inner circle. For those not in the know, these are specially formulated lollipops and lozenges that are geared toward the pregnant and nauseous population.
Often recommended by healthcare providers to patients suffering from extreme bouts of morning sickness, preggie pops and drops are all-natural, yummy treats made from a combination of essential oils and aromatherapy-approved scents. They help relieve symptoms of nausea by removing the smell and taste of triggering foods and beverages, lightening the effects of dry mouth and providing an expectant mother with much-needed calories.
The optimal way to use a preggie pop or drop is to suck on one in order to coat an upset stomach. This then primes the way, fending off nausea before a woman eats or drinks more substantial foods and beverages. Some pregnant women even choose to suck on pops or drops while in labour, claiming it helps them to maintain their energy and focus levels. They are available for sale at most major retailers and also online.
4 Use Common Scents
Fight fire with fire - if nausea is stirred up because of smells, then use the power of good scent to overpower the bad. Lemons are often cited as the miracle cure for pregnancy nausea. Queasiness can be shot to oblivion by sniffing them, licking them, eating them and squeezing a wedge into a glass of water. For some reason, tartly flavored foods such as lemons and limes are known to be easy on upset stomachs.
Rosemary and lavender scents are also highly popular and effective in fighting nausea. Many expectant mothers carry around sachets of the stuff and keep them at the ready. When stomach-churning begins, they grab the sachet for a bit of a sniff to keep nausea at bay.
If particular odors or scents seem to be causing nausea, then now is the time to be cognizant of them. Consider putting away offensive shampoos, colognes, perfumes, soaps or detergents until after baby arrives.
3 An Apple A Day
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” or so the old adage goes. Good advice for expectant mothers who are undergoing seemingly endless (yet vital) doctor’s appointments and health checkups throughout the next nine months of their lives. Also - pretty good advice for any woman struggling with morning sickness-related nausea and vomiting.
Apples are extremely beneficial for stomach health and are readily digested - think of them as adult baby food. And during times of extreme tummy upset, they can be a great source of nutrition.
This original super food goes as far back as biblical times and proclaims a myriad of other health benefits as well including:
- Helping reduce cholesterol
- Cleaning teeth and strengthening gums
- Being rich in fibre and preventing constipation and diarrhea
- Detoxifying the body
- Boasting many antiviral properties
- Helping reduce the risk of intestinal disorders
Many nauseous mothers-to-be swear by keeping a bag of grated Granny Smith apple nearby. When queasiness strikes, they take a quick sniff or eat a few pieces and are as good as gold.
2 Chipping Away At Nausea
There’s something definitely soothing about salt when it comes to symptoms of morning sickness. Crackers have long been considered the staple of choice to combat queasiness. Many pregnant women also stand by the potato chip as well. While plain chips seem to be the most popular choice, many preggos claim that it was the flavor of salt and vinegar that worked its magic for them.
We’re in no way stating that once morning sickness strikes, healthy eating should go out the window. If all an expectant mother eats are potato chips, she will be in for a few nasty surprises concerning her cholesterol, blood pressure and weight gain. Not to mention that a baby will happily leech the nutrients they need from other sources including a mother’s teeth and bones.
So eating potato chips in order to quell nausea is a short-term solution. It should only be used to get a woman’s stomach settled so that she can manage to ingest healthy and nutritious foods. If chips are the only thing she can even consider eating, it’s imperative she consults with her doctor or midwife to discuss other healthy eating options.
1 Bits And Bobs
Remember, the specific reasons behind morning sickness are still hazy and up for conjecture. And what triggers one woman’s nausea may not in another. What we’re trying to say is: don’t give up - keep striving to find relief. Until then, here’s a quick list of some more tried and true methods that have helped countless others suffering through the ravages of morning sickness:
- Drink through a straw to decrease air ingestion.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day.
- Avoid cooking.
- Book a pregnancy massage.
- Try acupuncture therapy.
- Hypnosis is another option. Some women even attempt self-hypnosis or meditation to great effect.
- Keep a nausea journal. Many women discover a hidden pattern or set of triggers previously unnoticed.
- Keep comfy - avoid high heels or constrictive clothing.
- Distraction may help - when nausea strikes, curl up with a good book or watch a movie.
- Allow for an extra hour of sleep at night or sneak in a nap throughout the day.
- Most importantly, figure out what works - then don't mess with it!