Morning sickness - two words that can paralyze even the strongest and most courageous of women. What woman has not been rendered incapacitated, helpless, and frustrated by its grip on their bodies, minds, and stomachs? It is truly the scourge of pregnancy. I speak from personal experience here ladies, as well as from witnessing its effects on family and friends.
Hopefully for most women, this is the worst of what they will experience. Some will experience other issues, some not. But most women will have morning, evening, or all day sickness at some point in their pregnancy. And let me tell you, it will not be pleasant. A woman can feel like a party girl back in her young carefree days every morning and evening of the week, but it will be without the fun of the party memories from the night before (even if those memories were a little bit of a blur, but I digress.)
So what’s a woman to do? Should she cry into her pillow or the toilet bowl? Ok, that’s in bad taste, but we’ve all done that, too or at least most of us have, right? We may not have a choice in whether our body has morning sickness. We may have to grin and bear most of the pregnancy issues that come with the excitement of junior’s arrival. But is morning sickness really something a woman HAS to go through painfully? Is there any way to lessen its effects or even remove morning sickness from the equation? Some women have sworn there are ways to do just that. Here are 16 of the Weirdest Things That Helped Moms with Morning Sickness:
Many women are now starting to turn to hypnosis to handle the effects of morning sickness. It has already been said to have been effective in helping women combat or get through labor pains and have a more pleasant delivery, but now more women are trying to see if it has the same positive effects with combatting morning sickness. One of the most famous ladies of our time, The Duchess of Cambridge, has been reportedly trying out hypnosis as a way to combat extreme morning sickness, called hyperemisis gravidarum. The process is done by conditioning the mind to associate good healthy food with feeling great. Often what happens is that the nausea triggers responses in the brain that makes the association of food and nausea go together quite easily. Hypnosis breaks into this by making positive associations.
Many women experience morning sickness and are tired of old remedies that may not work to help them control nausea. This is where it takes one super smart lady to make a connection with another popular method that helps control another type of nausea which is called seasickness. One such popular way of helping the body handle seasickness is wearing what is called “sea or acupressure bands”. These bands go around the wrist and the pressure helps relieve the nausea common with sea sickness. Some women have tried it for morning sickness, and it has shown positive results. They can be purchased for about $20.00 at the pharmacy. If this is too pricey, another home-made version apparently works just as well. All she needs is a kidney bean held in place with a bandage. She should leave it in place for as long as she needs relief.
Herbs have long been touted as helping out in so many areas where there is illness or medical needs. For morning sickness, apparently there are specific herbs that will do the trick to help curb or get rid of it completely. The herbs that are most recommended are the following: black horsehound, meadowsweet, wild yam, peppermint, lemon balm, aniseed, squaw vine and peach leaves. Women have the option to take herbs in fluid, tablet or capsule form. She needs to absolutely make sure however, that she checks with the pharmacist and her medical care practitioner that she knows the correct dosage and method of taking it that is safe for her and her baby. She also needs to make sure it is safe for her to take during pregnancy, as taking the wrong herb or dosage can harm her baby or her during pregnancy.
Acupuncture is an old Eastern method used to treat many different types of pain such as nausea, vomiting and general discomfort. It can be traced back to China 2,500 years ago. The theory is that it is based on the patterns of energy (Qi) and how they flow through the body. A healthy flow means that good health is present. A bad flow or disruption, means that there is an imbalance in the body and disease is present. Acupressure itself is the insertion of needles at different pressure points in the skin to stimulate a good flow of QI energy. Many women have tried it with success, but again more medical research is needed to see its efficiency long term. She also needs to make sure the practitioner is fully licensed and trained so she is protected in all cases.
There is so much exploding online with Vitamin B6 these days. Everything from it helping with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and its emotional imbalances and mood swings, and now to some women saying it has helped tremendously with easing their morning sickness complaints when pregnant. A recent study done in the US and Thailand had incredible results. Apparently women who took 25 milligrams of Vitamin B6 over an eight hour period had significantly less vomiting and nausea than women who took a placebo, which is a saline variation. It seemed to really turn things around. As always, she needs to check with her doctor and anyone else on her medical team before she takes any new medication or vitamins. The important thing is that it is safe for her and her baby.
As strange as it sounds, there is something refreshing about sniffing or drinking something with lemon in it, even for those non-pregnant ladies. Especially with pregnancy though, having anything with lemon in it has proved to relieve much of the morning sickness and nausea discomfort. How can she eat lemons? She can put this tart and tangy fruit in hot water or have them in tea. She could also drink iced lemon water or even suck on a slice of actual lemon. Even sniffing lemon peels, similar to sniffing orange peels (a remedy a good friend told me about years ago), will really work. It clears the body’s wastes and cleanses. The other good thing about lemons is that it is a fruit and part of the Canada Food Guide of healthy eating and living. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that will help Mom and future baby in many ways.
Now here is where moderation needs to be practiced. No one is saying that it is healthy for a woman to go out and eat a bag of chips every day, but balancing some junk food with overall nutritious meals will not hurt her or baby long term. If the nausea is temporarily relieved by munching on some chips, or cookies, or a hot dog here or there so be it. As long as most of her diet is healthy, it is fine. Things that are salty are usually what is craved the most. Some say this is due to an imbalance of sodium in the body due to the body now working for two. Again, as long as she is not consuming A LOT of junk food and her salt and sugar levels are healthy, no harm done.
This sounds crazy, but sometimes thinking positively can also work to relieve some or all of morning sickness and nausea issues. It certainly can’t hurt to try some deep breathing and something from yoga called “the body scan.” This is basically taking a few deep breaths and feeling one’s body relax from head to toes. If she is doing it correctly, she will feel all her tension evaporating in a few minutes. This is when she could remind herself that she is not sick, but pregnant. She could marvel at the fact her body is carrying another human being that will soon come into the world, and thank it for allowing her to experience this miracle. Especially if her morning sickness was more anxiety-related, this may be just what she needs. Though a lot of morning sickness is due to physiological reasons, some is due more to anxiety around motherhood.
Finally resting more can be the answer to removing or at the very least decreasing the strength of the morning sickness. This means taking little breaks in the day to put her feet up, lie down and take a nap or two. Cat naps have been known to help with so many stress-related issues. She could also try going to bed earlier in the evening and if she can, sleeping in later. The important thing is to listen to her body and what it is telling her. When the body is stressed, it will often react physically with tension headaches or nausea. She needs to remember she is carrying another person (or sometimes more than one) and this puts pressure on her body. She needs to take extra good care to pamper herself. This is when taking family and friends up on cooking and housework help can be a lifesaver.
Chinese herbal medicine has long been thought to help with a lot of maladies over the centuries. Some women have sought out reputable Chinese herbalists and asked them for what works to curb morning sickness. Two apparently popular herbs that work are Bamboo and Hoelen formula. They are a combination formula that apparently regulates the Qi and work to harmonize the stomach while clearing out the gallbladder. It is recommended for use with people experiencing nausea, vomiting, as well as morning sickness and other health conditions. It has been said to help with improving the strength of the uterus (contraction/tension) as well as stimulating the digestive tract. As with any other type of herbs, she should check with her medical care practitioner if it is the right course of action for her and her baby.
Back to yoga, but there have been lots of times it helped so much with body and mind discomfort. The key is to have a good instructor or else know exactly how to perform the maneuver so she does not hurt herself. In this case the move called “the tongue roll” may help curb morning sickness, and at least unlike other more complicated positions where she would need to be supervised, this can be done on her own. The “Tongue Roll” is basically grasping her tongue with a dry and clean cloth while pulling it out straight. She needs to do this for 30 seconds. It may feel strained and uncomfortable, but that means it is working. Heck, it’s at least worth a try if nothing else is helping at this point.
Ah yes, the art of distraction. Remember, when our Moms told us that to forget about the bump on the knee to squeeze our finger? Ok, that may be a little less serious, but there is the distraction element. When a person is thinking of one part of their body over another, they will forget about the pain in the first part, or at least it will lessen. This is true. Now we are not saying to injure yourself to forget about morning sickness, but going for a walk, out to see a movie or calling up a friend, are all safe and pleasant distractions that may help curb or lessen the effects of morning sickness or nausea. Again, she is busy doing other things so is not concentrating on the morning sickness.
Many old wives tales passed down through the centuries and in families, have listed so many natural formulas to help curb morning sickness. Some are even listed in books like Pure Apple Cider Vinegar which can be found in a book called “Old Vermont Cures.” What ingredients does a woman need to make this safe natural nausea reliever? Well, the main ingredient is 1 T of pure apple cider vinegar, 8 oz of filtered water, and 1 T pure honey. This apparently has saved the day with morning sickness and has even helped eliminate migraine pain. There are books full of simple remedies like this to make up in the comfort of her own kitchen. As long as her doctor is aware of her trying these methods, and they are products that are natural to eat and safe, there is no harm.
Another thing that has helped many women suffering with morning sickness when nothing else has, it aromatherapy. It can relax her as well as help her system calm down and feel better. She should proceed with caution, however, as sometimes the smells can make her symptoms worse. Still, it may be worth a try. Here are some scents that have been proven to work: peppermint, spearmint, lime, lemon, sweet orange and mandarin. Ginger has also sometimes helped tremendously in helping her manage her discomfort, but should be taken with caution. The reason is that some aromatherapists believe that ginger can lead to bleeding and trigger contractions. Again, it is up to the woman herself to weigh the pros and cons, and she should check with her medical team to make sure that it is safe for her to try out this method of pain relief.
Salt. We all love it. We all put it in our food. But for some pregnant ladies, salt is their saviour from horrible nausea and discomfort. It can be added to food or cooked into food, and can be put in healthy meals if she is worried about consuming it in high-fat snacks. As was mentioned early on, as long as her salt and sugar levels are fine, and her doctor will be monitoring her throughout pregnancy, there is no need for her to feel bad about using salt if it is helping. She needs to make sure she is not experiencing swelling or dizziness of any kind and that her health and baby’s is good. Her health team will let her know. As long as she checks with them, this can also be a good method for her to keep food down and feel her best.
Another homemade treatment that many women have sworn has helped is Gatorade in ice cube trays. A Mom online shared how the nurse at her obstetrician’s office told her to try it. Apparently sucking on the finished product helps with hydration and helps to replenish electrolytes. Who would have thought? But when one does ponder it, what do we give our kids or take ourselves when we have gastroenteritis, or the common stomach flu? It’s Gatorade for adults or Pedialite for the little ones. They have that electrolyte solution in them to replenish the lost salt and other things in our bodies that go out (pardon the pun), when we cannot keep food down. So it makes sense. Anyway, providing she is given a clean bill of sugar health, why not pop those Gatorades and see what happens? It can’t hurt to try.