Pregnancy nausea is a beast. It’s not similar to the nausea one feels while riding a rollercoaster, sitting in the backseat of a car, or on a boat at sea. This kind of nausea makes a woman hate the idea of eating anything. She can’t stand to be in the same room as the foods she used to love. Many women joke that once they are pregnant they’ll be able to eat for two and not feel guilty. However, pregnancy nausea can be so awful, they’ll be lucky to get enough to eat at all!
Pregnancy nausea comes from the increasing HCG levels in a woman’s body after a fertilized egg has attached to her uterine wall. Over 70 percent of women experience nausea during their pregnancy. It's most commonly felt during the first trimester and then goes away in the second trimester. But some women continue to feel it throughout their whole pregnancy. It also can happen at any time of the day- not just in the morning. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for pregnant women to combat nausea.
First, you should eat small frequent meals throughout the day, and exercise for at least 30 minutes. This kind of meal structure ensures that there's always something in your stomach. Foods that are higher in protein as opposed to carbohydrates can also help fight cravings and lessen nausea. Exercising can help distract you from feeling sick.
Second, there are medications and vitamins that are known to help fight nausea. But before you consume any medication or supplement, you need to consult your OB/GYN or midwife. Some commonly used medications and vitamins include Benedryl and Vitamin B6. Benedryl is an over-the-counter antihistamine, and its properties can help ease nausea. But you should be careful when taking it because it can make you feel drowsy. Vitamin B6 is already found in many prenatal vitamins, but that amount varies depending on the brand.
A more natural route is taking herbal supplements. Herbs such as ginger, chamomile, and cardamom have been found to help soothe a queasy stomach. Many women enjoy these herbs as teas, but ginger candies are also helpful. However, the studies done on these herbs are limited, so there isn’t a lot of research backing up the aforementioned claim. But they're not very invasive, so after consulting your OB/GYN, they're worth a try.
Lastly, acupuncture has been proven in “multiple studies” to help with nausea. There's a pressure point called P6, which is located below the wrist and above the forearm that fights nausea. The latest study from 2018 found that “applying pressure and massaging the area for a few seconds at a time can relieve nausea.” There are also wristbands available to apply constant pressure to this point.
Although nausea is a common annoyance of pregnancy, it shouldn't be overlooked. If you're pregnant and struggling to keep food or liquids down, you need to consult your doctor right away. Remember- it's of the utmost importance that you take care of yourself.