8 SOLUTIONS FOR NAUSEA DURING PREGNANCY
Often my pregnancy massage clients come to see me during their first trimester suffering from nausea or heartburn.
While nausea most commonly goes away within the first three months, heartburn can stay or appear late in pregnancy.
If you are pregnant suffering from nausea, morning sickness or heartburn, this article is for YOU.
SOLUTION 1: GINGER AND/OR VITAMIN B6
Some science fact.
A small 2001 study found that ginger is effective at reducing nausea during pregnancy.
Another small 2003 study concluded that ginger and B6 significantly reduce nausea during pregnancy.
Vitamin B6 is a micronutrient involved in metabolism, serving as a co-factor in many enzyme reactions. B6 is also involved in gene expression, transportation of oxygen rich red blood cell around the body and proper nerve function.
Some foods reach in B6 are:
Chicken, turkey (always choose responsabily grown meat. Grass or bugs fed animals are reacher in omega 3 then it’s cousine omega 6)
Fish (resposabily sourced line cought fish)
whole meal cereals
There seem to be more studies confirming ginger as effective in calming nausea during prengancy. With a more recent 2014 study concluding that the use of ginger during pregnancy is safe and seems to help with nausea and vomiting.
Please note that these are all small studies, so a very good guide but not a definite answer for ginger or vitamin B6 as being ‘the cure’ in treating nausea during pregnancy!
Generally, my approach is always: trust your body and your own judgement! It seems a good idea to try it out, but don’t over use it. Herbs do work! And while ginger has quite proven therapeutic benefits, sometimes we don’t know everything about an herb/ spice and its use during pregnancy, so I will personally never overuse a spice or an herb, or anything else really.
A piece of fresh ginger (or its pulp) the size of your thumb-nail for three/ four days should be enough to tell you if it works or not. You can use it in a home made smoothie, juice or warm water.
I encourage you to not exceed 1g per day and to take a pause from it after taking it for four days in a row.
The Know Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger has proven antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties. Enough to convince me to inlude it in my diet!
WHAT ELSE CAN HELP WITH NAUSEA OR HEARTBURNS DURING PREGNANCY?
- A healthy diet, full of fresh vegetables, protein and fruit.
For plenty of important vitamins and minerals as well as all the amino acids you need.
- Eating little and often
Keeping your stomach from being overly full and pushing its content up the oesophagus. This is especially important considering that, with the uterus growing, ‘all the organs are already squashing up’.
- Chewing well and slowly.
The digestion starts in the mouth, with the breaking down of food and enzyme producing saliva.
- Avoid drinking with your meal and preferably sip water at least 15 minutes before and 40 minutes after the meal
This will help you to keep the gastric juices working effectively for digestion. Drinking can dilute gastric juices, forcing the body to produce more to finish digestion. That may be a little too much for your comfort though.
- Stay upright for 30 minutes after eating
As the muscles and ligaments in your body are relaxing, including the valve at the top of the stomach, this can help you to avoid a mechanical overflow, where the acid juices in the stomach travel up the oesophagus due to gravity/ posture.
- Choose alkaline over acidic foods.
The PH in the body ranges from 0 to 14 with a neutral reading being around 7. Apart from the obvious acidosis, if our Ph is more acidic we are more at risk of health problems.
So avoid dairy and cheese, greasy foods, crisps, take away, burgers, wheat, sugar and chocolate or anything that has an acidic PH. And choose alkaline foods such as dark green vegetables and almonds.
If sticking to alkaline foods proves too difficult, try to drink an alkaline drink 15 minutes before your meal. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or half a lemon in a glass of warm (or room temperature) water.
By the way, you can easily taste your Ph level at home with simple PH strips.
- Consider digestive enzymes
Your body naturally makes 3000+ different types of digestive enzymes and those are fundamental in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Sometimes, for different reasons, we may run low on those enzymes and have difficulties digesting the food we eat. If you think your indigestion problems are not hormonal related but rather connected with the digestive system itself (for example you suffered from it in a milder form before) you can talk to your health provider about the possibility of taking digestive enzymes in a capsule form.
Remember ginger, fennel, and fenugreek also aid digestion.
(Note: never overuse herbs supplement, they do work!)
HEARTBURN: DOES MY BABY HAVE LOTS OF HAIR?
There is an old wives’ tale that says:
‘if you suffer with heartburn during pregnancy, your baby has lots of hair.’
But is it true?
Well, the author of a small study that wanted to prove this wrong had to admit defeat after finding that an association between severity of heartburn and baby’s hair does exist. It appears that some hormones during pregnancy have a dual mechanism of relaxing the muscles and ligaments (also those surrounding the valve that closes the stomach) as well as modulating foetal hair growth.
So, not such good news as this may be difficult to control with diet. But hormone balance can be very well achieved with acupuncture!
Acupuncture to help with morning sickness symptoms may work wonders for you.
Acupuncture has more and more studies confirming its benefits in many health related topics. Hence the NHS is starting to integrate acupuncture practice in its services.
Happy healthy living,
North London Pregnancy Massage specialist, Birth and Post-Natal Doula, Baby Massage Instructor.
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