& VOMITING IN PREGNANCY
RELIEF MEASURES & NATURAL REMEDIES
Nausea is one of the most common complaints of pregnancy;
it seems to be related to the massive increase in hormones to support the pregnancy, and an individual’s unique sensitivity
to the physical and emotional changes that result; symptoms usually resolve by the third or forth month (except for those
unfortunate few). Here are some suggestions for relief of this complaint, but please remember to check
with your provider before beginning any treatments or following any advice:
- Keep a dairy of what makes your symptoms worse and better, to increase your awareness of what to avoid and how you
can help yourself; nausea is usually made worse by fatigue and an empty stomach so try to plan accordingly.
This is a very sensitive period; you need to find extra time for your own much needed
pampering, and remind close friends and family that you need lots of additional love and understanding.
At least every 2 – 3 hours eat small amounts of foods that include unrefined complex
carbohydrates (such as whole grain bread, crackers, cereal or pasta, brown rice, barley, and kasha), fresh fruits and vegetables,
dried fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and lean protein (like eggs, tofu, fish, skinned turkey or chicken, low fat cheese, milk
or yogurt); avoid letting your stomach become empty or stuffed, and try separating eating solids and drinking liquids by about
- Plain foods are usually
better tolerated than hot, spicy, rich, greasy, overly sweetened or processed foods; avoid coffee, alcohol and cigarettes,
as they irritate the stomach, in addition to causing health problems for you and your baby.
Keep well hydrated by drinking lots of liquids (8-10 glasses per day) such as water, seltzer,
and herbal teas (ginger, peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, raspberry leaf, cinnamon, anise or fennel seed, and dried peach
tree tea have been reported to be very helpful – see what works best for you); some women prefer warm milk or lemon
juice with honey as soon as they get up in the morning, or sipping all natural ginger ale throughout the day; strong homemade
ginger tea does wonders – boil ½ teaspoon grated ginger (about ¼ inch slice) in 8 ounces of water in a
covered pot for 10 – 15 minutes, strain and add honey to taste.
- Make ice cubes of strong ginger, peppermint or red raspberry tea and suck on them every few hours; try ginger sucking
candy or candied ginger, available in most health food stores.
some healthy snacks by your bedside to eat before rising in the morning and going to bed at night, and always carry an assortment
of your favorite foods when out.
offensive odors and fumes (including cigarette smoke).
more sleep by going to bed earlier or sleeping later, and taking a nap or frequent rest periods during the day; allow more
time to get out of bed in the morning.
- Get plenty
of fresh air and open windows when inside; weather permitting, every day try to spend at least 20 minutes outside with nature
in the early morning or late afternoon sun – this does wonders.
- Engage in regular moderate exercise such as brisk walking, cycling, dancing or swimming for ½ hour 5 days
per week; even though you may not feel like doing this, it helps immensely and you will feel better afterwards.
Talk through ambivalent or troubling feelings with your partner, close friend or therapist
as needed; mental conflict and emotional turmoil can greatly contribute to nausea and vomiting; make a conscious effort to
work on increasing feelings of forgiveness, appreciation, love, joy, optimism, and healing, while letting go of anger, resentment,
fear, sadness, and other negative thought patterns that are not serving you; do not be afraid to seek counseling if you need
help with this, as it is not only helpful to express your feelings with a sympathetic ear, but also to develop skills of self
mastery and empowerment; ask us for a referral to an experienced practitioner with expertise in this area.
Try to avoid things, thoughts and people that agitate your mind and raise your internal
tension; surround yourself as much as possible with calm, centered persons, things, sounds and places that inspire, relax
you, cause you to feel at ease and restore you to a feeling of balance and well-being.
Practice the following breathing exercises twice per day (like before rising in the morning
and going to sleep at night) and whenever you feel very nauseous or stressed: simply focus your attention on your breathing
for a few minutes, then after a normal breath, try slowly squeezing out as much air as possible, using the intercostal muscles
in your chest; then allow air to come in naturally and deeply, but automatically and repeat the cycle for eight breaths; another
wonderful breath work technique is to exhale slowly through your mouth with an audible sigh, then inhale slowly through your
nose for a count of 4, then hold for a count of 7, then exhale through your mouth for a count of 8 and repeat this cycle for
a total of eight breaths.
- Try deep muscle relaxation
exercises, yoga, meditation, visualizations and imagery work, light distractions (such as watching an engrossing drama, comedy
or musical, reading a good book, listening to music that you love), a change of scenery ( such as a day in the park, spa,
museum, beach or mini vacation with a family member or friend); homeopathy, acupuncture and hypnosis also can be very helpful;
please ask us for referrals for classes, practitioners, self-help books as needed.
- Wear acupressure wristbands (“Seabands”), which place constant pressure on the acupressure points related
to nausea and have been very effective for some women (they can be purchased in most health food stores and some pharmacies).
Take a good quality prenatal vitamin, an additional supplement of vitamin
B complex (25 – 50 mg. 1 - 2 times per day, depending on how much nausea, vomiting and fatigue you are experiencing)
and herbal iron as needed after meals; if your symptoms are bad and you can not tolerate taking supplements, just take 25
mg. vitamin B6 three times per day; if you can not even take that and your nausea is accompanied by the great exhaustion of
early pregnancy, there is a very effective treatment of vitamin B injections or rectal suppositories from a compounding natural
pharmacy that has helped many moms (most need the shot once weekly, but some find they need it twice per week;
if your symptoms are severe and you do not like the idea of shots or suppositories, you can combine
vitamin B6 with a rather safe over-the-counter antihistamine medication doxylamine, known as Unisom, which
is available in most drug stores (take 1/2 tablet or 25 mg. before sleep with 25 mg. of vitamin B6, you can take the other
half in the morning with your first B6 dose but it may make you drowsy, and do not forget the midday 25 mg. dose of B6 );
the combination of vitamin B6 and Unisom can be phenomenally successful at reducing severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy,
and is considered the best pharmacological treatment around.
you are interested in herbs, try Gaia’s or Eclectic Institute’s Red Raspberry leaf (take 1
-2 capsules or 1 ml. tincture 1 -2 times per day), and/or try Wild Yam root tincture (1/2 dropperful twice
per day); also, you can take Ginger root powder in capsules (250 mg 4 times per day) or New Chapter’s Ginger Honey Tonic
(1 – 2 teaspoons as often as you need).
remedies are safe an amazingly effective in treating nausea and vomiting of pregnancy; you can be referred
to a homeopath if your symptoms are severe and prolonged; some women report much success with Weleda’s homeopathic combination
Nausin (7 – 10 drops four times per day).
not take over-the-counter medications without checking with your provider.
Please call your provider if you have severe persistent vomiting such that you can not keep anything down for more
than 24 hours, you are losing weight, dehydrated, and/or you feel faint, as you may need medication, or more rarely, intravenous
hydration in the hospital.