Morning sickness is that period in a woman’s life when her emotions of excitement, happiness, confusion and the fear of the unknown is at its maximum. She has just discovered that she is carrying another life inside of her, whether planned or unplanned, now it’s there and there is no turning back! And then there is this awful bland, metallic taste in the mouth, the nauseous feeling, the vomiting, the fatigue and lethargy, and the heightened sense of smell. Without doubt, the start of a beautiful pregnancy is not pleasant at all. This unpleasant feeling may stay the whole day and continue until the fourth or fifth month and sometimes even till the very end of pregnancy. Are there any effective morning sickness cures, let’s find out.
I don’t know about other people, but I myself dreaded morning sickness more than labor pains. I am sure everybody wonders what causes this morning sickness and what are the morning sickness cures options available? Pregnancy would be so much better if there was no morning sickness.
Some soon-to-be-moms suffer from excessive vomiting known as hyperemesis gravidarum. I have seen women with IV infusion (normal saline drip) on one arm and continuously vomiting the whole day without any break. They become anorexic, cannot tolerate even a drop of water in their mouth. Noise and smell irritates them, there is no warning sign as to what can trigger the vomiting bout.
It can be very exhausting. Imagine having to wake up every morning, feeling dizzy and nauseous!
So why is it that women have to go through this horrible ordeal? Is there any morning sickness cures? What can be done to ease the symptoms and get quick morning sickness relief? Can anyone make it so that there is no morning sickness at all? Here is what you need to know.
Causes Of Morning Sickness
There are many theories as to what causes morning sickness.
1) Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
When a woman conceives, the placenta starts secreting a hormone called hCG, which is detected in urine in a positive pregnancy test. This hormone is secreted in small amounts as early as the 2nd week of conception but its level in blood are only high enough to be detected around the 4th-5th week of pregnancy. This is when morning sickness starts.
The chemoreceptors trigger zone (CTZ) in the brain stem (area of brain that connects to the spinal cord) is stimulated by this hormone and can result in morning sickness. Generally, the level of hCG in the body doubles every 72 hours in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
2) High Progesterone/ Estrogen Levels
hCG interacts with receptors on the ovary which promotes the maintenance of corpus luteum, the ruptured follicle that released the egg. Corpus Luteum then secretes progesterone during the first trimester, which enriches the uterus with a thick lining of blood vessels so that it can sustain the growing fetus. Higher progesterone not only relaxes uterine muscles so that it expands with the growing fetus, but it also causes the stomach and intestines to relax, leading to a build-up of stomach acid.
The slowing of the digestive tract not only facilitates extraction of nutrients from the food that we eat, but it also helps to keep the food in the gut longer which can increase the risk of nausea, especially when the blood sugar drops. The heightened sense of smell that comes with pregnancy can also turn the stomach. The estrogen levels increase by more than 100 percent. But since these two hormones continue rising till the very end of pregnancy (the placenta starts secreting progesterone in later stages), and morning sickness in 80% women subsides after 4th month, researchers are not sure if they are actually triggering morning sickness or just exacerbating the effects of hCG.
Hormonal Replacement Therapy (hrt) after menopause may cause symptoms similar to those of morning sickness due to same reason.
3) Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia is also cited as a cause of morning sickness. It is caused by the placenta that drains nutrients and energy from the mother’s body to supply to the fetus. It’s more of a vicious cycle when pregnancy itself causes nausea and vomiting which leads to dehydration and anorexia (inability to eat), lowering the blood sugar level causing more nausea.
Blood sugar is usually lowest in the mornings because of the several hours have passed without eating. So when you wake up, some people experience the full effects of low blood sugar which include:
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Abdominal Discomfort
- Stomach rumbling
You can combat low blood sugar in the morning by eating a snack right before bed, during the night (if you wake up) or as soon as you wake up in the morning.
4) Vitamin B Deficiency
Vitamin B deficiency can cause many symptoms including nausea and vomiting, bad breath, headaches, dry and scaly skin, intestinal cramps, aches and cramps in the legs (especially at night), nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, irritability, dandruff, difficulty concentrating, hemorrhoids, anemia, and lowered resistance to infections. Supplementing Vitamin B-complex during pregnancy is one of the proven morning sickness remedies known.
5) Low Blood Pressure
During pregnancy, circulation expands and hormonal changes can cause blood vessels to dilate. This lowers blood pressure. The body starts retaining water resulting in the pooling of blood in dilated vessels which results in swelling especially in legs and feet. When women get up from a lying position, the blood tends to flow to the feet due to gravity which may cause many women to experience faintness and dizziness early morning. This is also known as orthostatic or postural hypotension. Even if this doesn’t cause nausea directly, the dizziness can certainly exacerbate the problem.
6) Higher Stress Hormone Secretion
The human body is in a state of “physical stress” during pregnancy. All the systems have to work much harder to sustain two living beings, the mother and the fetus. The heart and circulation needs to pump more blood, due to doubling of the requirements, the lungs and kidneys have to function more, every system feels the stress. This results in secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, which make the body go into a crises mode.
Your breathing and pulse quicken, making more oxygen available to the muscles. Blood sugar levels rise. Physiological processes that are non-essential in the short term—like digestion, growth, and repair—are temporarily shut down. This can cause fatigue and nausea and definitely accentuate morning sickness.
7) Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency is very common in women and most of us do nothing about it. Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and has an impact on our blood pressure, metabolism and immunity.
There are many reasons of magnesium deficiency being so widespread. Depleted soil conditions, meaning plants (and meat from animals that feed on these plants) are low in magnesium. Use of chemicals, like fluoride and chlorine in the water, since these chemicals bind to magnesium. Common substances that many of us consume daily, like caffeine and sugar, also deplete the body’s magnesium levels. So does stress.
Magnesium normally balances cortisol levels by clearing the excess from the blood. But pregnancy hormones inhibit the ability of body to absorb magnesium. The higher the estrogen or progesterone levels in a woman’s body, the lower the magnesium. This is why women experience more leg cramps during pregnancy and PMS (premenstrual syndrome) in the second half of their cycles when progesterone/estrogen are higher and magnesium is depleted.
Morning Sickness Cures That Work
Let’s face it, we are all in search of morning sickness cures that prevent it from happening when we become pregnant.
Let’s face it again, there are multiple factors that play a role in how sick we will get every time we become pregnant.
Every pregnancy is different. Our body’s stores of nutrients is constantly changing. A good diet, active lifestyle, our hormones all play a vital role curing morning sickness.
Among the many natural remedies for morning sickness, there are a few that are incredibly useful and should be incorporated. These may be the only ways to have no morning sickness symptoms during pregnancy.
1. Vitamin B 6 Supplements
A large part of the nausea and vomiting during morning sickness comes from vitamin B deficiency. In order to get morning sickness relief, it is advisable to take 10-25 mg of vitamin B6 every hour or two for a day or longer.
It is important not to take the multi-vitamins after 3 PM since it interferes with sleep. However, if you are working on alleviating nausea and vomiting with extra B6 supplements, you can try continuing to take the B6 by itself every hour or two after 3 pm, and see if your sleep is affected.
2. Limit Caffeine
Consumption of caffeine during pregnancy destroys vitamin B which is essential during pregnancy. Since these vitamins are water soluble, they are readily lost in urine. The stimulating effect of coffee, tea, chocolate and caffeine-containing sodas and soft drinks causes them to be washed out through the body.
Lemon water has shown to work wonders in providing morning sickness relief in severe cases.
3. Magnesium Supplements
It is important to build magnesium stores much before getting pregnant. You can can do this by consuming magnesium rich foods such as:
- bone broth
- Leafy green vegetables like spinach and chard
- pumpkin seeds
- black beans
Modern farming practices and water filtration systems have drastically reduced the magnesium content in foods so you may want to add a supplement to your diet.
The dosage of magnesium for pregnant women is:
- Under 19 years: 400 mg/day
- 19 to 30 years: 350 mg/day
- 31 years and up: 360 mg/day
Most prenatal vitamins contain 100 mg of magnesium per day. Try to get the rest through food, since magnesium toxicity can be dangerous for both the mother and baby.
Believe it or not, our body has several pressure points that trigger our bodies to have positive reactions towards nausea. There is a pressure point on both our wrists, applying pressure to which can provide morning sickness cures.
How To Find Morning Sickness Relief Pressure Point:
- Turn your hand palm side up and make a fist. In most people you will be able to see two large tendons that run parallel from the bottom of your wrist up your arm.
- The pressure point is located between these two tendons about 2-3 finger widths (about 1½-3 inches) below the top crease in your wrist where your palm meets your arm.
- Wrap your fingers around your wrist and use your thumb to press firmly on the pressure point.
- You should start to feel relief within 10-30 seconds, but it can take some people up to 5 minutes before they start to feel better.
- Don’t press too hard. It only needs firm pressure to work and pressing too hard can cause discomfort.
Ginger has long been used to treat upset stomachs. It is best to purchase fresh ginger instead of the powdered variety or other processed ginger because many believe that processed ginger is less beneficial than fresh ginger. Once you have the ginger, you can prepare it and consume it in any way you like.
Ginger tea has proven to be one of the best natural morning sickness cures out there.
6. Fennel and Anise Seeds
Fennel and anise seeds have been used by Chinese herbalists to settle upset stomachs and cure nausea for many centuries.
Prepare a tea by crushing the fennel seeds or anise seeds using a coffee grinder. Steep for 10 minutes in a glass of hot water. This will give you an incredibly effective anti-nausea/anti-morning sickness tea to sip on. You can also get the benefits by simply chewing on the fennel or anise.
Although morning sickness is interpreted as “normal” during pregnancy, the bottom line is that it doesn’t mean there are no morning sickness cures available to a woman. There are many home and natural remedies for morning sickness, foods that combat nausea naturally and supplements that provide morning sickness relief.
If vomiting worsens, taking anti-nausea and anti-vomit medication may become sufficient morning sickness cures in the short term. Remember, every pregnancy is different and there is definitely something out there that will work for you.