Most women are glad to be pregnant, but who welcomes that queasy, awful flip-flopping tummy!? Unfortunately 75% of pregnant mothers have it. There is something you can do to help your morning sickness!
I took the prescription drug Bendectin to prevent nausea with my first pregnancy. I was so sick, that I spent a lot of the day throwing up, and my doctor edged my dosage up to 10 pills per day! A few years after my healthy baby boy was born, I read that particular drug had been pulled off the market because of its dangerous side effects. That made up my mind for me: I determined to be responsible for my health and not shift the decision-making to my doctor or any other person. I had to be cautious and take care of my baby and my body.
So my quest began to find a way to get through pregnancy without that constant awful “urpy” feeling. Here’s what I learned:
Morning Sickness Prevention
1- Make red raspberry leaf a daily addition to your diet from puberty on. This herb has the power to strengthen your uterus, and balance a woman’s reproductive system. Learn to take it in every form: hot herb tea, iced tea, or capsules. Every female from puberty on is helped by this herb! This is not the raspberry-flavored tea in the grocery store, but the real leaf of the raspberry plant you have growing in your garden.
Buy dried cut leaves in the health food store or find unsprayed raspberry bushes and harvest the leaves yourself, using them fresh or drying them for storage. To make a tea, put 1/4 cup dried (1 cup fresh) finely chopped leaves into a glass quart jar. Pour boiling water over them, putting a metal utensil into the jar so it doesn’t break when you pour in the water. Put a lid on loosely and let it steep for 1/2 hour or more, until the infusion is dark and strong. Drink it hot, or make ice tea by pouring cooled tea over ice cubes, sweetening with honey or stevia. Use the plain tea instead of water when reconstituting fruit juice, or adding liquid while cooking. Drink at least a quart a day for relief of morning sickness as well as strengthening the uterus for delivery. You can sip a cup of warm tea before getting up in the morning, or suck on ice cubes made of raspberry leaf tea. This is the key herb for pregnancy and things will go a lot easier if you drink a quart per day.
2- Eat a snack every 2 hours so your blood sugar levels stay high and prevent nausea. Protein rich snacks work well (cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, cold chicken strips, hard-boiled eggs, nuts). So do complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, whole grain crackers, and bread.
3- A handful of raw nuts (other than peanuts) can give you the protein boost that will break nausea. Keep a little zip-lock bag with you whenever you go. Make up a bunch of them and store them in the freezer until you need one.
4- Walk daily to release build-up of hormones in the bloodstream, which worsen nausea.
5- Get a natural source of iron to prevent morning sickness. Herbal Minerals, Chlorophyll or Floridix (available at health food store) work very well.
6- Take a natural vitamin B. Vitamin B6 deficiency may be at the root of your morning sickness and supplements can completely relieve this form of nausea. Vitamin B6 is found in all whole grains, so keep away from white stuff (white rice, white flour, white sugar).
In one study, 30 mg. of vitamin B6 was given every 8 hours with good results. Twenty-four hours before beginning the Vitamin B6, these women began records of how bad their nausea felt, and how many times they vomited. They kept their record into their vitamin B6 treatment. Results were that vitamin B6 caused quite a reduction in nausea and vomiting episodes, by reducing the amount of hormones in the bloodstream.
7- Eat unsalted crackers or matzo before getting out of bed in the morning.
8- Get out of the bed slowly and avoid any sudden movements.
9- Drink one teaspoon of real apple cider vinegar in one cup of warm water first thing in the morning. You can sweeten it with honey if you want.
10- Peppermint is a strong cure for nausea. Drink peppermint tea, or mix a drop of peppermint oil into your stevia-sweetened yogurt. I have had a lot of success with using peppermint. In fact, I used that pink peppermint ice cream that they sell at Christmas time as a medicine. I always had it in my freezer and took a big spoonful before bed, and whenever nausea overtook me. The strong peppermint, plus the fat in the cream, worked together to keep heartburn in control. Without it, I would wake about 4 AM throwing up from heartburn. My children would longingly beg for some of my ice cream, but I told them it was medicine, and that I didn’t particularly like it. I promised them that when the baby came, they could eat all my peppermint ice cream, which they thoroughly enjoyed! If you are in a pinch, try one of those red and white striped peppermint candies or a candy cane. Anything that has peppermint oil in it will help.
11- Avoid stuffy or smoky rooms. And people who wear cologne. And raw meat. And anything else that triggers queasiness.
12- Keep food by your bedside and eat a bit in the night when you feel ill, or before getting up.
13- To avoid actually throwing up, what helped me the most was to go outside immediately into the fresh, cool air, and slowly deep-breathe. And to distract myself—think about anything else. If my husband was with me, I would ask him to talk about something diverting to help me focus on something else . . . Sometimes that was enough to get over the bump!
14- Rest. Morning sickness worsens when you are tried or spent and stressed. Getting enough rest, laying on the couch, taking naps . . . these are all valuable in keeping morning sick at a minimum.
15- Wear accupressure wrist bands. Acupressure is applying pressure to a point on the body, in this case, the wrist, which is supposed to unblock energy flow that is causing morning sickness. This works wonders for some women!
16- Take your vitamins and supplements in the middle of your largest meal to prevent an upset stomach.
17- Try Milk Thistle (silymarin ) which is a great liver detoxifying herb. High pregnancy hormone levels are what are responsible for making you nauseous. This herb helps cleanse those from the liver relieving queasiness. Fully safe for pregnancy. I’ve had excellent results with this herb!
Still feeling bad? Then try . . .
Serious Morning Sickness Prevention
If none of the above work for you, here are the stronger remedies, 100% safe for pregnancy!
1- Ginger root. You can buy ginger root in grocery store or health food store and slice it into your Asian dishes, or buy capsules in the health food store. Bake with it, or drink real ginger ale (health food store), or eat strong ginger snaps. Just peeling and suck/chewing on the ginger root itself works too! This herb is really effective at stopping queasiness.
A recent study in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology suggests that ginger may reduce vomiting in 63 percent of pregnant women without the side effects associated with prescription anti-nausea drugs and doesn’t have any negative effects on your pregnancy. In another study, 19 out of 27 women who received 250 mg. of ginger root powder, given 4 times a day, showed a significant reduction in both the severity of the nausea and the number of attacks of vomiting. For severe morning sickness, you can safely take up to 25 (yep, twenty-five!) capsules of ginger root per day for complete control of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The easy way would be to buy it in bulk (health food store) and stir a tablespoon into some applesauce or other food.
Homemade Ginger Ale
2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger root (buy in grocery store)
2 lemon rinds, chopped
4 tablespoons honey, to taste, or use liquid stevia (my favorite)
1 c boiling water
1 quart seltzer (grocery store in liquor section)
Put the ginger and lemon rinds in a small bowl with the honey or stevia. Pour in 1 cup boiling water (or just enough to cover). Let steep for five minutes. Strain and chill. When ready to serve, add the seltzer water. Makes 4 servings (10 ounces each).
Le the syrup concentrate rest in the refrigerator overnight for best taste.
3 1/2 cups water
4-inch long piece of ginger, peeled & chopped
2 tablespoons vanilla
Lemon zest (yellow part of lemon peel), grated finely
Stevia liquid (to taste)
1 cup sparkling water or club soda per serving
Boil down the ginger and lemon in water for 10 minutes. The longer you cook it, the stronger it will be. Pour through a strainer into a jar. Add vanilla and sweeten with liquid stevia. Let cool and store in refrigerator as a syrup concentrate.
To serve: Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup of syrup to 6-8 oz of sparkling water.
2- Wild Yam root
Wild Yam root is powerfully effective for nausea in pregnancy. It is slower to work but far safer than the doctor’s prescription medicine for morning sickness. Take sips of strong tea (make it like raspberry leaf tea above) throughout the day, or buy the tincture and use a dropperful in peppermint tea several times a day for control of nausea. Capsules work too.
3- Vitamin C and Vitamin K (taken together!)
Vitamin K and C are effective remedies when taken at the same time. Use 5 mg. of vitamin K along with 500 mg. of vitamin C, taken together once a day to provide remarkable relief of nausea and vomiting. You can increase this dose to 3 times a day if needed. Give it about 2-3 days to show results, but it is amazing how well it works. In fact, 91% of pregnancy women showed complete relief of morning sickness within 3 days of talking Vitamin C and Vitamin K in combination. (Am Journal of Ob Gyn 64, 1952: 416-8). Strangely enough, taking the same vitamins separately did not have any effect.
My friend Cynthia, who is mother to a dozen, taught me something that her mother taught her, and I have often thought of it. She would giggle after she threw up—giggle in delight that she was pregnant. Giggle for the joy of having a baby! If you have ever had a miscarriage, I am sure you can relate to the exultant relief that morning sickness confirms—that you are “definitely pregnant”! While my natural inclination is not to laugh when nauseous, just the thought of my friend’s advice made me want to have a better attitude!
What a great blessing and joy it is to carry and birth your very own child! That is worth smiling about, even if you feel green!
Hoping your morning sickness will go away!