How to Alleviate Nausea when Pregnant

Congratulations! You are pregnant, and for the next several months, your body will be home to a tiny little person! As baby grows, your body will experience a number of changes. Some of those changes will be exciting, and others will just be uncomfortable.

Some pregnant women do not experience nausea, but those of us who do are encouraged to know it usually only lasts the first three months. On rare occasions, however, some women experience nausea for 6 months, or even for the entire 9 months. Although this nausea is called “morning sickness”, for most of us it is not limited to mornings, but can happen any time of day.

I have given birth to seven children, and have experienced nausea with every pregnancy except one. Most of the time, the nausea ended almost magically at the end of the first trimester, but for my third pregnancy, I was so nauseous I could not eat until about the sixth month of pregnancy. I wish I knew then what I know now!

There are a number of things you can try to get rid of the ill effects of morning sickness, and I expect you are already familiar with them. Eat small meals, often. Nibble healthy snacks throughout the day. Keep saltines beside your bed and nibble on them in the morning before you get up. Start the day with dry toast. To be honest, I have tried all of these, and I still had nausea to deal with. I had the hardest time with dry toast and saltines, which were unpleasant to eat and didn’t help my nausea at all.

Some other things you may not have heard of are drinking ginger tea or eating ginger snaps. Ginger is a natural stomach soother, known for its ability to reduce nausea. That did not work for me either, but it may work for you. Your doctor may recommend Sea Bands or a prescription to reduce nausea. Before you try that, however, I have two little known suggestions that worked wonders for me.

I discovered that my nausea seemed to be caused primarily by an empty stomach. However, I could not eat “just anything” once the nausea began. Instead, I discovered protein was the key. Because protein is not digested as quickly as carbohydrates, it stayed with me longer and helped prevent nausea. Rather than eating a dry saltine in the morning, I kept hard boiled eggs in my refrigerator and would have one of those first thing in the morning. That would get my day off to a good start, and as long as I kept nibbling snacks throughout the day, I did pretty well.

I also kept protein snacks on hand, in the form of raw nuts, protein shakes, bars such as South Beach Diet or Kashi that were high in protein, hard boiled eggs, or bites of chicken or beef. Plain yogurt would sometimes help, but I found most dairy products were too high in natural sugar (lactose) and made my stomach more upset. Surprisingly, high fat milk or yogurt sat easier for me than the low fat or skim versions that were almost entirely sugar. I believe that was because the fat content slowed down the digestion, somewhat.

At those times when the nausea was its worst, I discovered having a protein snack before bed was crucial. If I could nibble on some tuna or chicken breast, or make a deviled egg out of my stash of hard boiled eggs, it made all the difference in the world the following morning. For me, the snack had to be low in sugar, because sugary things increased my nausea. I have also been known to wake up at 4 AM and have another protein snack, to tide me over until morning.

It sounds like all I did was eat protein, but that was not the case. I did cut back significantly on sugary foods, and tried to eat more whole grain carbohydrates, since they digested more slowly and were less upsetting to my stomach. I also tried to balance my diet with raw vegetables and fruits, lots of salads, and some cooked vegetables. Because of the nausea from dairy products, I preferred whole milk or 2%, which were less upsetting to my stomach.

Perhaps you are wondering what the second little known key is, for reducing or preventing nausea? So many of the treatments for nausea are to address the symptoms, but I like to work at discovering the cause of the problem, and then address that. Other than my body’s need for food, and especially protein, I also discovered a shortage of B vitamins can cause nausea! When I began taking a quality B Complex vitamin supplement, I discovered my nausea was greatly reduced. Since B Complex is a water soluble vitamin, you don’t need to worry about taking too much of it and overdosing. If you take more than you need, the excess comes out in your urine.

I chose a B Complex that was natural, with no artificial colors or sweeteners. I began by taking one in the morning and one in the evening. If I was not having satisfactory results with that, I added one more at midday. If that seemed to be helping, but I was still experiencing nausea, I took two in the morning and two at night, and that seemed to do it for me. Obviously, each of us is different, so you will need to experiment to find the best dosage for you. It is wise to seek a doctor’s advice, of course. If you do not notice any improvement with taking up to 4 B Complex per day, then you either need to buy a better quality supplement, or this is not a need for your body. However, most of us are not getting the B Complex we need in our diets, so this will probably make a difference for you!

Congratulations again on your new little one. Remember to research any nausea remedy before you take it, and check with your medical professional. Some herbs and natural remedies that work well for other causes of nausea may not be safe for your baby. Your doctor or midwife should be able to tell you if something will be safe for you to take. Hopefully one of the above suggestions will help you reduce, or even eliminate, your pregnancy-related nausea!