Pregnancy & Nausea

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I have no trouble remembering my first pregnancy and will tell any who inquire about my experience that it is amazing that I had four more children. It was the worse. I lost forty plus pounds during that first time. I could not stand the smell of food and was so nauseous, any tiny whiff had me gagging. The first trimester was spent on my couch as far away from the kitchen as possible. By the last trimester, I slowly was able to function again and to avoid being put in the hospital. Even now – 26 years later! – I shake my head thinking about it.  If I were more informed, I may have had a better time of it.

I recently was speaking with a friend who was having similar nausea with her first pregnancy, making it hard for her to go to work, take care of her pets and be a reasonable human being.  I wrote a recommendation sheet up for her. Here are some of the suggestions:

  1. Listen to your body.
  2. Rest and sip nutritious warm fluids like tea and low salt broth. Solicit the help of family and friends to manage your responsibilities. I recommend seeing a clinical herbalist to formulate a tea specifically for your needs but I also like Traditional Medicinals  teas & almost any organic broths. 
  3. Drink Raspberry leaf tea throughout the day. Forgo the coffee if you can. Try and eventually drink up to three cups. Raspberry leaf is a great overall uterine tonic and has been found to decrease pre & post gestational deliveries. 
  4. Drink Nettle tea throughout the day as well. I suggest altering weeks with the Raspberry. Nettle tea is another great all around pregnancy tonic and is very nutritive to your tissues as your support your baby.
  5. Drink Ginger tea but small amounts. If you can manage it, try a ginger lozenge, slowly chew a small piece of crystallized ginger or a tiny bit of ginger root. You can also try and sip real ginger ale.  I adore ginger. Research has shown that ginger will, at the very least, decrease nausea if not stop vomiting, when taken regularly. 
  6. When you can tolerate food, try and increase calcium intake. Good sources include fish like salmon, mackerel & sardines, dairy (if you use dairy), seaweed (especially kelp), sesame salt (gomasio), tahini and dark leafy greens such as turnip tops, beet greens and kale.  I suggest very small portions initially and increase as tolerated.
  7. Supplement with B6 at the direction of your healthcare practitioner.

As always work with your healthcare practitioner and a clinical herbalist when addressing these issues.  The information above is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment, and should be considered for your interest and educational purposes only.

Happy pregnancy and congratulations!

Sources:

Lindblad, A. J., & Koppula, S. (2016). Ginger for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Canadian Family Physician, 62(2), 145.

McIntyre, A. (1994). The Complete Woman’s Herbal. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

Parsons, M., Simpson, M. & Ponton, T. (1999). Raspberry leaf and its effects on labour: safety and efficacy. Australian College of Midwives, Incorporated Journal 12(3).

Viljoen, E., Visser, J., Koen, N. & Musekiwa, A. (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting. Nutrition Journal 13(20).

Weed, S. (1986). Wise Woman Herbal, Childbearing Years. Woodstock, NY: Ash Tree Publishing.

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