"Morning sickness" - pregnancy-related nausea - is very common, especially during the first trimester. However, the problem isn't the same for every woman, as the nausea can occur at any time of day or night (not just in the morning) and some women experience it throughout their pregnancy. For some women, it's a minor annoyance. For others, it can become a serious issue. No one is sure exactly what causes it, but hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy probably play a role.
Morning sickness relief can be complicated, too, since many women try to avoid taking medications during pregnancy. And what works for one woman, may not be as effective for another.
Fortunately, if you're experiencing morning sickness, there are natural, alternative remedies that can help. Some are age-old (taking ginger for an upset stomach) and some are leading edge (using a wrist band to provide acupressure). Here are some nonmedicinal remedies you can use to relieve morning sickness:
- Ginger: For centuries, Asian cultures have recognized ginger's ability to help settle an upset stomach. You may find sipping ginger tea will help relieve your nausea, or you can increase the use of this spice in your cooking to help create a more even, lasting effect. For times when you need quick relief, you can try ginger lozenges.
- Lifestyle changes: Making certain changes in your eating habits can also help relieve morning sickness, according to the Mayo Clinic. The clinic's website recommends mothers-to-be choose foods that are high-carb, low-fat and easy to digest, and avoid greasy, spicy and fatty foods. Having an empty stomach can actually make nausea worse, so consider snacking on a few crackers or a piece of dry toast before getting out of bed and snacking throughout the day rather than eating three larger meals.
- Acupressure: Just as wearing an acupressure wrist band can help fight motion sickness, these bands may help moms-to-be relieve morning sickness.
- Aromatherapy: Sensitivity to certain smells is also common during pregnancy and can bring on pregnancy-related nausea. Aromas can also help relieve symptoms. Scents like ginger, peppermint and spearmint can help an unsettled stomach feel better. At home, try potpourri or sachets scented with these essential oils.