We have often been asked for information and advice on morning sickness. I would like to start by honouring the miracle and wonder of conception and pregnancy. It humbles and inspires while reminding us to honour the divine energy that enlivens all things. This time in a family’s life is a particularly potent and sacred one.
Sometimes just simply slowing down, relaxing and nourishing the pregnant woman will reduce morning sickness symptoms. Growing a baby is a huge ‘job’ for the mother so re-focusing on priorities is important.
As a pregnant woman, take time out for you. Use these nine months or so as a chance to nourish yourself more deeply on all levels, while knowing that doing this is benefiting your baby as well as you. Your baby depends on what you eat and drink, breathe and feel for its nourishment and growth. In Ayurvedic understanding, a pregnant woman is honoured and revered. She is supported by her family and community to be more still, and to reduce stress and anxiety in particular.
A regular, gentle, warm oil massage is recommended along with nourishing easy-to-digest foods. Be inspired and nurtured, too, by daily practices which nourish the spirit, like meditation, beautiful music, deep breathing, yoga, walking in nature and singing. Find some way to address your fears also, as the things we are ‘sick of’ can contribute to morning sickness.
Nausea and mild vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy is quite common and there are many remedies that can help. Most allopathic (synthetic) anti-nausea medicines contain anti-histamines, which have been linked with birth defects. The following natural remedies have no known harmful side effects.
- Maintaining blood sugar levels—there is a strong connection between nausea in early pregnancy and low blood sugar levels, so maintain your blood sugar levels by eating small meals frequently. Protein rich snacks like avocado, almonds (best soaked) or good quality bread with tahini help maintain your levels, whereas excess high carbohydrate foods send them all over the place—hence, the old wive’s tale of starting the day with a cracker or wholemeal toast.
- The increased hormonal activity of pregnancy can produce chemical by-products resulting in morning sickness. Gentle daily exercise like walking, swimming or yoga, will help prevent this, as will drinking plenty of pure water.
- Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals can also be a factor in morning sickness, in particular vitamin B6 and low iron levels. So supplementing these with a good quality brand, specific for pregnancy, can help.
- Avoid greasy, fried foods and over-rich meals. Melted yellow cheese in particular will burden your digestive system and can lead to morning sickness as well as nausea.
All of the above can help prevent the symptoms. If you are already experiencing morning sickness/nausea, then try:
- Slippery Elm (my personal favourite) —as powder mixed with apple juice or water and a little honey. Mix to the consistency you prefer. Or use capsules. It is totally safe so use as needed.
- Deep breaths in fresh air
- The Stress Release Hold—rest your left hand on your forehead and your right hand on the back of your neck and take deep breaths.
- Fresh ginger as tea (on its own or add to the following herb tea suggestions) or in food or juices.
- Fennel seed tea
- Rose Water (pure) in a little water and sip often. Also this can ease symptoms if you lie down with rose water soaked eye pads on your closed eyes for 10 minutes.
- Fresh apple juice, or any of the following teas: peppermint, raspberry or chamomile. You can play with these and mix and match as desired.
- Homoeopathic remedies: Ipecac or Nux Vomica
- A liquid herbal blend with Black Horehound as the main ingredient: this mix will soothe and relax while also nourish; however, it needs to be prepared by a trained herbalist. If there are any deficiencies in the pregnant woman, a herbal blend like this will aid by feeding them, while simultaneously relieving the symptoms.
Each pregnant woman is unique, so try the different remedies and find which help ease your particular symptoms.
The health choices you make for your child begin while you are pregnant, so please research and inform yourself well with any remedies you may use. Ask your naturopath or herbalist if unsure and, of course, if anything just really doesn’t feel right for you then trust that and don’t have it … thus, choose wisely.
For further information about Ayurveda or naturopathic and homoeopathic remedies visit
Published in Kindred, Issue 25, March 08