By Tessa Finney-Brown and Inez Hanson
Whether your first or your fifth pregnancy, each baby brings a new and different experience. Even the healthiest of pregnancies can sometimes be troubled by uncomfortable niggles, such as heartburn or constipation. Over the next 10 weeks we’ll be bringing you an insight into 5 of the most common concerns, and ways to treat them through Naturopathy and Homeopathy.
Estimates suggest that between 50 and 70% of women will experience morning sickness during their pregnancy. It usually begins around the fourth week and resolves by week 12, although an unlucky few will continue to have symptoms further into the pregnancy. Most women experience nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting, which is worse in the morning, but may persist throughout the day.
Whilst the actual cause is not known, experts believe that morning sickness may be brought on by high levels of hormones in the body and altered blood pressure. Changes in carbohydrate metabolism and excess stomach acid may also be to blame.
Natural remedies can be quite effective, although different things work for different women, so you may need to try a few or talk with a naturopath to identify what is best for you.
- Eat a small, bland starchy snack before getting up (as soon as you wake), such as some dry crackers or a small bowl of brown rice/quinoa/buckwheat. You might like to set your alarm a few minutes earlier so you can take your time getting out of bed.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals so that your stomach is never completely empty. This is because some people believe that high levels of stomach acid in an empty stomach contribute to the uncomfortable nausea.
- If low blood sugar is triggering your nausea, you might like to keep a high protein, low sugar snack with you at all times such as pumpkin seeds or a trail mix.
- If nausea is severe and you are having difficulty eating, try to ensure that anything you do eat is nutrient dense.
- Avoid any triggers, such as fatty or fried foods (these aren’t so great for the baby anyway).
- Ginger is a perfectly safe herb to use in pregnancy, and studies have shown it to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting.
- You can have ginger in a tea, in capsules or as a liquid herbal extract. You might like to make a tea with fresh ginger and sip it warm or cold during the day.
- Vitamin B6 is another scientifically tried and tested remedy. The suggested dose is 50 – 200mg three times a day. Ask your Naturopath for more advice on what is best for you.
- Sniffing peppermint oil may help to calm a queasy stomach.
Relief from morning sickness can be only a few doses away with the right homeopathic remedy prescribed individually by a registered homeopath.
Homeopathy uses various natural substances in highly diluted doses to gently stimulate and work with the body to adjust the underlying imbalance that is causing symptoms. Remedies may be given in drops or in pills that are dissolved in the mouth. It has a long track record of being safe to use during pregnancy.
For the most immediate relief of morning sickness, the remedy needs to be chosen according to your symptoms so that it can stimulate and adjust the underlying imbalances that are causing your nausea and vomiting. For instance, does smelling food that you would normally like make your nausea worse? Is your nausea worse when you are in a stuffy room? Are you unable to keep any liquid or solid food down? Is your nausea continuous both day and night without vomiting? Your homeopath will prescribe a remedy based on individual symptoms such as these. The most common remedies prescribed are Sepia, Pulsatilla, Nux Vomica, Tabacum, Ipecac and Symphoricarpum racemosa – strange names that are usually the Latin term for the natural substance that the remedy is made from.
When prescribed correctly, the relief can be immediate and often the pregnant woman feels better at the end of the consultation if she has had the chance to have a few doses of the remedy. Interested? visit www.inezhanson.com.au to learn more about how homeopathy can help you and your new born baby!
Some women find that acupuncture, or wearing acupressure wrist bands is quite a helpful remedy. Others suggest that meditation may also help with nausea.
A final note.
Severe morning sickness is known as hyperemesis gravidarium, in which a woman experiences repeated vomiting, weight loss and dehydration. This is a serious condition and requires medical attention.
About the Authors.
Tessa Finney-Brown is a Naturopath and published author. Amongst other areas, she has a keen interest in women’s health, including pregnancy and pre-conception issues.
Click here to visit Tessa’s website: www.tessafinneybrown.com.au
Inez Hanson is a registered homeopath who is in demand due to her unique understanding of the many health and emotional issues that can be experienced by women, children and men. She has a special interest in fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and natural family healthcare.
Click here to visit Inez’s website: www.inezhanson.com.au