Dreaded morning sickness

Dreaded morning sickness. It’s the infamous curse of early pregnancy that causes misery for so many newly expectant mothers.

Today it seems outrageous to think that until relatively recently, morning sickness was often attributed by doctors to hysteria by women, assuming they were simply highly anxious or stressed. Thank heavens medical wisdom has moved on since then. However, it’s still a common misconception that only a minority of women suffer, when in fact around 85 percent of pregnant women are estimated to suffer to some degree.

What makes morning sickness so hard to deal with

In a nutshell, it’s the sheer unpredictably of morning sickness that has stumped the medical profession and creates so much anxiety for women. Unfortunately, there is no way of predicting how long it will last, or the level of severity you’ll experience. Typically, morning sickness strikes from around weeks 4 to 12 of early pregnancy, but unfortunately for some, this can continue into the second trimester and even throughout all trimesters.

Regrettably the bad news doesn’t stop there. Despite its name, morning sickness doesn’t necessarily occur first thing in the morning. It can affect women at any time of the day or night, and may come in several bouts.

While medical experts are still unable to definitively explain the cause, it’s widely accepted that that the sickness is caused by a combination of factors including:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Low levels of vitamin B6
  • Fluctuation in blood pressure
  • High hormone levels, particularly oestrogen
  • Changes to the metabolism of carbohydrates

Reduce your stress by being prepared

Here at Maternal Tea Tonics, we believe that building a list of coping mechanisms to ease the symptoms is an invaluable part of successful early pregnancy planning.

For some women, morning sickness may be the first time of experiencing being unwell for an extended period. If you’re trying to get pregnant, being proactive and preparing to tackle morning sickness is a highly recommended way of reducing the anxiety, stress and concern of it taking you by surprise.

Our essential morning sickness checklist

Medically, there are limitations on what can be done to combat morning sickness, so as to not affect the baby. However the good news is that there are lots of safe solutions to have ready. Here’s the Maternal Tea Tonics list of essential morning sickness solutions to have ready:

Have a healthy snack draw
Unlike most cases of nausea, for many women morning sickness tends to be worse on an empty stomach. For this reason, rethinking your eating habits to include multiple smaller meals or light snacks can keep the nausea under control. Eating dry snacks like nuts, a biscuit or toast (or for the sweet tooth sucking on barley sugar) are common remedies for keeping the sickness at bay.

Don’t meal skip!
If the sickness is taking away your appetite, as is common, snacking during the day can be important for your baby’s nutrition. We say look at the bright side, it’s one of the few times when you can snack throughout and not feel guilty about it!

Draft an emergency lifestyle plan
If morning sickness does strike, you’ll need to plan your day as much as possible around your nausea. For example, if you’re worse in the mornings, even a 15 minute power nap can help you cope better during the day. Staying away from strong odours and hot stuffy environments will also help. This might mean planning to walk to avoid the overcrowded public transport, or bringing your lunch to work to avoid the sandwich shop cram.

Have those vitamins at the ready
Vitamin B and B6 has been linked with reducing morning sickness. Medical studies indicate that 3 doses of between 10 – 25 mg a day can help. However, as with all supplements, please consult your health professional well in advance to determine if this is an option for you.  

Tea is always a good idea!
Lastly but by no means least, Maternal Tea Tonics has produced a pregnancy specific organic blend of Rooibos herbal tea - Best Beginnings. Rooibos or simply "red bush" has been used by women of all cultures for generations as an effective calming agent to fight morning sickness. Being naturally caffeine free, and packed with antioxidants and minerals, it will relax your mood, soothe your stomach and promote restful sleep.

If you find you are one of the unlucky ones still feeling the effects into your second trimester, Maternal Tea Tonics has come to your rescue. Our special blend of peppermint herbal tea - Radiant Glow - can get you through.

Morning sickness should no longer be seen as a rite of passage for newly expectant mothers. Getting equipped with the right knowledge and some simple preparation, can make all the difference. Good luck ladies!