Acupuncturist 5 Tips for Nausea by Natalie Trusdale
Nausea during early pregnancy is often dismissed as a minor disorder but it can be a serious problem for many women. While it is often called morning sickness, nausea can strike at any time, day or night, and can have a huge impact on quality of life.
Here are tips to beat nausea naturally:
- Stay hydrated: While drinking fluids doesn’t readily appear to relieve nausea, becoming even slightly dehydrated will make nausea more intense. Dry lips, feeling thirsty or decreased urinary output are all signs of dehydration. If you are finding it hard to drink a large glass of water at once try drinking small amounts more frequently. If just the thought of water makes you nauseated try drinking broths and soups. Herbal teas are a great alternative – try ginger, peppermint or chamomile. If bubbles are your thing, try mineral water with a squeeze of lemon. Another great option is 1 TBL of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with honey to taste.
- Eat: Keeping your blood sugar stable will make a huge difference. Try eating small meals and snacks every 1.5 – 2 hours before an empty, hungry feeling sets in. This can be just a few nuts or some fruit between meals. It’s a delicate balance though because overeating can also make your nausea worse. Do your best to avoid heavily processed and sugary foods such as ice cream, cookies and pastries which will quickly elevate your blood sugar. Reach for slower releasing carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, rice, and pasta. If you experience phlegm in your throat or constant saliva build up, try avoiding dairy products, especially cheese and milk. If you are feeling cold and tired focus on warm drinks and soups. If you crave cold foods try freezing grapes. It may come at a surprise that many vegetables and healthy foods that you would like to be eating during pregnancy can sometimes become very unappealing during the first trimester. While it seems counter intuitive and many women feel guilty that they are not able to tolerate these healthy foods, the reality is that in early pregnancy your baby has its own nutritional sources. Be easy on yourself. Your appetite for more healthy food will usually improve as you move towards the second trimester when your baby requires more nutrition from you.
- Get rid of those smells: Having a heightened sense of smell in early pregnancy may significantly contribute towards nausea. Try placing vanilla or peppermint essential oil in a diffuser in your bedroom or in the kitchen. Put slices of lemon, ginger or cinnamon sticks in a slow cooker and leave it on low with the lid off to fill your kitchen with this scent. For some women specific detergent scents trigger nausea- you may need to change your brand. Toothpaste can also be a smell that women find difficult – you can try children’s toothpaste instead or buy some if you don’t have any on hand.
- DIY AcupressurePressure point: PC 6. This point is three finger widths above the transverse crease of the inner wrist. It lies directly between the two tendons felt there. Place firm pressure on the point for several minutes. If useful, continue to apply pressure every two hours, or during the nausea, for approximately five minutes. It is possible to buy wristbands (called “sea bands”) at drugstores to apply pressure to this point.
- Acupuncture: Sometimes you need something a little stronger than acupressure. In traditional Chinese medicine, nausea and vomiting can arise from a variety of causes. Acupuncture treatment is aimed at strengthening the energetic function of the digestive system and correcting any underlying disharmonies.
Natalie Trousdale, L.Ac. has a private acupuncture practice in Hayes Valley, She specializes in women’s health, infertility, and pregnancy support. Learn more at NatalieTrousdale.com.