Whether you’re in your first trimester or last, nausea can be one of the most unpleasant parts of pregnancy. Here’s the scoop on why it happens, how to manage it, and when you might need to call in an expert.
Why it happens
Nausea is actually a good thing. Accordingly to Mayo Clinic, nausea and vomiting during the first trimester was associated with a reduced risk of early pregnancy loss — particularly for women age 30 and older. The presence of nausea is correlated with the production of HCG, a pregnancy hormone that indicates the pregnancy is moving in the right direction.
It’s also been speculated that nausea could:
- Reduce fetal exposure to potentially harmful food borne bacteria associated with your diet
- Encourage a more carbohydrate rich intake (essentially to help soak up the stomach acid)
- Help your body recognize pregnancy and fetal tissue growth — essentially encouraging you to slow down and take it easy (or easier at least!).
Ways To Cope
1. Queasy Pops – Three Lollies launched these lollipops formulated with essential oils and aromatherapy. They come in a variety of flavors and have been noted to alleviate dry mouth.
2. Small, Frequent Meals – Gone are the days where you could stuff your face and not pay for it. During the first trimester, the best way to try and keep food down is by eating small snacks or meals – slowly. Snacks in a carb/protein combination are a good choice i.e. saltines with nut butter
3. Herbal Tea – Traditional Medicinals offers a Pregnancy Tea, which is a combination of raspberry and nettle leaf – the taste is mild and minty. They also offer a Ginger Tea – to help promote digestion, indigestion and nausea. You could try any decaffeinated herbal tea to see if it helps alleviate the nausea.
4. Ginger and more ginger – Ginger in a variety of forms has been associated with alleviating nausea symptoms. You could try chewing on ginger, drinking ginger ale, drinking ginger tea or even consuming ginger root in a capsule form.
5. Low intensity exercise – Taking a walk or going for a swim are both effective ways to help manage your symptoms.
When to get serious help
If you’re experiencing severe nausea and vomiting (essentially causing weight loss), which is known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, then you need to get medical help right away. Because you’re unable to obtain nutrients for yourself and your fetus, it’s important to seek medical attention.
While pregnancy nausea is generally manageable and often come and go, try to think of the bigger picture: a little one on the way.