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Understanding pregnancy nausea: Why it happens & what to do about it

Updated: Apr 11

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but for many women, it comes with the not-so-pleasant side effect of nausea, especially in the first trimester. This common symptom, often referred to as "morning sickness," can occur at any time of the day and can range from mild to severe. So, why does it happen, and what can you do about it? Let's dive into the science and explore some top tips for managing pregnancy nausea.

Why Does Pregnancy Nausea Occur?

The exact cause of pregnancy nausea is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, particularly the rise in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen levels. These hormones can affect the gastrointestinal tract, leading to a feeling of queasiness.

Additionally, the sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy, and certain odors may trigger nausea. Psychological factors such as stress and anxiety can also play a role in exacerbating symptoms.

Top Tips for Managing Pregnancy Nausea

  1. Eat Small, Frequent Meals: Instead of three large meals, opt for smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can help keep your stomach from becoming too empty, which can worsen nausea.

  2. Stay Hydrated: Sip on water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Some women find that cold or carbonated beverages are easier to tolerate.

  3. Ginger: Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea. It is believed to work by slowing down the movement of food through the stomach. You can try ginger tea, ginger ale (look for brands containing real ginger), or ginger supplements. However, consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements during pregnancy.

  4. Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 has been studied for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is thought to help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain involved in nausea. Foods rich in B6 include chickpeas, bananas, and chicken breast. In some cases, your nutritionist may recommend a B6 supplement.

  5. Avoid Trigger Foods: Identify and avoid foods or smells that trigger your nausea. Common triggers include spicy or greasy foods, strong odors, and foods with strong flavors.

  6. Acupressure: Some women find relief from nausea through acupressure. There are wristbands available that apply pressure to a specific point on the wrist, which is believed to help alleviate nausea. It could also be beneficial to speak to an Acupuncturist also !

  7. Relaxation Techniques: Stress and anxiety can worsen nausea. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or prenatal yoga to help reduce stress levels in this big life transition.

In Conclusion

Pregnancy nausea is a common and often challenging symptom, but with the right strategies, it can be managed. By eating small, frequent meals, staying hydrated, and incorporating natural remedies like ginger and vitamin B6, you can help alleviate symptoms and enjoy a smoother pregnancy journey. As always, consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements or treatments during pregnancy. See Holly's pregnancy package here.

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