No matter how uncomfortable you are going to be, it takes one little kick to make everything feel alright!
Congratulations! Woo hoo! You are pregnant! Pregnancy is like a crossword puzzle that is full of excitement, new changes in the body – emotionally, mentally, physically and curiosity to know what is coming up next, every month.
The day you get to know about the arrival of the little bundle of joy, nothing quite beats the feeling of curling up your arms around your belly and immediately getting connected with the new life growing within you.
Happiness, planning, discussions and thoughts on how the baby is going to become a routine. But, with all this, many women find the first trimester a bit difficult, thanks to the pregnancy hormone, beta hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which causes nausea and vomiting (commonly known as morning sickness) or due to the increase in estrogen and progesterone levels, which slows down the digestion of the food. Nausea and vomiting are not very pregnancy-friendly feelings in the middle of all this joy, but they don’t last forever as well.
Although it is often called morning sickness, nausea and vomiting can happen at any time of the day or night. It usually happens in the first four months of pregnancy and then reduces gradually. But some women may have it throughout their pregnancy. You need not worry because there are many ways to keep them at bay. However, if the feeling persists for long, it is always advisable to consult a physician. Let’s look at the ways to deal with morning sickness during pregnancy:
- Eat small and frequent meals: Instead of having three large meals, eat small and frequent meals for the nutrients to get absorbed properly. Avoid spicy, fried or too salty foods as they can make nausea worse.
- Keep yourself well hydrated: Nausea and vomiting can dehydrate the body and lead to major electrolyte loss. A good water intake of 2.5 – 3 litres retains the essential salts and minerals in the body and also helps in the smooth functioning of the digestive system.
- Smell ginger or drink ginger tea: This is one of the most effective remedies for managing morning sickness. Tasting and smelling ginger eases out the feelings of nausea and vomiting. You can feel good by just sniffing a small piece of it or by having a cup of ginger tea. Add 1 tsp of ginger juice to a cup of boiled water and keep it aside for 15 minutes. Once it is lukewarm, keep sipping it throughout the day. Do not go beyond one cup a day.
- Drink mint leaf tea: Mint leaves are cooling in nature and prevent acidity and indigestion.You will definitely feel a calming effect on your stomach and a lot of relief from vomiting after the consumption of mint tea. For the mint tea, boil 5 – 8 mint leaves in 1.5 cups of water for 10 minutes and cool it down before consuming.
- Eat citrus fruits: The tanginess from citric acid works really well in keeping control over morning sickness. Eat oranges, sweet limes, kiwis, Indian gooseberries (amla), lemons and so on. These fruits have high water content, which can keep you hydrated even after vomiting many times during the day. Alternatively, you can also inhale lemon essential oil sprinkled on a handkerchief for instant relief.
- Eat vitamin B6 rich foods: This vitamin plays a huge role in controlling nausea. Include avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, walnuts, organic chicken, buckwheat flour and carrots in your diet. Chewing 1 – 2 green cardamom also helps in soothing down the vomiting sensation.
- Drink coconut water: This prevents dehydration and provides all essential electrolytes and minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus that can soothe the digestive system and provide energy.
- Sniff freshly cut lemon or ginger: This can provide instant relief from nausea. Essential lemon oil or peppermint oil can also be very relaxing, but it might not help everyone, as the strong smell can cause nausea in some women.
- Avoid staying on an empty stomach for a very long period of time: Staying on an empty stomach or hungry for a long time leads to nausea. Homemade snacks like sorghum (jowar), finger millet (ragi) or oats crackers or nachos, sweet potato chips, plain sorghum (jowar) khakras and fox nuts (makhanas) help in settling the symptoms. Here is a recipe you could try.
– Ragi flour or makki atta – 1 cup
– Water – 1 cup
– Rice flour – 2 tbsp
– Pepper powder – 1 tsp
– Oregano – 1 tsp
– Salt – 3/4 tsp
– Cold pressed coconut oil
- In a 2 ltr pressure cooker, add water and salt. Cook for a whistle. Turn off heat.
- Release pressure and mix in, ragi flour and rice flour.
- Mix well till it appears like wet sand.
- Keep the cooker covered with weight on for 15 minutes.
- Open, add pepper powder and knead for 5 minutes so that the dough becomes soft.
- Since a tight dough is required, avoid adding water.
- Now, take 2 clean plastic sheets and grease them well.
- Take a small ball of the dough, place between the 2 sheets and spread as thin as possible using a roller.
- Cut into rectangles with a greased knife.
- Prick them with a fork so that they do not puff up while frying.
- Repeat the same process for the entire dough.
- Bake them at 180 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
– Beetroot puree – 50 g
– Ragi flour – 50 g
– Rice flour – 50g
– Jowar flour – 50 g
– Coconut oil – 2 tsp
– Seasonings – Black pepper, oregano, flaxseeds and salt
- Knead the dough.
- Divide the dough into small balls.
- Roll into a thin circle.
- Cut them into triangles and sprinkle seeds seasoning.
- Arrange in a baking tray .
- Bake it for 10 to 12 min until brown and crisp
(Please avoid olive oil and use cold pressed coconut oil or organic A2 cow’s milk ghee instead to prepare any homemade snacks.)
- Consume protein rich and cold foods: Foods like curd rice (make sure you use organic A2 cow’s milk), cold cucumber soup, homemade chaat, buttermilk, fruits, carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus, organic grass-fed chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds can also be helpful in managing morning sickness.
- Drink water or other liquids before or after meals: Drinking water or any other liquids in between meals generate the feeling of fullness, which may worsen nausea. It is always better to drink water 30 minutes before or after the meals.
- Avoid lying down immediately post meals: Lying down or sleeping immediately after meals can further aggravate acid reflux and nausea. You can rest after 45 – 60 mins of meals. Also, walking for 5 – 10 minutes indoors after meals helps in the proper digestion of food.
- Avoid smells that aggravate morning sickness: Different types of smells are also one of the major causes of morning sickness. Avoid cigarette smoke, perfumes and anything else that seems to affect you. When it comes to cooking, see if someone else can cook. If you do cook, open the windows to minimise cooking odours.
- Practice deep breathing: Deep breathing helps in controlling morning sickness symptoms. You can inhale in 4 counts, hold the breath till 6 counts and slowly exhale through the mouth in 4 counts. In fact, deep breathing relaxes the brain muscles and brings down the stress levels.
- Avoid rushing out of your bed in the morning: Instead, pull yourself slowly when getting up to avoid morning sickness.
- Dress comfortably: During hot and humid weather, wear comfortable cotton clothing.
- Practice acupressure: This helps in relieving the duration of morning sickness. If the morning sickness is severe, you can get in touch with an acupressurist.
- Travel safe during this time: There are high chances of nausea and vomiting to occur. when you travel. Follow the below tips to make your trip comfortable:
- Put a few drops of lemon essential oil on the handkerchief and sniff it whenever you feel nauseous.
- Carry some homemade light snacks along with you to avoid staying on an empty stomach for a longer period of time.
- Listen to your favourite music to keep the mind distracted. Meditation also works really well while you are in the car or in any public transport.
- Keep stock of disposable bags and wet wipes as they are much needed in case you feel like throwing up due to motion sickness.
- Add a few slices of lemon in the drinking water. You will feel fresh whenever you take a sip.
In these 10 months of your life, you will experience a whole lot of negative emotions and feelings like pain, discomfort, anger, fear and sadness. But, remember, all of this will disappear and at the end of 10 months, you will be left with a beautiful baby, and a happy, glowing and growing family, who will continue to bring you joy time and again.
My name is Luke Coutinho. I am neither a God nor a Guru. I am not a healer or a doctor or a cult leader. I am Luke Coutinho and I practice in the field of Integrative Lifestyle Medicine and Life Coaching. When one hears the word “medicine”, one immediately thinks of the pharmaceutical world, allopathy, chemotherapy, radiation, antibiotics and other drugs used by conventional doctors and medicine. I am not a practitioner of Alternative Medicine either.