Morning sickness affects alot of women, up to 85% of women to be exact. Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) also affects alot of women and it is the most common cause of hospital admissions during the first trimester.
Some common characteristics of morning sickness includes dehydration, nausea and vomiting, electrolyte imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, increased thirst, metabolic imbalances and abnormal liver function tests.
Before we dive deep into some great dietary management techniques for morning sickness lets establish the basics:
First up avoid offensive smelling foods and those that make you nauseous.
It’s also best to eat cold food due to the decreased smell and taste.
It’s also great to consume electrolyte containing drinks such as hydralyte or coconut water.
Eat small meals or snacks every 2-3 hours, keep hydrated and only drink small amounts continuously away from meals.
Changes of blood sugar levels and feelings of fullness increases nausea and vomiting. Therefore aim to stay in bed until you have consumed a dry snack, bread, crackers etc. Have your go to snack next to your bed the night before as this will decrease the chances of feeling dizzy upon standing which increases nausea and vomiting.
Aim to eat protein and omega 3 sources when you can. Protein and omega 3’s assist with stabilising blood sugar levels as unstable blood sugar levels cause an increase of nausea, vomiting, anxiety and irritability. Some great sources (only eat what you can tolerate) includes chicken, meat, nuts, seeds, legumes, lentils, tofu and fish (no more than two times weekly allowed during pregnancy).
The biggest beneficial impact i have seen for the reduction of morning sickness is through gentle liver detoxification.
HcG and oestrogen are one of many causative factors for morning sickness and both are detoxified through the liver and excreted through the bowels. It is best to avoid synthetic fragrances, any chemicals in your household (think skincare, makeup, soaps, washing detergents) along with sugar and packaged food. Along with oestrogen and hCG these also need to be detoxified in the liver which can put a burden on the liver and worsen vomiting and nausea.
We can also gently detoxify the liver which will decrease the nausea and vomiting. Drinking dandelion root tea two-three times daily, consuming cruciferous vegetables if they can be tolerated: broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower and brussel sprouts along with citrus foods all contain active constituents which assist in liver detoxification.
In my clinic we also work with the use of herbal medicine (which are safe during pregnancy) that assist in up regulating liver detoxification which has great results for clients with morning sickness.
Some other great changes you can include are eating slowly, brushing your teeth regularly and reducing your stress and anxiety as this is increases morning sickness symptoms. Also ensure your bowels are moving regularly because if you are not having effective bowels it can cause worsened nausea and vomiting.
Wishing you all the best in your pregnancy journey and remember to be kind to yourself, that this too shall pass and that you are doing the best you can everyday.