Written by Dr. Kathy Dang, DN, MSTOM
How to deal with Nausea and Vomiting during Early Pregnancy
My teacher in Chinese medical school at PCOM-Chicago, told our OBGYN class that nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy, is actually a good thing and can indicate a healthy pregnancy. Now tell that to any pregnant lady during this time and you will get a sideways look. Up to 90% of women experience nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. That doesn’t mean if you don’t experience it, that’s a bad thing, your just one of the lucky ones!
A recent study of 2400 women showed that this symptom is an indicator of reduced risk of miscarriage, especially in women over 30. General assumptions are that nausea and/or vomiting limit the mother’s diet, potentially reducing the risk of fetal exposure to toxins during the most critical development stages. thus ensuring the baby to survive.
After implantation, the placenta begins to secrete HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in exponential amounts, reaching it’s peak production week 9-12 where it then starts to decrease. Women can experience nausea as early as week 5 when HCG starts to exponentially grow. This can be a difficult time for the new mom and there are things that can be done to help support her.
The good news is that it’s a finite period of time before the pregnancy glow begins. Although it may seem like eternity, there are remedies and help to get through this period — no need to suffer alone in this. Finding support is so important to improve the quality of life and mood for the mom-to-be.
Here are some Suggestions on how to manage nausea and vomiting:
Acupuncture. This therapy helps to harmonize the digestion, mood and individual constitution. Weekly would be best during this time in the first trimester.
Increase your intake of vitamin B6. You can take a 100mg tablet once a day to help your body manage these symptoms.
Eat Ginger! Make sure you have ginger in the house! You can take ginger in the form of teas, candies, chews, cookies, etc. but fresh ginger in some boiling water always works best for me.
Sea Bands. These bracelets work by stimulating an acupuncture point that helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting. These can be found at any pharmacy.
Early sleep and rest. Make sure you are getting much need sleep and rest. This is time for your body to rest and grow.
Reduce Stress in your life! Limit as much as possible what is on your plate. Making room for yourself and your growing baby.
Be sure to keep up with your exercise! This may be the last thing you want to do, but brisk walking, fresh air, even if for 15 minutes, can do wonders on moving blood and qi in the body and get your mind off the nausea.