Dear Expectant Mother,
Morning sickness has, understandably like many “symptoms”, been vilified in our society and has been treated as something to cure. As hard as it might be for some nauseous mom’s-to-be to swallow, we have learned it is necessary for staying healthy far passed the baby’s delivery.
We now know that nausea has a very important evolutionary role in that it prevents women from consuming toxins from certain foods to protect the growing fetus. Salivation, tearing, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea and vomiting are all ways to expel noxious substances. Likewise, we naturally have revulsion towards garbage, feces, and vomit as a defense against contagion. During the first trimester, the fetus is most vulnerable to toxins and would-be mothers practice innate avoidance behaviours with respect to certain odours generally associated with toxins. Essentially a pregnant woman’s definition of feces broadens.
We know too that women who have less morning sickness miscarry more. And we know certain drugs aimed at reducing morning sickness result in more fetal abnormalities. We also now know that women who experience nausea during pregnancy have a much reduced risk of breast cancer later in life as it seems that the hormone HCG is breast protective and is the reason morning sickness lasts as long as it does. So understand that it’s an important part of the health of both yourself and your growing baby.
Having said all that there are however, different approaches to alleviating the severity of the nausea and regulating the body’s ability to manage its dis-ease. Much like when a child has a fever it is best to allow the fever to run its course and serve its purpose to rid her of any unwelcome microbe, but at some point the fever may reach too high and threaten the life of that child, so too can morning sickness reach dangerously queasy heights. In the case of exaggerated symptoms the following suggestions are recommended:
- Maintaining constant blood sugar levels throughout the day because they are generally depressed in excess nausea. However, be vigilant about consuming low to moderate Glycemic Index foods. www.lowglycemicdiet.com
- Ensuring a very healthy and nutrient rich organic diet with folic acid supplementation.
- Drinking ginger teas to help control the stomach queasiness which is generally caused by low progesterone that relaxes the stomach and causes increased acid reflux.
- Pressing on the mid forearm about three inches from the centre of the wrist. This acupressure/acupuncture point has been used widely to decrease nausea and there are bands you can buy that keep the pressure on that point for as long as you need it. Constitutional acupuncture is also beneficial.
- Staying away from all chemicals that produce toxins that increase the body’s sensitivity to everything else.
- Consulting a qualified healthcare professional like a naturopathic doctor for support and a fresh perspective.
Cheers to a happy and healthy pregnancy,
Dr. Bobby Parmar, BASc., ND