Morning sickness in early pregnancy can be debilitating and discouraging. Ask me. I’ve been through seven first trimesters, three in the last year. You’re too tired to cook–not that anything sounds edible. The only escape is sleep. It’s like having the flu for months on end. Smells and tastes that were once enjoyable become nauseating.
Ironically the best way to combat symptoms of morning sickness are through one’s sense of smell and taste. Here are my three favorite natural remedies for morning sickness. (Please note, I’m not a medical expert and all information here is anecdotal. Always seek the advice of your professional healthcare provider before using any remedy during pregnancy.)
1. Essential oils. My pregnant self can sniff the artificial odors in candles and air fresheners from a mile away. They are nauseating to me. Even my husband’s aftershave makes me want to run for the toilet. The natural smells in essential oils, on the other hand, are immensely soothing. Essential oils from mints and citrus fruits are my favorite to use in the first trimester, along with a little lavender.
You can add a few drops of your favorite oils into a bowl of steaming water. Bend down close to the steam and breathe deeply. Or shake a few drops to your running bath water. Inhale and relax. Peppermint oil mixed with sweet orange can act as a digestive aid and a soother for nervous tension.
A hot compress of lavender oil over a woman’s abdomen can help calm nerves and settle a troubled tummy.
Inexpensive diffusers can spread essential oils throughout the air in every room in your home. I use one with a lighted tea candle to heat and dissipate the oil.
I also keep a small terracotta diffuser in our cars and in our bathrooms. A few drops of oil in the diffusers’ center can clear the air and help me avoid the dreaded gag reflex.
2. Baths. A warm bath with the right additions can really calm me on my worst days in the first trimester. Try filling a small muslin bag with herbs and hanging it from your faucet. The hot running bath water will diffuse the herbs smell and make a healing, soothing bath water for you to soak in.
The smells of commercial soaps and shampoos make me sick when I’m pregnant. I treat myself to homemade soap and end up feeling refreshed after bathing instead of feeling sicker than when I started.
3. Ginger and lemon. Forget the saltines. When I’m first pregnant I could live on ginger and lemons. Add a little ginger or lemon zest to your tummy and you’ll likely feel soothed. My favorite way to take these in is a lemon and ginger tea. A steaming mug in the winter months is lovely, but when it’s hot outside I like to chill it before drinking.
Pregnancy can be rough. There’s nothing that can take the difficult of those early months away completely. But it’s worth taking a few moments every day to pamper yourself with a some soothing, natural remedies.