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Stomach troubles: It's just part of pregnancy…isn’t it?

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

One of the first indicators that a woman may be pregnant is the feeling of being nauseous. Some woman may never feel sick at all, while others suffer throughout the whole pregnancy. One of the most severe types of morning sickness is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) which is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the mom-to-be and the baby. If you suspect, you may be having more then normal vomiting make sure to talk to your care provider and you can visit the HER foundation to find out more about treatments available.

There are several different reasons why a woman may experience nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. These can include: Rapidly rising hormone levels and changes including an increase in human chorionic gonadotropin(HCG), estrogen and progesterone, hypoglycemia(low blood sugar), relaxin and poor nutrition

Dr. Brewer says, "the risk we undertake in ignoring a mother's morning sickness is that her inability to eat adequately will interfere with one of the primary needs of every pregnant body--increasing the blood volume by 60% (and more than that for a multiple pregnancy).” This increase in blood volume is needed because the placenta needs a growing supply of blood and oxygen as it grows. Without this increase in blood volume, the mother/baby may be at risk of poor attachment of the placenta, lack of oxygen to the placenta, blood clots forming behind the placenta, rising blood pressure, swelling, pre-eclampsia, poor growth of the fetus, premature labor and of having a baby with a low birth weigh.(

Addressing Nutrition in the first trimester is very important for the growth of the placenta and the baby. It can also set the stage for the remainder of your pregnancy as well as how your labour and birth may go. Daily suggestions for avoiding and dealing with morning sickness:

· eating small meals every 2-3 hours and try not to drink liquids at the same time as foods: eat first, then drink

· when you wake up drink a cup of fennel seed tea or drink 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in a cup of warm water

· get some exercise. Try going outside for a walk in the fresh air at least once a day

· eat a protein-rich snack before bedtime and whenever you wake at night. Drink water with lemon throughout the day

· try some homemade chai tea with ginger. here is a great recipe-

· emotional aspects to your pregnancy may contribute. By taking an awareness moment every day, it can help lower stress levels

· environmental factors may also be a consideration. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are found in all sorts of household cleaners. Now might be a good time to start thinking green

· see an acupuncturist for nausea or see a chiropractor, treatment may help with hyperemesis. Chiropractors have also noticed a correlation between hyperemesis and TMJ (a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves) problems or a history of wearing braces.

B vitamins are important, B6 is involved in maintaining normal blood sugar levels. One of the possible causes of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is a B-vitamin deficiency. Taking extra B-vitamins can also help with insomnia, anemia, and hemorrhoids in pregnancy. One of the biggest problems with the consumption of caffeine during pregnancy is that caffeine destroys the effectiveness of B-vitamins. In the 1960s it was discovered that oral contraceptives lowered zinc, raised copper levels and caused vitamin B6 deficiencies. Many women are currently deficient in these and other essential nutrients like magnesium. Deficiency impedes the absorption of zinc and may impair cellular immunity and diminish antibody responses. A woman with vitamin B6 deficiency will consequently have disturbed protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism and immunity. There are many herbal remedies that can be used for teas or tinctures that have a nourishing effect on your body and baby. These can be found locally or online.

So, as in most things related to our general health, we find that nutrition is an important consideration when it comes to nausea in early pregnancy and throughout pregnancy. Congratulations on your pregnancy and many blessings as you continue your journey of pregnancy on to parenting.

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