Why do we get morning sickness?
Well, although women have been giving birth for over a million years – Unbelievably, doctors are still uncertain about the exact causes of morning sickness.
The ever-popular theory is that it is the bodies reaction to the hCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin) which is the hormone that is present in your urine and turns that little stick positive. Yay!!
Many of you know, I tend to draw on my own personal experiences ( the good, the bad and the ugly ) when writing my pregnancy posts because let’s face it, it’s easier to write about what we know.
However, although I was not one of the 20-30% of women who never experience morning sickness, I do seem to think that based on recent accounts from friends and from what I’ve seen in the media recently, it would seem that I sailed through both pregnancies reasonably unscathed.
It’s estimated that 70-80% of pregnant women suffer some form of nausea throughout their first trimester, with up to 50% experiencing vomiting too and some women suffering throughout their entire pregnancy. I experienced nausea in my first and had a mild constant sickness in my second pregnancy but I was never physically sick.
Then of course there is severe morning sickness, medically known as hyperemesis gravidarum (which means excessive vomiting during pregnancy. Unfortunately, women who experience it in one pregnancy are more likely to experience it again in later pregnancies.
I used to be under the misguided belief that when you vomit you feel better afterward. However, from the understanding I’ve acquired on the subject, it’s evidential that anyone suffering from morning sickness will no doubt tell you – vomiting does not ease the constant nausea.
I’ve always been fascinated in the whys and the wherefores behind morning sickness, with my own theory being that nausea is our natural and inherent way of stopping us from ingesting potentially harmful foodstuffs to protect our unborn child. I remember reading an article years ago about the prevalence of morning sickness amongst women living in Japan, due to the amount of fish they consume and for me this just had the biggest significance and made the most sense.
The timing of nausea is not only consistent, but it also coincides; peaking at a time when the biggest developmental growth is taking place.
The below article is really interesting and backs up my own personal belief. I like to think that over millions of years of evolution, our bodies really are just that extraordinary and that as women we have adapted to protect and survive.
Gillian Pepper and Craig Roberts at the University of Liverpool put together 56 studies from 21 countries that looked at the prevalence of nausea and sickness in pregnant women. They linked these figures to the typical diet in each country
Finding that countries with a higher intake of sugars, sweeteners, caffeine, meats, eggs and poultry had a higher level of sickness amongst pregnant women, and that those with a higher level of pulses, and cereals had a lower level.
The following are a list of foods that have been found to ease nausea throughout pregnancy:
You can eat them, suck them or even sniff them – apparently they’ve been known to calm and ease nausea, or my favourite option which seems a tad more plausible than sniffing them is to make lemonade by simply slicing 2 lemons in half and squeezing the juice into a bowl. Mix with 1 tsp of stevia and add to two litres of soda water. Serve with cubes of ice.
Refined Sugar Free Ginger Cookies
Ginger ale soda, ginger tea although no more than two cups a day, ginger jam on toast, ginger cookies)
2 cups almond flour
1 large egg
¼ cup unsalted butter ( melted)
1 cup of coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F and combine all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients together until fully combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine together using a wooden spoon or hand mixer.
Use a tablespoon to place a small mound of cookie mixture onto a baking tray, keeping enough space between them and placing evenly. You should get approximately 24 cookies. Flatten the top with a wet metal spoon and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until browned.
Enjoy with a cup of peppermint tea which is amazing for settling the stomach and helping nausea, plus its great to aid digestion.
Bananas are a natural antacid and offer relief from acid reflux and heartburn; which lets face it is always going to be a massive benefit when pregnant. The high fibre can normalise bowel motility and stabilise blood sugar levels which can reduce morning sickness and nausea. Bonus!!
- 125g self-raising wholemeal flour
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 75g sultanas
- 50g butter melted
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan assisted or gas mark 4. Grease and line a 1lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Weigh the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sultanas into a bowl and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- In a separate bowl add the butter, vanilla essence, egg, milk and mashed bananas and whisk or mix with a fork and pour the wet banana mixture into the dry flour mixture combining thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 30-40 or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out.
Carrot and Ginger Tonic
This is a wonderful tonic and is loaded with an abundance of healthy benefits for mum and baby:
- Morning Sickness – ginger can be highly effective against nausea when used in small doses and may reduce muscle aches and pains
- Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
- Boosts immune system
- Fights infection
- Has a wonderful effect on your skin which is known to go through numerous changes throughout pregnancy
- Carrot juice is rich in beta carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, b vitamins and potassium
- 3 Large Carrots Peeled
- 2 Large Oranges Peeled
- Small piece of ginger peeled
Place all ingredients through your juicer and drink fresh
Oats are bland, low in fat and fairly easy-to-digest, which makes them a great source to go to when you’re struggling with nausea; these oat bites are great giving you a boost mid morning and the sugar levels in the banana will help too, keeping you going all morning until you can tuck into lunch.
3 Cups of Rolled Gluten Free Oats
2 softened bananas mashed
1/2 Cup of Clear Honey
2 tsp of Cinnamon
Set the oven to 180°C
- In a large bowl mash the bananas; you can really get these smooth or leave the lumps in which I love as you get delicious bites of warm banana.
- Add the honey and cinnamon and stir well.
- Add the oats and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. This will form quite a thick mixture; quite like a dough
- Line and grease a square oven proof tin and press the mixture into the tin; smoothing down with the back of a metal spoon
- Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until just crisp on top.
- Score into squares and leave to cool before removing.
Let me know what worked for you ladies!! Spread the love and the knowledge