Is there any way to prevent morning sickness? I’m on a mission to find that out. I’ve had severe morning sickness for all three of my pregnancies, but this last time was by far the worst. I wasn’t officially diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (the pregnancy complication of excessive vomiting/nausea that can sometimes be dangerous.) But I couldn’t even keep water down and my midwife finally insisted that I take the prescription drug Zofran to manage the nausea/vomiting so I could gain back the weight I was losing. It was seriously miserable and I needed lots of support from my husband and extended family to be able to care for our other two children.
As you can imagine, my experience led me to do some research about why morning sickness occurs and seek solutions for future pregnancies (especially because in the past couple of months, Zofran has been designated unsafe for pregnant women, so it won’t even be an option in the future.) But what I discovered is that it’s far more effective to try to prevent morning sickness than to treat it while pregnant. Here’s what I’m trying:
There seems to be a strong argument for magnesium deficiency as the culprit that causes morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum. It’s likely that with three pregnancies in a little over 4 years, by the third pregnancy of puking all day, my magnesium stores were depleted.
Once you’re pregnant, it’s very difficult to solve the problem of magnesium depletion. Magnesium is also hard for your body to absorb in supplement form, so it’s better to take your magnesium transdermally with a lotion or spray. I am trying out these supplements:
- Several sprays of magnesium oil daily.
- Epsom salt baths multiple times a week, but I might switch to sea salt baths after reading Stephanie’s post about detox baths which informed me that Epsom salt contains lead. Sea salt and Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which isn’t as easy to absorb as the magnesium chloride in lotions and sprays. But I did find these Magnesium Bath Crystals with magnesium chloride (the good stuff) and I take a bath once a week with those (they’re pricier than Epsom Salts).
- Supplements I take orally that contain magnesium (not as effective as oils/lotions and baths, but I’m trying to cover all my bases!) I take Shaklee’s OsteoMatrix which contains Vitamin D, which helps your body absorb the magnesium.
Taking B vitamins before getting pregnant can ease the nausea and vomiting. B6 helps with nausea and B12 helps with vomiting and many women find they help relieve the morning sickness when taken during pregnancy, as well. Find a B-Complex that includes Folic Acid (important for all sexually-active women to take because it can decrease risk of neural tube defects in babies). B vitamins have many other great benefits and since I started taking them daily I’ve noticed a decrease in sugar cravings and an increase in energy (which I need to keep up with my three littles!). I’ve tried a couple different kids and have been happiest with Shaklee’s B Complex. There’s also a connection between B vitamins and our old friend Magnesium, because your body needs B vitamins to absorb magnesium adequately.
A Healthy Gut
Taking probiotics and limiting sugar intake promotes a healthier gut that can better absorb all the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy and for preventing morning sickness. I NEED to cut sugars out of my diet because I know I don’t process them well. And my second pregnancy was by far my easiest and I had been very good about avoiding sugar before I got pregnant. I started taking probiotics and giving them to all three of my kids because it’s so good for their little bodies.
This post about a kind of gut bacteria that thrives in an environment similar to candida yeast seems to corroborate the theory about a sugar/carb heavy diet contributing to severe morning sickness. The post recommends taking colloidal silver and fermented foods/beverages to make the gut inhospitable to this bacteria, so I should probably learn to make kombucha. I’m a little nervous about colloidal silver ever since I learned it can make your skin turn blue….permanently. But it would certainly be worth researching what amount is safe to ingest in order to improve gut health and avoid the morning sickness.
Wellness Mama says to also take Fermented Cod Liver Oil. I’ve never tried that, but at this point I’m willing to try just about anything. Stephanie swears by it too, she has been taking it for years and gives it to Penelope.
And when I am pregnant again, I am going to remember Stephanie’s lemon water tonic trick too!
Here’s hoping these measures will give me some relief if we’re blessed with another pregnancy! Did you struggle with morning sickness? Did you find any preventative methods helpful?