Wendyl Nissen: Some women never suffer from morning sickness, others get it for only a few months and a few get it for longer.
Morning sickness usually involves nausea and sometimes vomiting, which starts about six weeks into the pregnancy and continues usually until the twelfth week.
The pregnancy hormones in your body play havoc with low blood-sugar levels which cause the nauseous feeling.
Fortunately my old books are full of natural remedies for this although one of them was no help at all: “Try to ignore it, as fretting about it and seeking sympathy tend to aggravate the condition” it sternly instructs.
I encourage you to try these. I personally found the dry crackers in bed and ginger tea worked well for me. Some obstetricians claim that well-nourished women are less inclined to suffer from nausea, particularly those with a diet rich in B group vitamins. So concentrate on foods rich in these, such as bread, rice, cereals, legumes, nuts, yeast, Vegemite and Marmite, eggs, lean meat, chicken, fish, green leafy vegetables, milk and yoghurt.
Also have a high protein and carbohydrate snack, such as a glass of milk and a biscuit before sleeping. The bran biscuits below are ideal. This recipe is from a very old book and claims to help women suffering from morning sickness but I’m warning you they are very bland. This recipe also makes about 50 so get your cake tins out:
Bran Biscuits —
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups wholemeal flour
- 2 cups bran
- 1 egg
- 125g butter
- Cold water to mix
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add wholemeal floor and bran and rub in the butter. Mix with the beaten egg and enough water to make a stiff biscuit dough. Roll out very thinly. Cut into squares and place on a greased baking tray. Bake in a moderate (180°C) oven until light brown and quite dry and crisp — about 15 minutes.
Below is another old favourite you might like to try. This raisin tea recipe only makes about a cup’s worth and tastes very strong, so if you are going to try it just have a small cup, about 125ml to start with.
Raisin Tea — Wash a cup of raisins well. Cover with 2 cups of water and soak overnight or at least a few hours. Put in a pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain the sultanas from the juice. Add a slice of lemon juice if you like and drink warm or keep in the fridge. You can also make this with prunes as a cure for constipation.
Ginger Ale/Ginger Beer — I used to lug a great big bottle of ginger-ale with me to work and sip on it in the car and throughout the morning. Now I know that conventional ginger-ale has the colouring Caramel IV which is also used in Coke and Pepsi. Instead, seek out some of the many natural ginger beers which are on the market, or you could make your own.
Preserved Ginger — Some women I know opt for a packet of preserved ginger in their handbag, which they munch on throughout the day.
Ginger Tea — You can buy ginger teabags, but I think making your own from the ginger root is far more effective for nausea:
Peel and grate a piece of root ginger the size of your thumb into a cup. Pour over boiling water and put a saucer over the top of the cup to capture any healing but volatile oils. Leave for 10 minutes then strain and drink. You can sweeten this with a little honey and squeeze some lemon juice in at the end (not when it is boiling -as you will kill off the Vitamin C) for extra flavour. Some women make a Thermos full and take it to work with them to sip throughout the day but do not drink more than two cups a day.
Peppermint Tea — If you can’t abide ginger tea then peppermint can also help. Buy the tea bags at your local health food shop.
Chamomile Tea — I prefer buying this tea and making it in a pot but you can also get good teabags from your health shop or supermarket. Chamomile is also a very good relaxant, so a cup of tea before bed is a nice idea.
Dandelion Tea — This can really help the bad taste some pregnant women get in the back of their throat: Put 4 tbsp dried dandelion root (from your health shop) in one litre of boiling water, cover and let sit for four hours. Strain and take sips throughout the day, but don’t drink more than two cups in total.
Cider Vinegar — Cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years as a tonic,and these days people credit it with assisting weight loss, rheumatism and many other health benefits. It is high in potassium and many minerals and trace elements. For morning sickness make a tea out of 1 tbsp of cider vinegar and a cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey.
Dry Crackers, Tea and Bed — A very old-fashioned remedy which always worked for me involved dry crackers, such as water crackers. They must be the first thing you eat when you wake up but you must not get up to get them from the kitchen. So keep them by the bed and eat a few when you wake up, then get someone to bring you a cup of tea and you must stay in bed for half an hour before getting up. I’m not sure why it works, but it does.
Afternoon Talk with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.