3 Causes Of Morning Sickness (Plus 6 Natural Remedies)

Disclaimer: This information is of a general nature, and is not intended to constitute medical advice. Newborn Mothers is not a medical service and Julia Jones is not a licensed medical professional. We do not diagnose, treat or cure any illness or condition. Should you have any health concerns, please get in touch with your midwife or doctor.

Do you have morning sickness all day long? Then this is for you!

Just a note before we start, morning sickness is not the same as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (also known as HG), which is severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss that may lead to dehydration and fainting, and may require IV fluids or other medical treatments. That’s not what I’m talking about today. If that’s you, go see your doctor!

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I know they say morning sickness should just happen in the morning, and that it should only happen for 10-12 weeks, at the beginning of your pregnancy. But I know many women for whom morning sickness happens all day, and for many, many more weeks. Up to 20 weeks, or even right through the full term of their pregnancy. And it is awful!

Did you know that 25 per cent of women requires time off work because of morning sickness? And the worst thing is, it’s usually at that time in your pregnancy when you haven’t actually told everyone yet. It can be quite tricky to manage!

Today we’re going to look at morning sickness from a different perspective, talk about three causes according to Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine) and six natural remedies. Hopefully, you’ll have found something that can maybe just help you get your head out of the toilet for at least five minutes!

Three Ayurvedic Causes Of Morning Sickness

Today, I’m going to try and talk to you about how to ease some of those symptoms, and where they come from. In Ayurveda Indian medicine we believe there are three causes of morning sickness.

The first is called Vaatha Vaigunya, and this is a malfunction of Vata. According to Ayurveda each of us has a metabolic body type and it’s called dosha. Vata is the air and space dosha and it is the one responsible for this cause of morning sickness. As you can imagine, when you put air and space together you get wind. So the wind is moving around the body; this is the function of Vata. When the wind starts moving the wrong way, you can get the food going up instead of coming down, which is obviously not a very pleasant experience. This can be why thinner women, with a Vata constitution, seem to be more affected by morning sickness, than bigger women.

The second cause of morning sickness is Dauhidra Avamaanana, and this is unsatisfied desires. I think as long as something is safe whilst you’re pregnant, if you want it, you should get what you want. So you can go and say to your partner; “Julia told me that I need to satisfy all my desires, so you’re going to have to drive the 7-Eleven and buy me a Magnum!” But seriously, it doesn’t just have to be food cravings, your desires can be emotional, they can be spiritual, they can be physical. So you’ll have all sorts of desires. If you’re feeling like this might be the cause of your morning sickness, just dig down deep inside and figure out where you’re not getting your needs met, and what you can do about it.

The third Ayurvedic cause for morning sickness is Garbha Nimittha, and this is physically the embryo pushing up. This is just literally because your tummy is big, the embryo is growing, and it is pushing up on your tummy. Not much you can do about that!

Feel Good Factor

Now that we’ve had a look at the three causes of morning sickness, let’s have a look at a bunch of different things that we can do about it. I’ve got six suggestions for you to try today.

1. Increase Fluids

The first one is about increasing fluids. This is because, the embryo, early in pregnancy, is liquid form. And the mother (your body) is building blood and amniotic fluid and fat. So all of these things mean that you need an increase in Kapha. And Kapha is the Dosha which is water and earth. You need to increase your fluids, but I also know that it can be really hard to drink enough and eat liquid foods.

For some women during pregnancy, food aversions can really turn them off being able to have tea or soup or lots of different, random things (again, no one really knows why). Food aversions are much more common than food cravings, which is not what the movies will lead you to believe. But if you can increase Kapha with these extra fats and fluids, that can perhaps help to ease your Vata (the air and space elements), and may give you a little bit of relief from morning sickness.

2. Eat And Sleep

The second natural remedy to try for morning sickness is super simple, and that is just sleep and eat. Prenatal care, back in the day, was very simple. We didn’t really do anything particular to look after pregnant women before we had ultrasound machines and prenatal screening tests and hospital policies. All a pregnant woman was really told to do was to look after herself, to sleep and eat. Also, pregnant women were exposed to pleasant things (like baby animals and nature) and just generally encouraged to enjoy themselves.

Be guided by your body, and what feels right for you, right now. If you’re tired then just let the world carry on, because right now you need to go to bed.

3. Plan Food Ahead

Number three is to get to know the worst time of day for you, and plan your food for it. Of course, morning sickness isn’t always worst in the morning. Often many women find they have worse morning sickness when their tummy is empty so waking up in the morning can be quite a challenging, but this isn’t always the case.

Next, know what food works for you. Some women find things like crackers help, other women will say that did absolutely nothing. Some people find that really fatty, heavy food helps, others prefer fruit tingles or ginger lollies. Maybe these aren’t your healthiest food choice, but they may be the only thing that can get you through that time of day.

Think of your food over the course of a day, rather than just what you eat during your darkest hour. Catch up on your greens and other healthy food at an easier time of day, because that’s when you’re going to be able to tolerate it. And do what it takes to get through the bad moments. You have to be able to hold food down, there’s no point eating things if you can’t actually keep them down.

4. Wear Wristbands

The fourth natural remedy I want to share with you today is wristbands. Now, these are really simple, and they’re often sold in chemists as seasickness bands. They work by activating an acupressure point. At the edge of your wrist, there’s a line going across that looks like a little bangle (just one of the natural wrinkles of your wrist). If you measure about three fingers down, in between the two bits of cartilage there, that there’s a pressure point.

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You can just press it right now with your thumb, but the pressure bands are designed to have a little ball on them that digs into there, so when you put the bands on, it’s permanently touching that pressure point.

There are a couple of types of these wristbands that you can get, and I recommend trying to find ones that are as soft as possible. There are ones that are made of quite a plastic-y velcro, and there are others that are more like stretchy, soft fabric wristbands. Definitely get the stretchy, soft kind if that’s an option. Some people just put them on if they know that it’s going to be a difficult time (like if they’re travelling in a car; that can often exacerbate morning sickness). Or maybe, again, first thing in the morning when you haven’t eaten anything, you could wear them overnight in preparation for that. Other people find they have to wear them 24 hours a day, and other people find they don’t do anything.

This all just about finding what works for you.

5. Try Acupuncture

The fifth natural remedy for you to try is acupuncture. I’ve heard lots of people get really great results from visiting an acupuncturist. So if you’ve never had needles and it doesn’t appeal to you, then you certainly don’t have to try this. But if you really are suffering from bad morning sickness you might decide it’s time to go out of your comfort zone and try something new. See if acupuncture can do anything for your morning sickness.

6. Have Rice Bubble Tea

And the last one, number six, is a very strange one that I learnt from my Ayurvedic doctor in Melbourne. He was classically trained in Ayurveda in Kerala, India. And he told me when I had morning sickness, to have rice bubble tea! So you just get puffed rice, pour hot water over it and drink it. Now I have no idea why this works, but it does seem to help. I personally found that I had to wait for it to cool down because I couldn’t tolerate hot drinks. Again, do whatever works for you. But I have a feeling it may just be something to do with getting that extra little bit of starch and glucose into your body very quickly, and easily absorbed carbohydrates. This is just a nice, funny little one that I’ve never come across anywhere else, but it certainly did help me.

What Works For You?

You’ve probably tried a ton more natural remedies for morning sickness that I’ve mentioned, so I’d really love you to leave a comment with what you’ve tried, what worked for you, and what didn’t. I really believe that the best mum ideas are crowdsourced, and I’d love to have your ideas added to the list!