Nausea during pregnancy is incredibly common. When the body begins the intricate process of growing a baby, there are a lot of energetic and physical changes that occur. According to Ayurveda, the various energies of the body (vata, pitta and kapha) are disturbed. It is these disturbances that results in some of the common pregnancy complaints that women experience.
One of the most common early and sometimes even late pregnancy complaints is nausea. More than 70% and as many as 88% of women experience nausea during their pregnancy. It begins as early as 6 weeks into your pregnancy and could fade away as the 2nd trimester begins. Unfortunately, in up to 5% of pregnancies, nausea might persist most or all of the pregnancy up till delivery.
What causes nausea during pregnancy?
The cause of nausea (from a Western medical perspective) has been extensively researched. It could be as a result of hypoglycemia, elevated serum estrogen, progesterone and hCG or due to physiologic changes such as delayed gastric emptying reflux and constipation. We can also rearticulate this from an Ayurvedic perspective. Chemical changes in the body due to Pitta, digestive disturbances due to the energetic changes in the body as well as significant changes in the earth element (related to building the structural aspect of the baby) causes a sensitivity to smell. These changes can induce nausea and vomiting in the newly pregnant mom.
However unpleasant, this is a normal and common occurrence during pregnancy. Sometimes, it may intensify and result in regular, severe and persistent vomiting (Hyperemesis gravidarum). In the case of severe and frequent vomiting, where it could result in weight loss and other complications, it is important for you to see your health care provider.
Things to try to Ease your Nausea
Ayurveda believes that each person is unique. While these tips may work for you, it is always important to seek the health of an Ayurvedic practitioner to help identify any specific and unique causes. Simple solutions can help to ease nausea, as long as you know the cause. The following are some more general suggestions.
Nausea Related to Digestion
- Ginger soda
- Ginger candies
- Peppermint Tea
- Drop of pure peppermint essential oil on the tongue
- Cumin water in the morning
- Water with lemon
- Bitters and herbs that can reduce heat and support the liver (seek consult from a qualified practitioner)
- Nausea Relief Tincture by Herblore
Nausea Related to Hypoglycemia
- Frequent light meals/snacks containing carbohydrates
- Eat lightly salted dry snacks (crackers, pretzels, etc)
- Peppermint Oil (can be used topically on the back of the neck, on your nose or on a cotton ball)
- Citrus oils such as orange, lemon can be helpful aromatically
- Lavender Oil on the bottom of your feet or even mixed with coconut oil and rubbed on your chest can help relax muscles
- Coaching (Many women store emotions and feelings that manifest as nausea)
- Pranayama or breathing practices
Nausea during pregnancy can be challenging. Honor your body, honor yourself by not doing too much and rest as much as you can. Prepare snacks and keep your arsenal of tricks close at hand so that you can access them at any point. Make sure to keep hydrated and always reach out for help if you need it!