Nausea in Pregnancy / Morning Sickness

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. Do you have a magic potion for morning sickness? I can't bear to see my sister so ill! She is about 7 weeks?

A. Nausea in pregnancy is best managed with ginger tablets taken 3 times daily – even if the nausea has not yet set in for the day. She can also incorporate more ginger into her diet. Make a chamomile and ginger tea and drink it throughout the day.

Another good remedy is salt. Concentrated Mineral Drops (CMD) 40 drops added to your drink bottle and sipped throughout the day restores the mineral balance and the nausea subsides.

If this does not hold, seek advice from a registered medical herbalist (see www.nzamh.org.nz to find a practitioner), who can prescribe herbal medicine which is safe in pregnancy.

I also recommend a good multivitamin, suitable for pregnancy, to ensure all the nutrients are provided. Studies show that women who experience morning sickness often have abnormally low zinc and/or magnesium levels, indicating that zinc and/or magnesium deficiency may contribute to morning sickness. Check for white dots on your the fingernails for a zinc deficiency, or cramps, twitchy muscles or tension for magnesium deficiency.

Be aware of the following lifestyle measures: Don't get hungry – have crackers, bananas, and a trail mix of nuts and seeds on hand; eat protein meals regularly. Don't get tired – delegate jobs to others, do less in a day, go to bed at 8pm, leave the exercise programme for now.

Acupuncture can be really useful, as can homoeopathy. If your sister is vomiting profusely, she should seek advice from her GP. Hyperemesis (excessive vomiting) may require hospitalisation for intravenous fluids.

Nausea usually passes in the second trimester about around week 13. If she has other children, be a good aunt and take them for an outing!