If you're pregnant and did not experience morning sickness, usually characterized by nausea and vomiting, consider yourself lucky. Some preggos get all-day sickness and in a few cases, it can persist all throughout the pregnancy.
Morning sickness has no one-size-fits-all solution. But many pregnant women are often wary of taking medicine even if it specifically manages nausea. The good news is there a non-drug remedy for morning sickness that has recently garnered the spotlight, and it is easily accessible to pregnant Pinays.
In a new review of studies, researchers, led by Catherine McParlin, an associate researcher at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals National Health Institutes (NHS) Foundation Trust in the U.K., looked at 78 studies on various treatments for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The study categorized the treatments for morning sickness as first-line treatments such as simple changes to diet and lifestyle and over-the-counter remedies. The second-line treatments were medicines prescribed by a doctor, while the third-line treatments were only given in a hospital setting to women with the most severe morning sickness.
Ginger came out on top as the best non-drug treatment for nausea and vomiting. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also recommends ginger in any form -- grounded ginger made into tea or capsules are the two best options -- to ease the symptoms of morning sickness. It promotes the secretion of various digestive enzymes that help neutralize stomach acid. Ginger also helps relax stomach muscles to reduce overactivity in the stomach, and, at the same time, it makes your digestive system work faster.
However, effectiveness of the natural remedy will vary since each pregnancy is different. If you're pregnant and you've suddenly become very sensitive to smell (it's a known fact that preggos have heightened sense of smell), then it could backfire instead of help.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Nina Uy, human resource manager and mom of two, shares how she accidentally discovered ginger tea. "I was pregnant and had a sore throat. I was so afraid to drink medicine even if my dad, who is doctor, said it was okay. I decided to drink mild ginger tea instead. It worked for my sore throat, and I also noticed that the more I drank, the more I could stand up and walk during the first few weeks of my pregnancy," she added. Since it worked well for her first trimester, Nina also drank ginger tea during her second pregnancy. "It still helped the second time around, but I also had to supplement with other treatments, such as taking vitamins," she says.
According to Chinese medicine, ginger works best for pregnant women who prefer warm treatments (it also said it works well for preggos who love to cozy up under the sheets, or put on layers of clothing to nurse themselves back to health -- essentially, all of us). Here's how to make homemade ginger tea at home:
1 Wash ginger and peel off the skin. Slice it into small pieces or grate it and then cover with wax paper and crush it. 2 Boil 2 to 3 cups of water, and then add sliced or grated ginger. Let it boil for 3 to 5 minutes, and then leave it to cool. 3 You can strain it or drink it as is throughout the day, or add a few drops of honey to sweeten it a bit.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Just a note of caution: Ginger can also make your blood thin, so don’t' take more than three teaspoons of raw ginger in a day, as it can affect how your blood clots. If you want to stick to natural remedies, ginger is not the only one.
"We know that not one approach works for all women, so we have to just cycle through a range of over-the-counter and then prescription approaches," Dr. Aaron Caughey, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health Science University and an author of ACOG's guidelines on treatment of morning sickness, told NPR. While doctors often recommend simple solutions to morning sickness, it’s still a case-to-case basis. "Certainly if hospitalization for fluid has been required, it is time to try medications, but for many women it should be before hospitalization is necessary in order to prevent that from happening," Dr. Caughey said.
An open and honest communication with your doctor should pave way for the best line of treatment for you.
Have you tried ginger before? Tell us if it worked for you. If not, what did you do to cope with your morning sickness? Tell us in the comments below or via our Facebook.