Morning sickness SUCKS – and the gnarly thing pictured above might be the best thing to fight it.
Morning sickness (or day sickness since it’s not limited to mornings) is something my wife dealt with in each of our pregnancies. Of all the ideas suggested the two that worked best for her were
- Eat something, since low blood sugar can cause nausea. This meant munching on healthy snacks throughout the day and, if the nausea was really bad, making sure to wake up for a midnight snack.
- Ingest some ginger.
Wondering what ginger is?
Ginger is a kind of rhizome – a horizontal plant stem usually found underground. It’s tropical and has been used as a spice and/or medicine for centuries. It’s commonly used as a spice in many Asian cuisines and has been used as a folk medicine against coughs and colds; modern studies have found it effective against diarrhea and – wait for it – nausea.
Finding a way to ingest ginger isn’t too hard these days, thanks to online stores and the more exotic food & spices available locally in many places. We use it quite bit in our home cooking, but I also used to check out any organic or natural grocery stores for everything they had with ginger in them and we’d try them out. Here are some ideas of things to try:
This was most popular and effective for my wife. Tea is easy to make – boil some water, cut some thin slices of fresh ginger root, steep the ginger in the hot water for five minutes and add sugar or honey to taste. Ginger tea can be jazzed up a bit too, with a slice of lemon or steeped with fresh mint or dried peppermint. I would also highly recommend fresh ginger root over dried ginger of any variety.
An added bonus: serving the tea. Pregnant mamas LOVE being pampered, and getting served with a hot cup of tea is one way to show some love. And if the weather is hot & steamy, make some iced green tea with ginger and mint or check out the ginger beer I mention below. Pre-made ginger teas are often available in Asian markets. They’re a quick and easy alternative if you don’t have any fresh ginger around, but I’m convinced that fresh ginger is the most effective.
Chimes Ginger Chews
Chimes Ginger Chews are packets of chewy, stoneground ginger candies that my wife liked so much that she kept eating them after her nausea was gone instead of Altoids or mints. I liked them too, and I always keep an eye out for them when I’m in a natural food store. They’re individually wrapped and are the perfect on-the-go nausea preventer – we kept some in the car, some in her purse, some in a backpack/daybag, my messenger bag (not a man purse!), etc.
Their basic chews are a bit on the spicy side, which can be good or bad depending on your preferences (added benefit: our son didn’t want to eat them all up). But Chimes also makes different flavors, like Orange Ginger, Mango Ginger, Peanut Butter Ginger (gross!) and Peppermint Ginger. I can personally vouch for the tastiness of the Orange Ginger chews – I wish I had some right now.
Sticking with the candy theme, we also have Preggie Pops aka lollipops for pregnant mamas. They come in different flavors, including (you guessed it) ginger. A variant on the preggie pop is also hard ginger candy.
For mamas who like chewing gum, anti-nausea ginger gum is a great choice.
Reed’s Ginger Beer is a super-tasty, non-alcoholic brew. It’s like a stronger version of ginger ale, and something else that I also enjoyed sipping. A cold ginger beer is great on a hot & steamy day.
If a grocery store has a bulk food section, where you can bag your own nuts (not those nuts ;)) & trail mix, they probably have candied ginger too. It’s pretty sweet since it’s usually half ginger/half sugar so it may be a better option for a mama who’s not into spice. If you can’t find f the chews this is a great alternative. And if you can’t find candied ginger, you can easily make it yourself.
If she hates the taste of ginger (either normally or part of pregnancy food aversions), then ginger pills may be the way to go. Most vitamin shops will carry them and she can take them daily along with her prenatal vitamins.
Cooking with ginger
There are a zillion different ways of sneaking ginger into a diet – it can be added to recipes for cookies, cupcakes, refreshing drinks, savory meals, you name it. The list of recipes with ginger is looooong and there are a lot of options, especially since many moms-to-be will want to avoid certain foods/smells etc. If you don’t cook, pregnancy is a great time to get started and she’ll love you for it.
Your turn – is ginger your go-to solution for dealing with nausea?
-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger#Folk_medicine ↩
-  Antiglycating potential of Zingiber officinalis and delay of diabetic cataract in rats. Saraswat M. Suryanarayana P. Reddy PY. Patil MA. Balakrishna N. Reddy GB. Molecular Vision. 16:1525-37, 2010; Chen, Jaw-Chyun; Li-Jiau Huang, Shih-Lu Wu, Sheng-Chu Kuo, Tin-Yun Ho, Chien-Yun Hsiang (2007). “Ginger and Its Bioactive Component Inhibit Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Heat-Labile Enterotoxin-Induced Diarrhoea in Mice”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 55 (21): 8390–8397 ↩
-  Ernst, E.; & Pittler, M.H. (1 March 2000). “Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials” (PDF). British Journal of Anesthesia 84 (3): 367–371. PMID 10793599. ↩