Pre-pregnancy, you had the best intentions of staying active and incorporating fitness into your daily routine. But throw in
morning all-day sickness plus exhaustion, and now that you’re pregnant you find yourself wondering if you’ll ever be able to get your butt off the couch.
The good news is that, as counter-intuitive as it may sound, exercise can actually help alleviate some of the yucky symptoms of early pregnancy. Plus, it’s good for your body – and baby – to start an active regimen early on (Disclaimer: Just be sure to check with your doctor first).
Regular exercise during pregnancy not only helps keep you fit and feeling good about yourself, but it can also help improve posture and decrease common discomforts, such as backaches and fatigue. Plus, there’s good evidence that it may prevent gestational diabetes, relieve stress and even build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.
But if shifting your workout schedule to work around queasy spells simply isn’t an option, don’t throw in the towel just yet. There are a few natural, yet highly-effective, remedies for helping to tame tummy troubles so you can still hit that spin class – without the feeling that the room is spinning around you.
A ‘pressing’ matter
According to traditional Chinese medicine, illness results from an imbalance in the flow of Chi (life energy) through the body. Morning sickness is seen as this energy going in the wrong direction – your stomach energy should go down and out; not up.
Acupressure, a practice based on Eastern medicine methods used to open up blocked energy pathways in the body, is thought to help relieve or shorten the duration of morning sickness symptoms. Pressure is applied on a small area of the body to treat a given ailment; in this case, the P6 point is used to prevent or reduce nausea.
P6 is located on the inner side of your arm, in line with your middle finger and one-sixth of the way between your wrist and elbow. Pressing on the point with a thumb works, but if you’re looking for longer-term relief, try wearing wristbands that hold a plastic disc on the P6 point on each arm.
Sea-Band ($9.99 per pair) is the industry standard, featuring a knitted, elasticized wristband with plastic stud that has been clinically tested against nausea and vomiting in travel, anesthesia, pregnancy and chemotherapy. But fashionable mommies are also breathing a “Psi” of relief, thanks to colorful rubber Psi Bands ($13.99 per pair) from “mompreneur” Romy Taormina, who wanted to give moms an alternative with a watch-like adjustable band to better control pressure.
Supplementary, my dear Watson
According to one report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy may find that taking vitamin B6, ginger or other supplements can reduce their symptoms. And not only are these treatments effective, but they’re also safe for the baby, which will ease every mom’s mind, as well as her upset tummy.
Try starting your morning off on the right foot with Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Organic Morning Wellness Tea ($5.99 for box of 16 bags), a cup of comfort that’s blended with stomach-settling ginger root and spearmint, a safe hint of peppermint, plus soothing chamomile and lemon balm with a yummy twist of orange peel for flavor. (Note: If you’re looking for natural products, the company also offers quite the array of herbal goodies for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, plus babies of all ages).
Get a mid-day belly boost with Anti-Nausea Ginger Gum from Sea-Band ($9.99), which contains 25mg of ginger oil and settles stomachs by delivering the healing benefits of the herb to the body in one of the fastest ways – under the tongue.
Battle intermittent waves of nausea with the vitamin B6 in Preggie Pop Drops ($5.50 for a box of 20), which offer relief via a combination of essential oils and aromatherapy. And there’s a bonus: Not only do these bite-sized sour candies alleviate dry mouth, but they can also provide quick calories and energy during labor down the road.
Need something even stronger? Another option for getting stomach-soothing vitamin B6 into your system quickly is B-natal, available in both Green Apple lozenges and Cherry Therapops ($15.99 for a box of each). B-natal was developed by Jennifer Cherry, president of Everidis Health Sciences, and has clinically-proven, efficacious amounts of B6 with just enough sugar to help alleviate symptoms and sweeten the taste.
And when all else fails…
Sometimes there’s just no stopping it, so you might as well be prepared to puke in something pretty, right?
Enter Morning Chicness Bags ($7.50 for a pack of 10), which are compact, leak-proof barf bags – the brainchild of founder Tara Ramos, who herself suffered from severe morning sickness while pregnant.
After depleting her supply of air sickness bags from traveling colleagues, Ramos had to resort to carrying leaky plastic shopping bags and bulky garbage bags, so she decided to develop a bag for pregnant women to carry without being embarrassed.
Available in eight different designs, the bags help eliminate that panicked feeling of needing to find the nearest toilet – now. And on the bottom of each bag, Ramos has added a gentle reminder to serve as some much-needed encouragement for all sick-as-a-dog moms-to-be: Take one day at a time.