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Beat pregnancy nausea and cravings with your diet!

Although pregnancy nausea is often blamed on a woman’s changing hormones, it’s important to remember that some hormones are produced in the gut…

This mostly-forgotten fact may partly be why a woman’s digestive system seems to rebel in early pregnancy! A vitamin B6 deficiency could cause nausea, while some pregnancy supplements may trigger it too. Some instances of nausea are also believed to protect the mother and her developing baby from eating harmful substances during the first trimester.

Pregnancy nausea can occurat any time of day (not just the morning!), and usually improves by 12–14 weeks of pregnancy.

What goes in…

These tips will help your digestive system from within:

·         Sip ginger tea or chew a small piece of fresh gingerroot at least once a day, or choose a pregnancy supplement that contains ginger.

·         Take a supplement rich in Vitamin B, especially B6.

·         Eat smaller meals more frequently, and eat a little before rising in the morning.

·         Chew on a mint leaf.

·         Add three drops of peppermint essence to a cup of boiled water, and sip on this once or twice a day.

·         If you think your pregnancy supplement is the cause, stop taking it for a few days to see if matters improve, and change brands if necessary.

Cravings

Eat a wide variety of healthy foods. If you crave something sweet, eat a banana or date before reaching for a chocolate. Satisfy savoury or salty cravings by eating an avocado, a few olives or a baked potato with a sprinkle of celery salt. It may also help to eat smaller meals more often.

 

Cravings for abnormal substances like soil, ash, chalk and paint is called pica, and usually indicates a deficiency of an important nutrient. Discuss these cravings with your doctor or midwife, but don’t eat any of the substances!

Doctor, doctor!

See your doctor if you have excessive nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, called hyperemesis gravidarum, or if nausea starts in the second half of pregnancy, as this could be a sign of blood pressure abnormalities, low blood sugar or anaemia.

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