Ayurveda And Morning Sickness

More than half of pregnant women experience some form of morning sickness so here is the Ayurvedic perspective. Ayurveda offers three causes of nausea during pregnancy. I'll do my best to translate these!

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1. Vaatha Vaigunya
Malfunction of Vata, the air/space energy in the body. This is the same thing that causes travel sickness, Vata moves around the body in the wrong way pushing other dosha's along too. This is why women with a Vata constitution (thin, dry skin, intellectual) are more likely to get morning sickness. And this is why travel sickness can really be compounded by early pregnancy.

2. Dauhidra Avamaanana
Give the woman what she wants! So long as it is not detrimental to mother or her baby all her cravings must be satisfied. Unsatisfied desires cause morning sickness. This includes what you want emotionally, physically, spiritually...

3.Garbha Nimittha
This means the embryo/feotus is pushing upwards which is what makes the mother feel nauseous or vomit.

The first trimester diet for a pregnant women advises lots of liquids, the embryo is still in a liquid form and the mothers body is building blood, amniotic fluid and fat. An increase in water element (Kapha) is very helpful.

However if you are anything like me fluids are the main offender, I just can't swallow anything liquid. I find that if I eat Vata and Pitta pacifying food as soon as a I wake up and then at 8am, 10am and 12 pm then it sets me up well for the rest of the day. You'll know what your worst time of day is (and it's not always the morning) so make sure you have food ready AT LEAST every two hours for that time of day. Don't wait until you are hungry.

My favourite snacks:

  • apples, bananas, grapes, pears
  • rice crackers
  • salty crackers with cottage cheese (pasturised of course, soft cheeses are fine if they are pasturised and kept in the fridge)
  • plain bread, scones, chapati's
  • Blanched almonds, walnuts
  • Cold milk with ANZAC biscuits (cold milk is generally recommended during early pregnancy)

The evenings do tend to be better for me so I try and catch up on some fluids then. I sip my way very slowly through a glass or two or cold water or cold peppermint tea or cold juice at my best time of day, but don't bother with drinks when I feel gross. Personally I think comfort is my primary concern right now. Water is no good if it comes straight up again.

If you find liquids difficult to tolerate too, try and increase the liquid in your diet in other ways. A bit of extra fat these days is very grounding and nourishing, like ghee or unsalted butter or coconut.


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