By Nikki Warren, NaturoBest

After the initial excitement of a positive pregnancy test, misery can soon kick in around week six of pregnancy when morning sickness appears.

As many as 85 percent of women suffer from morning sickness and it can be completely debilitating. It ranges from mild to severe nausea, and vomiting can occur several times a day.

There are several known factors that can increase the likelihood of morning sickness. Some of these are unavoidable, such as being under 24 years old, having a girl, or carrying twins (or more!)

The good news is some factors are avoidable.

Is your prenatal vitamin making your morning sickness worse?

Iron

Iron supplements can aggravate the symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and, unfortunately, most prenatal supplements contain it.

This is because iron supplementation is essential later on in pregnancy, due to the increase in blood volume. Iron supplementation is usually unnecessary in the first trimester, especially if a woman has followed a preconception care plan and boosted her iron stores prior to becoming pregnant.

Iodine

The pregnancy hormone HCG stimulates a woman’s thyroid in the first trimester, which is known to aggravate the symptoms of morning sickness.

In pregnancy, the recommended daily intake of iodine is 220 micrograms. This should come from a woman’s diet and she can also take supplements if required. Supplementing with this amount, however, may be too high for some women in the first trimester. There is a chance that her thyroid could become overstimulated and this could lead to an increase in nausea and/or vomiting.

The World Health Organisation recommends that all pregnant women supplement their diet with 150 micrograms of iodine daily.

Nikki Warren is an experienced degree-qualified fertility naturopath and medical herbalist based on the Sunshine Coast and founder of NaturoBest.

Tips to ease the symptoms of morning sickness

Both vitamin B6 and ginger have been proven in several randomised controlled trials to reduce the frequency and severity of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. The recommended daily dose is 75mg of vitamin B6 and/or 1300mg of ginger.

Stabilising blood sugar helps to reduce symptoms of morning sickness

It is recommended that pregnant women eat frequently, preferably every two hours. Snacking on almonds and other nuts can stabilise blood sugar and eating foods high in chromium such as apples, raisins, nuts and cheese can help too.

It is also a good idea to eat something high in protein just before bedtime, as this will help prevent blood sugar from dipping too low overnight. Nuts or yoghurt are especially helpful.

Keep some crackers or ginger biscuits next to your bed to eat before getting up in the morning.

There are several nutrients that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, including chromium and biotin. The other nutrients involved in carbohydrate metabolism include vitamins B1. B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, manganese, zinc and magnesium.

Ginger can be your best friend

Ginger is a traditional remedy for morning sickness and has been shown in several studies to be effective.

Due to its blood-thinning activity, you should be cautious when taking ginger with other blood-thinning medication such as aspirin or supplements like fish oils and CoQ10. The maximum dose in pregnancy is 2000mg.

Drinking ginger tea or chewing on crystallised ginger throughout the day may help to ease your symptoms. Chamomile or peppermint tea may also help.

WATCH: Amy Schumer’s Graphic Video Of Her Extreme Morning Sickness. Continues after video …

Neutralising stomach acids can help to relieve nausea

It is a good idea to carry some Quick Eze in your handbag.

Relieving constipation can also help reduce nausea.

If you are suffering from constipation, try having 2 kiwifruits at night to gently stimulate your bowels.

Supplements

NaturoBest’s Prenatal Trimester One with Ginger is a high-quality prenatal multivitamin and mineral supplement that is specially formulated to reduce morning sickness. It contains 1300mg of ginger and 75mg of vitamin B6, including the activated form of B6, pyridoxal-5-phosphate to reduce morning sickness. It also contains the highest quality folate on the market, Quatrefolic®, to support healthy foetal brain development.