Nothing disrupts the euphoria of pregnancy like morning sickness. That ‘pregnant glow’ can abruptly turn to paleness with persistent nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
Morning sickness (and the term is a misnomer as symptoms can appear any time of the day or night) occurs in approximately eight out of ten pregnancies, and is thought to be caused by a number of hormones that become elevated during pregnancy. Although it’s most common early in pregnancy, some women are nauseous throughout and not necessarily only in the morning.
The great news is that homeopathy can often help! Here are just a few homeopathic remedies to consider if you or someone you know finds themselves in this state.
Nux vomica: Your nausea is strong, especially in bed on waking, but you’re unable to vomit. You are very hungry, but feel worse after eating, with indigestion and cramping. You are likely irritable, oversensitive to noise and light and cool air as you feel chillier than normal. You may also experience constipation. You prefer to be alone as other people easily annoy you.
Pulsatilla: Your nausea is worse in a warm, stuffy room, better in the open air, and better from walking slowly. You crave rich, sweet, fatty foods, but they make you feel worse. You are not thirsty. You tend to be weepy and moody; you want comfort and reassurance. Eating the wrong foods can bring on headaches with a bursting pain over your eyes. Everything feels worse in the evening.
Sepia: You are chilly and feel worse in general in the late afternoon. Your nausea is worse from the smell and thought of food. You have a sinking feeling in the stomach that makes you feel faint; eating may relieve it, but only temporarily. You crave vinegar and pickles, as well as sweets. You have a sensation of heaviness or sagging in the pelvis. You may feel indifferent to your loved ones because you’re exhausted; but physical exercise makes you feel better overall, and can even reduce the nausea temporarily.
Phosphorus: Nausea is often relieved temporarily by eating. You are more thirsty than normal for cold drinks, even craving ice. Ice cream and cold foods have particular appeal and might make you feel better. You feel better when people are around as they take your mind off of the nausea.
Colchicum: You are extremely sensitive to the smell of food and may gag at the very thought of food, particularly the smell of fish and eggs. Your nausea can last all day and is worse from motion and eating. You want carbonated drinks. You prefer to lie with your knees drawn up, since stretching out your legs can cause nausea.
Cocculus indicus: Your nausea is worse with the thought, smell, and sight of food. You have no appetite, feel fatigued, and tire easily. You feel chilly and your symptoms are worse in the afternoon. Often the nausea is accompanied by vertigo and loss of sleep because of other worries.
Ipecacuanha: Your severe, constant nausea is not even relieved by vomiting. You salivate profusely and may have to spit frequently. (Note: This remedy is homeopathically prepared and diluted Ipecacuanha and is NOT interchangeable with the common drugstore Ipecac used to induce vomiting.)
Tabacum: You have incessant nausea that is worse in a warm room and from the smell of tobacco. Intense seasickness or motion sickness in the car that is better in fresh cold air, so the woman may want to open the car window to get the fresh air or go up on the deck of the boat. She wants to uncover the abdomen.
What can we expect? As you know with homeopathy, the remedy is a trigger for the body to address the cause of the issue and in this case, “the cause” is not going way for about 40 weeks. So, the remedy encourages the body to manage better (react less to) the dramatic increase in hormones in the first weeks of pregnancy. By week 13, when the placenta takes over the manufacture of pregnancy hormones, nausea often disappears for most women. In practice I have seen nausea completely disappear with a well-prescribed remedy, although it might have to be repeated numerous times over the following weeks. In the worst case, the remedy doesn’t eliminate the nausea completely, but takes the edge off enough for it to be more manageable.
Dose with either a 30C or 200C potency to start by placing one pellet under the tongue or one pellet in water, stirring vigorously and taking teaspoon doses as needed. Always cease dosing when relief begins and only redose if symptoms again worsen. Homeopathic preparations are typically very diluted and therefore considered safe for both baby and mother; however, it is best to consult with your physician when taking any medicines during pregnancy.
A final bit of advice… it is always advisable to discuss the use of any medicine, including homeopathy, during pregnancy or when nursing, with your licensed practitioner. And, as with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of a medical problem as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.
About Dr. Lisa Samet
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a weekly column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as long distance using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet. You can follow her on Facebook as well.