For those who have endured morning sickness it is certainly not the most desirable part of pregnancy.
I can remember from my pregnancy feeling great one day and then all of a sudden the nausea hit. I couldn't cook, smell or even think about certain foods without feeling queasy. Fortunately it lasted for 5 weeks and I figured out ways to manage it.
But, for others this is not always the case.
So why does morning sickness happen, i.e. pregnancy nausea and vomiting.
The theory is this is how the body responses to increases levels of pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which are at the highest during the first trimester.
Some even say that morning sickness is a sign of a strong pregnancy, because of the higher levels of hCG.
Whether you view morning sickness as reassuring or a hindrance, there are ways to remedy it.
Most of us read about the dietary remedy, like eating smaller more frequent meals that include carbohydrates and protein. Think crackers and almond butter. Drink water with lemon or a carbonated beverage like ginger ale. Ginger tea or ginger hard candy for some also help.
What worked for me?
I needed to stay active to keep my mind of the nausea. As soon as I stopped or didn't have my mind on something the nausea returned.
Exercising increases your endorphins which counteracts the nausea and fatigue.
So I had to figure out a way to stay active, eat enough and drink enough to stave off the nausea.
Here are my 3 tips for staying active to reduce morning sickness.
1. Go for a walk.
One of the simplest ways to stay active during pregnancy is going for walks. You can go by yourself, with your partner or a friend. I only requires a good pair of sneakers and 20 minutes of time.
Plus if you did not exercise prior to your pregnancy, walking is a great way to start. It is a low impact exercise with high impact results.
But remember this is not "walking your dog" or "strolling with your toddler" walk, which if you're like me stopping rather frequently for them to explore.
You want to keep up a comfortable pace, where you can still talk with normal breathing, and can keep it up for at least 20 minutes without it feeling easy.
2. Get in some upper body stretches
If you're nausea is like mine, you get a little knot right at the base of your sternum. Almost like a vice grip tightening down on your stomach.
Since the path of our esophagus runs through our diaphragm I found it very helpful to do stretches that opened up my diaphragm. This gave my stomach space, released any tension built up around the nausea and helped the flow of lymphatic fluid.
Watch the video below for a quick sequence that helped me out!
3. Deep breath
Deep breathing with gentle pelvic floor and tummy contractions is another way to target the diaphragm and increase muscle activation to improve endorphins.
Think of it as the beginning of giving your baby hugs.
You can do this sitting, standing, lying down, or moving.
Place your hands on your tummy, breathe in through your nose then slowly exhale out your mouth as you perform a 30% pelvic floor contraction (think stop pee) and flatten your tummy but gently engaging your abs.
Do this 5 to 10 times whenever you feel nauseas.
These were all incredibly helpful for me to manage my nausea.
If you want to learn more about how to stay active during pregnancy, sign up for more tips here.