Your Pregnancy Partners
It's important to drink plenty of fluids during pregnancy- but sometimes mama just needs something to drink other than water. That's why I'm serving up four different (not to mention delicious) options: These drinks will not only keep you hydrated, they'll help support digestion, ward off morning sickness, improve circulation, and satisfy your taste buds. Consider them your pregnancy partners. Prepare one each morning and sip throughout the day.
The entire peppermint plant contains menthol, a numbing agent with a cooling sensation, which is just one reason that peppermint has been used as a remedy for nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, headaches, and menstrual cramps for centuries. I've searched high and low for peppermints that didn't contain sugar or Nutrasweet- Zand Menthol Herbalozenges (available online and at many health food stores) have neither if you're interested. Pop one after each meal. Peppermint tea is another great option and safe to drink during pregnancy, in moderation.
Think back to your childhood. Did you sometimes sip Canada Dry or Reeds Ginger Brew to soothe an upset tummy? Ginger is another ancient remedy for nausea; it works, in part, because it contains gingerol and shogaol, two naturally occurring chemicals that relax that digestive system. While the herb is safe during pregnancy, you'll want to stick with the food-based form only, since large doses can lead to uterine cramping. A cup of ginger tea or homemade ginger ale are great to have on hand when queasiness hits. Natural ginger ale and ginger chews are also available at most health food stores.
It's important to stay well hydrated during pregnancy- especially if your brand of morning sickness comes with vomiting- but for some reason, drinking plain water on an empty or sour stomach seems to make nausea worse. Lemonade, on the other hand, often goes down easier, while giving you a boost of vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. For a low-calorie, no-sugar, sweet treat, combine 1 quart water with juice of two lemons, 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of raw honey. For an anti-queasiness kick, add in some fresh, finely grated ginger root. If you don't like the pulpy texture, you can toss some chopped fresh ginger into 1 cup of boiling water to steep for a few minutes; allow it to cool, strain, and you'll be left with a potent ginger tea you can use to flavor your drink.
Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) is a type of bacteria that's often found in the gut- approximately two-thirds of the world's population is infected, in fact, according to the CDC. While most people will never suffer any symptoms, the bacteria can cause gastritis and stomach ulcers over the long term. More recent research, however, includinga 2014 study published in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, suggests a strong link between the presence of H. Pylori infection and hyperemesis gravidarum. One way to fight the infection- and perhaps get some relief from severe morning sickness? Coconut oil. It's one of the richest dietary sources of lauric acid, an antimicrobial fatty acid (also present in breast milk) and proven bacteria killer. Try using extra-virgin coconut oil instead of olive oil when cooking, or add some to smoothies and shakes- shoot for two to three tablespoons a day. You might also want to speak with your midwife about taking a monolaurin supplement. Lauric acid converts to monolaurin in the body, and monolaurin in particular has been shown to actively kill H. pylori.