Nausea, or morning sickness, in pregnancy is incredibly common, and is generally a good sign that the pregnancy is healthy. However, this fact does little to help ease the discomfort throughout the day, or when you, the surrogate, is bent over the toilet! With surrogacy, there are certain factors that can increase the intensity and duration of the nausea, such as:
Medications – While the exact reason behind nausea during pregnancy is not known, many believe it has to do with increasing hormone levels. Since surrogates use hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, to help create an environment ideal for a pregnancy to occur, this can also increase the chances they’ll have nausea. Since surrogates generally take these medication at least until 10-12 weeks (average) of pregnancy, this means they might have nausea earlier, and longer, than during one of their own pregnancies.
Multiples – Anytime a woman undergoes IVF procedures, there is a higher chance for multiples to occur. Twin, triplet, and higher order multiple pregnancies usually cause women to experience higher levels of nausea, and for a longer period of time. Of course, the usual (potential) causes for nausea also apply during a surrogate pregnancy, and can include: low blood sugar, emotional stress and/or fatigue, traveling, and some foods. While there is no sure-fire way to prevent nausea during pregnancy, there are a few ways to naturally mitigate the effects. What may work for one woman may not work for another, so a bit of trial and error is sometimes needed to find what will help.
Here are a few of our tried and true all natural nausea remedies:
Ginger Products – These have proven effective against morning sickness, and generally include: ginger ale, ginger candy, ginger tea, or even simply inhaling the scent of fresh ginger.
Protein and Complex Carbs – Peanut butter on apple slices, or celery sticks; nuts (unsalted); cheese; crackers; milk; cottage cheese; and yogurt.
Snack – Eat every 1-2 hours throughout the day, small portions, and drink plenty of fluids between meals. Also, have a small snack at bedtime, and if you get up to go to the bathroom in
Plain, and/or dry foods – Eat some soda crackers before you get out of bed, and allow some time for digestion. Also, try eating white rice, dry toast, broth, saltines, or a plain baked potato inlieu of adding anything richer or creamier to your meal.
Hard Candy – Suck on hard candy, such as Preggie Pops (or a similar brand), ginger candy, ormints. Some people respond better to “hot” items, like the sensation provided by ginger, while others respond better to the “cold”, like with mints.
Vitamin B6 – If you’d rather take a B6 supplement, consult your doctor or midwife beforehand to make sure it’s right for you. However, there are foods rich in B6 that may help ease nausea, and a few are: poultry, sweet potatoes & potatoes (with skin), sunflower seeds, spinach, bananas, avocado, and garbanzo beans/chickpeas.
Acupressure – There are acupressure wristbands that are generally used for motion sickness, but have also been found to help with morning sickness.
Ventilation – Keep rooms well ventilated, or have a small fan nearby for easier breathing. This
can also help reduce common smells in your home or work that contribute to your nausea.
Aromatherapy – Some have found that fresh, citrus scents help, such lemon, lime, or orange,
as well as peppermint, spearmint, or ginger. Essential oils in a diffuser are a great resource
Acupuncture – If you would like to try acupuncture as a method of reducing your nausea,
consult your doctor or midwife beforehand, and look for an acupuncturist who is trained to work
Prenatal Vitamins – Try taking your prenatal vitamins at night, and check with your doctor or midwife about the iron levels in the vitamins you are currently taking. Switching to a vitamin that is lower in iron may help reduce nausea.
Rest – Listen to your body, and get plenty of rest. Some women have the reaction of becoming nauseous if they do not get enough sleep.
Things you can avoid to potentially help with reducing nausea
• Avoid the foods or smells that make you nauseous. At times this is easier said than done, but it can help if you take a route through the mall to avoid the food court, refrain from cooking certain meals, or asking your spouse/partner to avoid a particular cologne or perfume until
• Avoid secondhand smoke. This is good advice for pregnancy in general, and can also help
• Avoid taking medications for morning sickness, unless specifically instructed by your doctor Nothing is working! What should I do? For some, nothing you can change or do, will help with the nausea, and you may want to consult your doctor or midwife if absolutely nothing is yielding results. That being said, sometimes there truly is nothing that can be done, but to remember that for most women. While nausea is certainly not an enjoyable part of pregnancy, for most it will pass with the first trimester, or early into the second. Hopefully something on the list above will help you through these weeks, and congratulations to you and the intend parents on the pregnancy!