Congratulations—you're expecting! While you're excited to see your little bump growing, your body will go through a lot of changes. Masilo founder and second time expecting mama, Eisha Maskara Sheth, shares her go-to natural remedies to help ease those unwanted pregnancy symptoms
The first trimester of my second pregnancy was very different from my first pregnancy. Last time around, I didn't have any symptoms and breezed through most of my pregnancy without much discomfort. This time, I've had all the classic first trimester symptoms of nausea, low energy, loss of appetite and sensitivity to strong smells.
I'm extremely conscious about what I consume and it’s impact on my body. So it's only natural I turned to alternative remedies instead of over-the-counter medicines for managing uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.
Here are some natural remedies that worked wonderfully for me, I hope you find them helpful too:
The energy shot
Mix a spoon of coriander juice and a spoon of lime juice together and have it first thing in the morning and at night before bed on days you're feeling low or have a heavy head.
Coriander juice helps in oxygenating the blood for more energy and boosting the immune system. Lime juice helps to shift the body’s pH from acidic to a more alkaline level, helping cells to produce more energy and make us feel more alive.
I also highly recommend having 1-2 glasses of vegetable juice daily to support your immune system (if you aren't already having this). There are plenty of vegetable juice recipes available online but if you're still not sure, keep it simple with just 1-2 vegetables and 1 herb. Here are a few easy combinations:
- Tomato + celery
- Cucumber + basil
- Bottle gourd + beetroot + mint
Sauf (fennel seeds) helps in fighting nausea and developing appetite especially in the first trimester. It also helps controlling morning sickness by reducing gas and heartburn. Try chewing on a handful of sauf before a meal if you can't bear the thought of eating anything due to nausea, it should help in bringing back your appetite.
Eating cold foods
Cooking smells may bring on feelings of nausea, but eating cold dishes instead might help you feel good enough to swallow your food. Salad bowls with quinoa and sourdough bread sandwiches are nutritious options.
Mono fruit and raw vegetables
Having one type of fruit or raw vegetable makes it easier for your body to digest rather than a mixed platter which will make it work harder. So for example, if you've finished a mango and are still hungry, go ahead and have another one rather than reach out for another fruit. (My toddler and I shared 3 mangoes daily through my first trimester—who can resist when it's mango season in Mumbai!)
In the first weeks, when your body is channeling most of its energy to growing and securing the foetus, it may not have sufficient energy to support complex digestion. So it’s best to support your body by simplifying your intake.
Remember, fruits are easiest for your body to digest followed by raw vegetables. And these are also the highest in bio-available nutrients. So don't forget to include them in your diet along with cooked foods. Note: Cooked foods can be mixed without causing any load on digestion.
Sabja (basil seeds) relieves bloating and acidity, and lemon juice helps alkaline the body and aids digestion. So add a spoon of basil seeds to a spoon of lemon juice and wait atleast 15 minutes until the basil seeds swell (similar to soaked chia seeds). Drink this mixture after a meal if you’re experiencing indigestion and it should help reduce your symptoms quickly.
Cold pack therapy
Place an ice pack at the back of your neck right below your skull (the hole-like point where your neck and head merge) when you’re feeling anxious, tired or have a headache for 10-15 minutes.
This simple therapy helps calm the primitive or reptilian brain (responsible for causing the fight, flight or freeze response when it's overworked by anxiety and fear), relieves stress by releasing endorphins and activates the parasympathetic nervous system to bring your body back to a state of feeling calm, rejuvenated and energetic.
Get plenty of rest
Listen to your body and take breaks often, even if they’re only 15 minute ones. Squeeze in a power nap, take a shower, lie down, listen to soothing music, do some yoga nidra.
It improves the circulation of blood and boosts the flow of oxygen that is supplied to your body—and your baby. As an expecting mom, it's more important than ever to integrate pranayama or deep breathing into your daily routine.
As always, please consult your doctor before trying natural remedies or anything you are unsure of. Wishing you a happy, healthy pregnancy!
Eisha Maskara Sheth is the Founder & Creative Director, Masilo. @masilo.in