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What To Take For Motion Sickness While Pregnant

by Clara Wynn
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What To Take For Motion Sickness While Pregnant

What To Take For Motion Sickness While Pregnant

What To Take For Motion Sickness While Pregnant? If going on a long car trip makes you queasy, or if the ride in an amusement park makes you feel nauseous, then chances are you suffer from motion sickness. As defined by WebMD, “motion sickness is a feeling of nausea and discomfort caused by movement.” This means there are two types of motion sickness: sea sickness and air sickness.

Motion sickness usually occurs when your inner ear detects conflicting signals as your eyes see horizontal objects moving up and down while your brain tells you they’re traveling horizontally. It also happens when you have a mismatch between what your body thinks is happening and what actually is happening.

If you’ve never experienced motion sickness, you may be surprised at how much it affects you. In one survey, 75 percent of people who had never felt seasick said they did when on vacation.

Pregnancy puts women at greater risk for developing motion sickness because their bodies are already adjusting to accommodate a new life inside them. The hormones progesterone and estrogen cause changes within the digestive system, including increasing the amount of acid in the stomach. Normally, this helps protect us against food poisoning bacteria; however, having too much acid can make conditions like gastritis more severe, which could lead to vomiting and diarrhea. There are other hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy that affect the nervous system and the blood vessels, both of which play a part in motion sickness.

There are many things to do to relieve motion sickness symptoms, but first let’s talk about some causes of motion sickness. Some doctors believe that motion sickness is due to a lack of fluid in our inner ears, so drinking water is often recommended. A few studies suggest that consuming ginger root tea can help reduce motion sickness. Ginger contains active compounds called shogaols that act as antihistamines. Another suggestion is to chew sugarless hard candies with caffeine added. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, a process similar to what happens when we take stimulants such as Adderall.

Other possible causes include dehydration, sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption and certain foods. Foods high in fats and carbohydrates tend to give most people indigestion and gas, causing bloating and flatulence. You might want to avoid these foods if you feel bloated or gassy. Also, eating spicy food or hot peppers can induce excess salivation, leading to drooling and blushing. Saliva production increases during pregnancy, so expect to sweat even more than normal. And lastly, smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco can dry out the mouth and throat, adding to the dryness of mucus membranes.

The good news is that motion sickness can be relieved fairly quickly through medication. Over-the-counter medicines containing dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) work well to treat mild cases of motion sickness. Both drugs block receptors in the brain so that conflicting messages don’t reach the inner ear. They should not be used by anyone allergic to either drug. Consult your physician or pharmacist before using any medication.

Now that we know why motion sickness occurs and how to manage it, let’s talk about what to pack for a day at the beach or amusement park. First off, don’t drink lots of fluids prior to heading outside — try to just keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Bring along a pair of sunglasses to wear in case you need a break from bright sunlight. Sunscreen lotion will also come in handy during those lazy summer days.

When packing, remember that keeping a small bag light is important. Avoid carrying heavy backpacks, purses and cameras. Pack only essential items, such as sunblock, snacks, sunscreen and bottled waters. Don’t forget insect repellent, lip balm and prescription medicine. Weigh everything carefully to ensure nothing gets left behind.

Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll probably find that the best way to alleviate motion sickness is to lie down — preferably in a recliner chair. Many amusement parks offer special chairs designed to tilt head down and feet up, making lying down easier.

Next time you travel, consider bringing along a portable DVD player with headphones. Headphones allow you to listen to music or watch movies without disturbing others around you. If you prefer listening to music rather than watching TV, bring along speakers instead. Music relieves stress better than silence, so choose soothing tunes. Finally, don’t forget your MP3 players!

Listening to music can distract your mind from thinking about being sick.
For a quick fix, try soaking your wrists in warm saltwater. Salt has been known to provide temporary relief from motion sickness symptoms. Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after applying the solution.

Motion Sickness Relief Products

As previously mentioned, over-the-counter meds containing dimenhydrinate or diphenhydramine are effective treatments for mild cases of motion sickness. However, if you experience extreme nausea and dizziness, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Medications aren’t the only ways to relieve motion sickness. Here are some tips:

  • Take frequent breaks. Sitting still isn’t really an option when motion sickness strikes. Instead, take frequent short walks to stimulate circulation and improve digestion.
  • Stay away from alcohol. Although alcohol relaxes muscles, it dilates blood vessels, which leads to headaches, heartburn and nausea.
  • Avoid eye contact. Blinking tears and looking at something far away can trigger motion sickness. Cover your eyes with sunglasses or look at something close by.
  • Try to remain calm. Try to stay relaxed and breathe deeply to increase oxygenation. Closing your eyes also works as relaxation technique.

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