Nausea is plaguing my newly pregnant friend Sarah. “Now I know how my husband feels when he’s on a boat,” she moaned to me.
My friend Maire is a representative for dōTerra oils, and she seems to have a remedy for everything. “Peppermint oil ($27.33, 15ml) is wonderful,” she said. “You can smell it, rub it on topically, or take internally. The beadlets ($15.33, 125 ct), which are small amounts of the oil in a gel capsule, are very convenient for taking. Wild orange oil ($14.50, 15 ml) and ginger oil ($52.00 15 ml) are also helpful.”
“Get outside and breathe fresh air,” said Caroline. “Smell a lemon. Stay away from the smells while food is cooking. Also, for nausea with a migraine, magnesium (Natural Calm Powder, $17.99, 8 oz. at Sprouts) can provide immediate relief.”
Elise told me that “with my fifth pregnancy, I discovered Pink Stork morning sickness solutions. I bought the system of vitamins, teas, and supplements when I was at eight weeks and it brought me back from the dead.” (The Pink Stork tea can be purchased separately for $11.99, 30 cups’ worth on Amazon.)
“Let me tell you about my preggers protocol,” said Jamie. “I eat something before bed, like crackers or bread, and again as soon as I wake up. I make sure I take my vitamins at night with food. I don’t let myself get hungry. And I’m basically a vegetarian for 12 weeks. Then I put on acupressure bracelets like they use for seasickness, and remind myself this is usually gone by 14 weeks like clockwork.”
The mention of bracelets led me to Katie Aparicio, owner, and founder of Blisslets. Aparicio explained, “When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had terrible morning sickness. One of the only things that helped were acupressure bracelets. But I was still very early in my pregnancy, and I was not ready to share the news with my coworkers. Since the only thing on the market were these very conspicuous sweatband-like things, I would hide them under my suit jacket at the office to avoid questions. Unfortunately, one day the wristbands peeked beyond my sleeves and a male colleague whose wife is expecting recognized them. He immediately shouted for the whole office to hear, ‘Hey, I didn’t know you were pregnant!’ That’s when I begin to wonder whether someone could make acupressure bracelets that looked like regular jewelry.
“My husband and I teamed up with an industrial designer,” she continued. “We consulted with medical program professionals and focus groups, and tested many products,” looking for something that was comfortable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing.
“Many scientific studies show that acupressure bracelets help relieve nausea stemming from a wide variety of causes. It helps pregnant women, but also travelers with motion sickness, chemotherapy patients, or people suffering from migraines. Even gamers who get queasy when using virtual reality headsets. If you’re not feeling well and really don’t want to advertise your condition to others, that’s where Blisslets stands apart.”
Blisslets work via a small bead that places pressure on the P6 acupoint, located ¾-inch below your wrist crease, right between the two tendons on the underside of your wrist. (There are various theories about why this helps: one is that the pressure on the point sends neural signals that affect the region of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting.) Aparicio notes that “The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology lists P6 acupressure bracelets as the first line treatment for morning sickness. There are no drugs involved and no side effects. This is a big plus for mothers who want to limit their babies’ exposure to pharmaceuticals. You can put them on any time when nausea starts, but we recommend wearing them ahead of time if you expect to be a situation that may give you nausea. They also need to be worn on both wrists.” Blisslets come in sets ranging from $28-$46 depending on style.
Aparacio didn’t forget the dads. For men, “We designed a whole line inspired by nautical themes. They’re understated and very versatile. We also offer a pair that includes a genuine leather cuff that is crafted in small batches by Colombian artist.”