Merry-go-motion sensitivity?

So this year on our beach vacation, my son was able to partake in some of the amusement rides at the local boardwalk.  While on the carousel (aka merry-go-round), I was “pleasantly” reminded of one of the unforeseen after effects of pregnancy…motion sensitivity.

Prior to getting pregnant, I could travel on the rockiest of boats, the fastest of rides, and even those amusements that continually spin in circles, without any resultant symptoms…except perhaps joy.  However now, post pregnancy, even the mild mannered merry-go-round results in stomach queasiness.  (It doesn’t seem very merry anymore.)  The more mothers I speak to, the result is overwhelmingly the same.  Why?  Well my curiosity was peaked and I started the investigation.

Motion sickness is caused when there is a conflict between signals retrieved from the eyes to the inner ear and to the rest of the body.  When we move the body intentionally (i.e. walking), our brain coordinates the activities of the eye, ear & body; however when there is unintentional movement (i.e. the carousel) the brain is not coordinating the input, and therefore we are more susceptible to motion impacts due to the lack of synchronization. The effect may be very apparent or subtle depending on your body’s perception of the movement.  As a result of this equilibrium imbalance, we may experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, increased salivation, headache, etcetera (Sounds like the side effect profile of a pharmaceutical drug commercial, doesn’t it?).

Now why would this imbalance present itself post pregnancy?  When pregnant, the body’s hormone levels are in fluctuation; and as any mama can tell you, your body does not just snap back exactly to the way it was prior to pregnancy, therefore the hormone levels maybe altered.  Estrogen is a major culprit in hormone-related motion sickness. The higher the levels the more motion sensitivity you may have.  So depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle, may explain why more motion sensitivity presents itself.  In fact, estrogen levels peak from day 1 to day 14 of a woman’s menstrual cycle, so more motion sensitivity maybe experienced during this time.  Also, birth control pills that contain estrogen, or estrogen supplements, can also increase your likelihood of experiencing the symptoms mentioned above.

What can an adventure loving mama do to still experience the thrills without the negative consequence?   Ginger!  Many studies have been conducted demonstrating ginger’s effectiveness in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness.  In fact, in one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine® (a common drug for motion sickness).  What could be better than getting superior results naturally, without a drug, avoiding any potential drug side effects?!

Pregnant?  Get your ginger on!  It is a safe, natural and effective relief for pregnant women for assistance with nausea and vomiting.

Ginger comes in many forms (tea, tablets, etc.), but by far the best way to take your ginger is from the fresh root itself.  Hip Tip: One great way to enjoy this root, is to slice some up in a glass of ginger ale (It really magnifies the taste).

Another option is to make ginger candy.  Mountain Rose Herbs has a great, easy recipe that you can try.  Once made you can carry it with you, in case you need a stomach settler.

Now you are armed with some steady magic, so say yes to that child of yours who is tugging at your leg to go on the merry-go-round with you.  Hold on to your purple pony and let the spinning ensue.

References:

http://www.thelaboroflove.com/articles/pregnancy-and-motion-sickness-is-there-a-remedy
http://www.medicinenet.com/motion_sickness/article.htm
http://ent.about.com/od/livingwithentdisorders/a/Seven-Things-You-Do-Not-Know-About-Motion-Sickness.htm
http://ajpgi.physiology.org/content/284/3/G481.full
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18485739

 

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