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Every woman needs to know about vitamin B6 and pregnancy. Vitamin B6 plays a special role in women's fertility, and it can also make the first trimester of pregnancy a lot more bearable. Here are two things every woman of childbearing age needs to know about vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 helps prevent spontaneous abortions. We tend to think of abortion as a medical procedure, but the fact is, up to 40 per cent of pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions, sometimes without the mother even knowing about it.
After the egg is fertilized by the sperm, it has to travel from the end of the fallopian tubes to the uterus, where it is implanted. If the mother-to-be's progesterone levels are low, or if she is deficient in vitamin B6, then the uterus may start sloughing off prematurely. Both the lining of the uterus and the embryo are lost in the next menstruation, quite possibly without the women even known she was pregnant.
Progesterone-administered after intercourse and after ovulation, not before-and vitamin B6 together reduce the risk that a luteal phase defect may accelerate menstruation and stop the implantation of the egg. When women take a daily dose of as much as 250 milligrams of vitamin B6, luteal phase defects may be overcome as the second half of the period is longer and the uterus gets the signal that the embryo has begun to develop.
It's important to know that 250 milligrams a day is a relatively high dose of B6. To be on the safe side, women should only use this dosage for two months or until they become pregnant, whichever is shorter. Progesterone creams will also help correct luteal phase defects, but doctor-administered progesterone is better.
Vitamin B6 also helps reduce morning sickness. Once women become pregnant, the nausea and vomiting caused by morning sickness-which is not necessarily limited to the morning-can become a major issue in health and well being. Women tend to reject all but the simplest foods while the baby is in the embryo stage, and when it could be most severely affected by contaminated food. When the baby becomes a fetus, morning sickness is less likely, although it can occur throughout pregnancy.
Women report that after a couple weeks of taking a daily dose of 30 mg of vitamin B6, nausea goes away. Of course, it could be argued that maybe the nausea was going to go away anyway, but this dosage of the vitamin is believed to be safe for both mother and baby and often helpful.
Vitamin B6 helps reduce the frequency and severity of morning sickness, but it is just one of several methods that work. Ginger capsules and ginger "ades" (such as adding ground fresh ginger to lemonade, to taste) reduce nausea and vomiting. Vitamin B6 is better for preventing nausea than vomiting, and ginger is better for preventing vomiting than nausea. Some women benefit by taking both.
Acupressure to the 'Inner Gate Point' (known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as the Neiguan point) often relieves nausea and vomiting caused by any kind of pressure on the pelvis. Acupressure is best done by a trained massage or shiatsu therapist, but you can also massage this point yourself. You can find your 'Inner Gate' by laying your hand flat and then moving up your arm the width of three fingers from the crease of your wrist. You will know you found the right point when you feel slight but distinct soreness when you apply pressure. Massage the point at least 20 minutes 3 times a day. Acupressure wristbands sometimes give relief but are not as effective as acupressure massage.