Pregnancy can be brutal for many moms in terms of morning sickness & nausea. Studies show that 70 to 85 percent of pregnant women experience this morning sickness during their first trimester with nausea, usually beginning around the sixth week of pregnancy.1,2 I’m sure you’ve tried everything to find some relief. I’ve had many clients and friends ask for tips and tricks on surviving and curing morning sickness, so I wanted to share my list of things that can help. Hopefully, you haven’t tried all of my tips yet and that you find a few new things that will get you back to feeling good. Here are my 23 ways to relieve morning sickness.
Tips for Relieving Morning Sickness
1. Eat small meals throughout the day.
Having an empty stomach can make your nausea worse. Eating little and often helps balance your sugar levels, which is what you need. Try eating up to six small meals daily rather than three big meals. Think small but frequent amounts. Some women find that carbohydrates are most appealing when they feel nauseated. Check out these foods that help with morning sickness and healthy and delicious first-trimester meals for some ideas. Whatever you decide to eat, be sure to eat it slowly.
2. Lie down, but not right after you eat.
If you’re feeling nauseous or dizzy, rest and put your feet up. Nausea can worsen if you’re stressed and tired, so give yourself time to relax and take naps when you can. It’s important to prioritize sleep during pregnancy. You are growing a human, after all! Just be sure not to lie down right after eating something. This can cause things to come back up. Try to sit up, but if you need to sit back because you’re not feeling well, recline slightly in a well-supported chair, couch, or bed.
3. Get up slowly in the morning.
Sitting on your bed for a few minutes rather than jumping right out of bed may also be helpful.
4. Keep snacks around.
Stash food everywhere you go throughout the day, such as your bedroom, car, office, and so on. This helps to remind you that you should be lightly grazing throughout the day. You’ll want to find foods or drinks that ease nausea. Snacks like crackers or dry-roasted nuts, while drinks like flat Coke, 7UP, or seltzer with a slice of lemon, lime, or orange are said to help. Just make sure to keep bland snacks handy for nibbling. For more ideas, see these 22 pregnancy snacks you can keep in your purse.
I also recommend that you keep crackers by your bed. When you first wake up, nibble a few crackers and rest for 20 minutes before getting up. Snacking on crackers may also help you feel better if you wake up nauseated in the middle of the night.
5. Eat protein-rich foods.
Studies show that simple, high-protein foods and those rich in vitamin B, such as nuts, can help relieve morning sickness/nausea.3
6. Steer clear of spicy, acidic, and fried foods.
Spicy, acidic, and fried foods can irritate your digestive system and take longer to digest. Stick to bland foods and avoid spicy, fried, and acidic foods.13
7. Eat food that is cold or at room temperature.
Food tends to have a stronger aroma when it’s hot, and those aromas can bring on feelings of nausea when you’re cooking. I recommend staying with cold meals or meals at room temperature until your morning sickness passes.
8. Try to avoid foods and smells that trigger your nausea.
If almost everything seems nauseating to you, it’s okay to eat the few things that do appeal to you for this part of your pregnancy, even if they don’t add up to a perfectly balanced diet.
9. Brush your teeth and rinse out your mouth after eating.
The fresh scent and taste and a clean mouth can help.
10. Keep yourself hydrated.
Aim to drink about a quart and a half (48 oz) daily. Keeping bottles or pitchers on hand throughout your home is smart because it’s a reminder and relief. If you’ve been vomiting a lot, try a sports drink that contains glucose, salt, and potassium to replace lost electrolytes. I just don’t want you to forget to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day because staying hydrated is important during pregnancy.
11. Try mainly drinking between meals.
If you’re finding it hard to keep fluids down, limit the amount you drink while eating. You might find cold, carbonated beverages easiest to keep down. Try ginger ale, Sprite, 7 UP, or soda water. Some women also find sour drinks like lemonade easier to handle. Drinking tea is also a good option to help with nausea. I recommend trying Earth Mama’s Ginger Nausea Tea and/or Yogi’s Ginger Tea. You can also add lemon slices to iced tea or sparkling water and take sips when you can.
12. Don’t drink so much at once.
You don’t want to drink so much that your stomach feels full. A good strategy is to sip fluids throughout the day. Try using a straw if sipping isn’t going well.
13. Watch for non-food triggers, too.
A warm or stuffy room, the smell of heavy perfume, a car ride, or even changing positions too quickly might trigger your nausea. Also, toning down the brightness on your computer, as the strobing can drive you nuts and cause nausea, is a good thing. Try it with your phone too. Plus, it saves battery life! Avoidance of triggers can become an important part of helping you feel better.
14. Get fresh air.
Going for a walk or opening a window might ease your nausea by getting some fresh air in your lungs.14
15. Sniff a fresh scent.
When you can’t pop open a window, take a whiff of some fresh scents. Some women find scents such as lemon, mint, and/or orange helpful. You can use a diffuser to dispense an essential oil or carry a drop or two of an essential oil on a towel or hanky to smell when you start to feel queasy. Check out these essential oils for the first trimester of pregnancy. NOTE: Essential oils are powerful, so use only one or two drops.
16. Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B6 at 50 milligrams per day has been proven to be helpful.4,5 Consult with your doctor first before trying this option.
17. Try taking your prenatal vitamins with food or just before bed.
Taking your prenatal vitamin by itself in the morning can trigger those feelings of nausea. Taking it with food or right before bed can lessen the sickness. You might also want to ask your healthcare provider whether you should switch to a prenatal vitamin with a low dose of iron or no iron for the first trimester since this mineral can be hard on your digestive system.6 If the prenatal vitamin still makes you nauseous, ask if you can stop taking it until your nausea improves.
18. Try ginger (I know you already have).
An alternative remedy thought to settle the stomach and help nausea is ginger.7 See if you can find ginger ale made with real ginger. Most supermarket ginger ales aren’t made with real ginger. You can grate some fresh ginger into hot water to make ginger tea or see if ginger candies or crystallized ginger help. Ginger is your friend. Be it cooked, spiced, candied, raw, or in ale form, ginger is good.
Research shows that taking powdered ginger root in capsules may provide some relief, too.8 Unfortunately, there’s no way to be sure how much active ingredient you’re getting in these ginger supplements, so talk to your doctor before taking them.
19. Try peppermint.
20. Try Preggie Pops/Drops.
These candies are naturally flavored and specially formulated lollipops and lozenges for pregnant women experiencing morning sickness. Preggie Pops & Drops offer relief by combining essential oils and aromatherapy. It’s definitely something you should check out!
21. Try an acupressure band.
These soft cotton Sea-Band wristbands are sold at almost all drugstores. You strap it on so that the plastic button pushes against an acupressure point on the underside of your wrist. This simple and inexpensive device, designed to ward off seasickness, has helped some pregnant women through morning sickness. It doesn’t hurt to give it a shot!
22. Consider seeing an acupuncturist.
Some therapies, such as reflexology, may help you to cope with sickness.9,10 You probably already have looked into this, but make sure you go to a qualified therapist who has experience treating nausea during pregnancy.
23. Carry a survival kit.
Make a survival kit that includes water, vitamins, acid reflux meds, sour candies, peppermints, oils, and even bowel stimulants.
If your nausea and vomiting are so severe that you can’t keep anything down, including water, juice, food, prenatal vitamins, or medications, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum. This complication is highlighted by nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration. Mild cases are treated with dietary changes, rest, and antacids. More severe cases require a hospital stay so you can receive fluid and nutrition through an IV.11,12 Consult your doctor if you fall into this category. Hopefully, you’re not at that point, though.
I hope this information helps and you start feeling better soon! For more, check out this video below, where I discuss ways to relieve morning sickness. Feel well, mamas!