In this detailed guide of morning sickness remedies, we delve into all the methods you can use to relieve pregnancy nausea. Despite the name, morning sickness can occur at any time, which, of course, is not the most convenient of things!
While severe cases of morning sickness should be addressed with your doctor as soon as possible, there are several home remedies for morning sickness that can treat your symptoms and bring relief.
What is morning sickness?
If you’re struggling with morning sickness, rest assured that you’re not alone. About 70 percent of women experience symptoms, which may include nausea and vomiting. For some, these symptoms are triggered by certain odors and sensations.
What does morning sickness feel like?
While morning sickness is often accompanied by other pregnancy symptoms (like a change in breasts, mood swings, backaches, and food aversions), for the most part, it really just feels like nausea.
Nausea typically results in a feeling of heaviness, indigestion, and general discomfort, and as previously mentioned, is most often associated with an urge to vomit.
If you experience the classic symptoms of morning sickness outlined above, take a pregnancy test.
When does morning sickness begin in pregnancy?
Typically, symptoms begin around six weeks into pregnancy and start to subside during your second trimester. However, each pregnancy is different, and symptoms may last for shorter- and longer-term periods—and in varying degrees of severity.
What causes morning sickness?
The exact cause of morning sickness is difficult to pinpoint. Sensory stimuli can trigger morning sickness, like strong odors, bright lights, loud noises, abrupt movement, fatigue, damp or stale air… or simply an empty stomach!
Everyone has their own triggers, and they can change with each pregnancy. And while it’s not always possible to avoid all your triggers, there are a few simple ways to help cope.
How to prevent morning sickness
Staying hydrated and ensuring you are well rested are two critical and simple things you can do to avoid morning sickness. The following steps will also provide some natural morning sickness relief:
- Drink fluids before and after meals.
- Avoid high-fat and spicy foods.
- Do light exercise everyday to stimulate blood flow, and avoid spending too much time lying down, which can exacerbate dizziness.
- Eat a snack immediately upon waking up to settle your stomach.
- Eat multiple meals with smaller portions rather than three large meals.
- Avoid smells that might induce nausea.
Morning sickness food remedies
While morning sickness is often triggered by food-related smells and tastes, it can also be improved with the right choices in diet. These changes can make for some of the best morning sickness remedies.
What diet changes help with morning sickness?
You’ve probably heard about the BRAT (banana, rice, applesauce, toast) diet before. It’s widely accepted as one of the most sure-fire ways to tame an upset stomach. This makes it one of the best morning sickness remedies when your symptoms are at their worst.
While this diet is effective, it should only be used as a temporary fix and not as a long-term diet. That’s because it doesn’t have all the essential nutrients you need, nor will it fully satisfy your hunger. That said, it can be used as an easy guide to inform some of your other food choices when experiencing morning sickness.
While it’s always important to get enough servings of fruit and vegetables, it can be hard to incorporate them when you have an upset stomach. If you’re struggling to keep things down, bananas, watermelon, apples, pears, and citrusy fruits can keep your potassium levels in check. They also provide other essential vitamins and minerals that help you stay energized.
Simple soups are commonly used as morning sickness remedies. They’re known to be gentle on your stomach and can make for a satisfying meal that gives you a break from plain foods.
Easily digestible carbs may also play a key role in your morning sickness diet. Crackers, oatmeal, potatoes, bread, rice, quinoa, and pasta are all easy meal supports. They may also be paired with high-protein foods like beef, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts to leave you feeling full. You might also find that salty carbs, like pretzels or crackers, help keep your nausea at bay.
Foods to combat morning sickness:
- Ginger is beloved for its natural ability to relieve nausea and soothe stomach aches. Try adding some to tea, water, or juice.
- Ginger ale and hard candies that are made with real ginger can also settle your stomach. However, these should be consumed in moderation to avoid excess sugar, which can impact your blood glucose levels and lead to more nausea. Check the ingredients before you buy and look for options with less added sugar that don’t use high fructose corn syrup or artificial coloring.
- Sucking on sour candies can reduce nausea.
- Simple starches, like crackers or bread, absorb stomach acid and alleviate queasiness.
- Smoothies are a great solution when your appetite is low. You can still nourish your body with healthy fruits and vegetables, even if you don’t feel hungry enough to eat solids.
- Trail mix is also a great option, as it’s satisfying (and usually packed with protein-rich ingredients, like nuts) without being too filling.
Timing of meals and snacks
Although you might not feel like eating when you’re experiencing morning sickness, an empty stomach can leave you feeling even worse. Strategic timing and eating habits are some of the best morning sickness remedies.
Your stomach is probably close to empty after a night of rest—which can be bad news for morning sickness. To help calm your stomach, keep a box of saltine crackers on your bedside table, and have a few before you even get out of bed. This will allow your stomach to absorb gastric acid and prevent you from feeling too hungry; it can also help you get back to sleep if you wake up feeling nauseous.
Instead of having three meals a day, opt for five to six smaller ones. This will help you avoid hunger pangs in between meals and keep you from getting too full (which can make nausea and heartburn worse). Chew thoroughly, eat slowly, and give yourself some time to rest afterwards so your body can digest.
What foods should I avoid when dealing with morning sickness?
Avoid foods that are especially high in fat—think cheesy pizzas and fries—as well as anything spicy. Onions, garlic, caffeine, and sugary foods are also said to increase morning sickness symptoms, so steer clear of them and opt for caffeine-free teas.
The types of spices you consume and surround yourself with can often trigger your morning sickness symptoms. While not everyone will be bothered by the same scents, it’s best to avoid spices that carry particularly strong odors when you’re feeling queasy. Apart from the scents of garlic and onion, powerful spices like cumin, fenugreek, and thyme might alert your super scent.
When cooking, keep dishes simple to avoid an onslaught of unwelcome odors, or use your spices in moderation. Just like your sense of smell, your taste buds are probably a lot more sensitive right now.
Natural remedies to morning sickness:
Vomiting causes a loss of fluids and electrolytes, potentially leading to dehydration. It can be difficult to maintain your fluid intake when you have morning sickness, so try to catch up when your symptoms are at bay. Aim for six to eight cups of fluids a day that don’t contain caffeine.
Add some fruit or a slice of lemon to your water to give it a natural flavor that might make it easier to stomach.
If you’re still having trouble, try morning sickness herbal remedies such as teas, natural fruit juices, milk, or nutritious soups to keep your fluids in check.
Aromatherapy and essential oils
Essential oils can be used to alleviate morning sickness, but it’s important to use them safely. You should only use high-quality, pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils—beware of synthetic versions or oils that contain additional chemicals, as these can exacerbate your symptoms. It’s also a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before using essential oils, as some may not be safe during pregnancy.
Here are a few essential oils that may help with morning sickness:
- Black pepper
Be sure to use the essential oils per the recommendations of the manufacturer.
Anti-nausea breathing techniques
Practicing deep, slow breathing can help you manage nausea. Not only does it provide relief in the moment, but it’s also a useful skill that can be used in combination with other morning sickness remedies.
One technique is called diaphragmatic breathing. This involves breathing deeply into your diaphragm rather than shallowly into your chest. To practice, lie down and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Inhale deeply through your nose and feel your abdomen expand. Exhale slowly through your mouth, and repeat.
You can also try taking slow, deep breaths through your nose while counting to three, then exhaling slowly through your mouth. Practice this whenever you feel nauseous or stressed.
Low-impact exercise for morning sickness
Exercising can be the last thing on your mind when you have morning sickness, but some low impact activities can actually help alleviate your symptoms. Walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, and Pilates are all good options to try. The key is to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard.
Tips for exercising with morning sickness:
- Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise.
- If you’re new to exercise, start slow and gradually increase your intensity.
- Avoid activities that involve a lot of jumping or bouncing.
- Stay hydrated and take breaks as needed.
- If you’re unsure about which exercises are safe for you, talk to your healthcare provider.
Acupuncture and acupressure
Though not for everyone, some swear by the benefits of acupuncture and acupressure. These have long been recognized as effective alternative remedies for morning sickness.
Acupuncture: Involves the insertion of small needles into specific points on the body (often referred to as “channels” in Chinese medicine).
Acupressure: Similar to a massage, where firm pressure is applied to these points.
Acupuncture treatments should only be done by a trained acupuncturist; however, some of the benefits of acupressure can be done as home remedies for morning sickness. Nausea pressure points can be found on the arms, hands, legs, feet, and face. Additional pressure points can also be found on the back and abdomen but should be avoided when doing at-home treatments while pregnant.
The most popular anti-nausea pressure point, called Pericardium 6 (P-6), can be found on the inside of your wrist.
- Locate it by placing three fingers under the base of your palm.
- Apply firm pressure to the area with your index finger or thumb.
- Massage in a circular motion for two to three minutes.
This can be repeated multiple times throughout the day and should be done over the course of several days for noticeable results.
Prenatal massages broadly refer to any type of hands-on massage that occurs during your pregnancy and are similar to the therapeutic massages that you might schedule for a sore back.
Just like a regular massage, prenatal massages can help you manage aches and pains, lower stress and anxiety, and improve circulation.
Consult your doctor before booking an appointment, as there are many factors that could impact your treatment. If your doctor believes it’s safe to do so, you can book an appointment with a certified massage therapist who specializes in pregnancy massages.
Acid reflux medications
Acid reflux or heartburn is commonly experienced during pregnancy. It can leave you with a burning feeling in your chest or throat that’s caused by stomach acid. Symptoms can last from a few minutes to several hours but can often be treated with over-the-counter medications.
If your symptoms haven’t improved, talk to your healthcare provider about prescriptions.
Taking prenatal vitamins is important for the health of you and your baby. However, the timing of when you take them can make a difference.
Prenatal vitamins that have iron (which can sometimes cause nausea) and have a strong medicine flavor can be more than enough to make your stomach turn. That said, the good news is that experimenting with taking them at different times of the day can make all the difference:
If you know your morning sickness symptoms are at their worst when you first wake up, try taking your prenatal vitamins later in the day.
Taking them right before bed could help as well, since you’re less likely to notice nausea when you’re already asleep.
Adjusting how you take your prenatal vitamins can also make a difference:
o Take them at different times in the same day.
o Take them with strongly flavored food and drinks to mask the taste.
The Premama® Prenatal Vitamin is specifically designed with the best morning sickness remedies in mind. It’s made to be easy to swallow and is infused with pure peppermint oil. Only premium nutrients are used, and our patented duo-capsule time-release technology ensures you get all the iron you need—without any nausea.
Conclusion: Finding your best morning sickness remedies
Navigating morning sickness can be challenging, but with a multi-faceted approach, you can find relief. Experiment with the suggested remedies, consult your healthcare provider, and stay proactive in managing your symptoms. Remember, each pregnancy is unique, and finding the best morning sickness remedies may require a personalized approach. Prioritize your well-being throughout this transformative journey, and trust that relief is within reach.