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I want to start out with the disclaimer that nothing I am sharing should be construed as medical advice. You should always consult with your physician if you have any questions or concerns during your pregnancy. If you’re having extreme nausea and vomiting you could have hyperemesis gravidarum (“extreme morning sickness”), which can require hospitalization. Even if you’re not severely ill, your doctor can advise you on the best course of action and whether medications may be helpful.
Morning Sickness Remedies
With that disclaimer out of the way, I had nausea throughout the whole first 2 trimesters of both of my pregnancies. The term “morning” sickness is such a terrible misnomer. Mine lasted throughout the day, which is common for many pregnant women. Along the way I picked up a few tips and tricks that helped keep the nausea at bay that I wanted to share in case they help anyone else going through the same thing.
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that occurs during pregnancy. For many women, morning sickness is at its worst during the first trimester. It typically starts at about 6 weeks and peaks at 9 weeks. Most women start to feel better by their second trimester. However morning sickness can last throughout the entire pregnancy and isn’t necessarily relegated only to the mornings. It can occur at any time of the day or night or even be persistent throughout the day.
Up to 75% of women develop morning sickness at some time during their pregnancy. Mild morning sickness usually isn’t cause for concern, and isn’t harmful to you or your baby.
Roughly 3% of women develop extreme morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum. This can require hospitalization to ensure that you don’t become too dehydrated or develop any other serious complications as a result. Again, if you have any questions or concerns during your pregnancy, you should absolutely consult with your physician.
Another related symptom to morning sickness is food or smell aversions. Your sense of smell is extra sensitive during pregnancy, and as a result, you may develop strong aversions to particular foods or smells. These aversions can be triggers of nausea and vomiting. For me during, the smell of any meat would set of a bout of gagging and nausea. Some of the most common pregnancy aversions are meat, fish, eggs, milk, onions and garlic.
What causes Morning Sickness?
The exact cause of morning sickness is currently unknown, and there may be different causes for different women. A common hypothesis is that morning sickness is due to the increase in hormones that happens during first trimester of pregnancy. Namely estrogen and progesterone.
Some experts belive that morning sickness may actually be an adaption to protect women from food poisoning. Some of the most common aversions are linked to common sources of food poisoning, such as meat and milk. Typically women with morning sickness prefer foods with low risk of food poisoning such as bread, potatoes or rice. Additionally some studies have shown that societies that don’t experience morning sickness are more likely to have fewer animal products as key components of their diets.
Top Remedies for Morning Sickness
Eat frequently (don’t let your stomach be completely empty)
Try to eat something small and bland like a few crackers at least every couple of hours. This serves 2 purposes. The first is because a complete empty stomach can actually make you feel more nauseated. The second is to ensure you are at least eating something and getting some calories in.
Wear sea-sickness Bands
Sea Bands are accupressure wristbands commonly used for motion or sea-sickness. Some women find that they provide some relief for morning sickness as well. They work by applying pressure to the P6 (Nei Kuan) acupressure point on the wrist which has been shown to be helpful with relieving nausea and vomiting. These are a great natural option and definitely worth giving a try.
Assess & Avoid Triggers
Since your sense of smell is very keen during pregnancy, you might find you have some smells or foods that trigger your nausea. If you find that you are having bouts of nausea triggered by smells, do your best to avoid them. I sometimes had to have my husband eat in a different room so that his food didn’t make me sick.
Eat or drink Ginger, Mint or Lemon
Ginger has a long history of use for treatment of nausea and settling stomachs. Some studies have shown it to be beneficial in lessening morning sickness in pregnant women. You could try Ginger Tea, Ginger Ale, Ginger Candies, Ginger Snaps or even Ginger supplements. I’d say start with whatever seems most appealing to you. Mint and Lemon (or anything especially sour) are also known to relieve morning sickness and nausea. All of these are great options to try when you feel sick and don’t feel like eating much else.
I found these during my second pregnancy, and they helped me so much. Preggie Pops are lollipops that contain natural oils and plant botanicals associated with improving nausea. They are available in assorted flavors (many of which are sour and more palatable during bouts of nausea). They also sell Preggie Pops Plus which contain the additional ingredient Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 has been shown to improve morning sickness in pregnant women in various studies (in fact, taking Vitamin B6 was one of the first things my doctor prescribed for me).
Eat High Carbohydrate Meals
Carbohydrates can help with fighting off morning sickness symptoms. Quite honestly, they may also be the only palatable food if you are having morning sickness. Things like Rice, Backed Potatoes or Bread can all be helpful and help you to get some calories in and keep your tummy full.
Take a leisurely walk
If you are up for it, some fresh air and light exercise can also be a great way to treat morning sickness symptoms. Walking fits the bill perfectly. It gets the blood moving and the fresh air (hopefully free from any distasteful odors) can help to relieve nausea.
Just like eating lemon can help with morning sickness symptoms, so can smelling lemon. Try diffusing some lemon essential oils to see if it has any impact. Alternatively you could get a lemon scented candle or even take a whiff of a lemon. Lavender, Spearmint and Ginger can also combat nausea.
Sip on Water
Regularly taking some small sips of water can help you stay hydrated and clear saliva or any lingering tastes from your mouth. Both of these things can help combat against nausea. I personally had to have super ice cold water or it made me feel nauseated, but find what works best for you.
Get Plenty of Rest
Being overly tired can definitely make nausea feel much worse. On top of that, women routinely experience fatigue and exhaustion as side effects of their pregnancy during the first trimester. Make sure you are getting plenty of rest! During some of those early days in my first pregnancy, I would immediately curl up in bed after finishing work because I was so tired and felt so nauseated. Sleep was one time when I actually felt better.
Medications (Vitamin B6, Diclegis, etc.)
Last but not least, there are many medications that have been shown to be effective at combating morning sickness. Some of the common ones are Vitamin B6 and Diclegis. I personally did take Diclegis during both of my pregnancies. For me, it didn’t get me 100% back to normal (I still used the tips in this list to help), but I didn’t feel like I was suffering through every day. Definitely talk to your doctor about your options and see what they recommend for you.
Hopefully some of these tips help to improve your morning sickness. Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy!
Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out 10 Things to do Before Baby Arrives.