When the dreaded morning sickness strikes, many women find themselves desperate for a cure, because, well, morning sickness is no walk in the park.
Contrary to its name, morning sickness can actually occur at any point in the day and can linger for hours on end. Typical morning sickness begins at six weeks, and for this reason, is often one of the first signs of pregnancy.
Not all women experience morning sickness, and no two pregnancies are alike, so just because you were lucky enough to escape it for your first pregnancy doesn’t mean you’re in the clear for your future pregnancies…sorry, mama.
Just starting to feel the queasiness kick in? Here are the best home remedies for morning sickness.
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What causes morning sickness?
No one actually knows what causes morning sickness, but there are several theories:
Hormones: Increased hormone levels is thought to be the main reason many women experience upset stomach and nausea.
Fatigue: During your first trimester especially, your body uses up a ton of energy to grow your budding baby, so it’s no surprise that fatigue is a common symptom of pregnancy. Extreme exhaustion and fatigue can make morning sickness symptoms worse.
Reduced blood sugar: Did you know that pregnancy alters the way your body processes sugar? This often leads to many women complaining of lightheadedness, nausea and dizziness.
8 home remedies for morning sickness
Ginger naturally has stomach-soothing properties and has been known to quell the queasiness for many moms (source). For best results, skip the seasoning aisle and head straight to the produce section to pick up ginger root. You can make ginger tea by grating the ginger root and adding to boiling water.
You might have heard that lemon water works wonders to detox your body, but did you know that it’s also very effective at curbing nausea? You can either squeeze the juice of half a lemon into some ice water or make ice cubes out of lemons. Adding lemon juice to ginger tea is also very effective.
On that note, lemon essential oil also works to ease nausea, too.
Lemon essential oil
A 2014 study indicates that lemon oil works to significantly reduce nausea and vomiting. You can place a few drops on a handkerchief and inhale when you feel a bout of nausea coming on or you can diffuse it, too.
I found lemon water and lemon essential oil to work really well at taiming my morning sickness. Lemon water was especially helpful in the morning and I made sure to fix a glass immediately after getting out of the shower each day so that I could sip on it while I got ready– so helpful!
Eat before you get out of bed
When you’re pregnant, not having something in your stomach can cause nausea. Try some eating some plain toast or saltines in the morning before you get up and start your morning routine.
On that note, you’ll want to eat a snack before you go to bed, too.
Eat small frequent meals
You do not want your stomach to ever be completely empty during pregnancy, and that’s because an empty stomach is more likely to make you feel nauseous.
Stick to 6-7 small meals a day. Don’t leave the house without snacks in your purse, either. Aim for food with a mix of:
- Lean protein
- Complex carbs
- Healthy fats
If you’re having trouble keeping food down it’s completely okay to just eat what appeals to you, though. Your baby will take the nutrients it needs, so just focus on trying to keep something in your stomach.
Sip water constantly
And I mean constantly! Have a glass of water by your bedside (along with a snack) and sip on water before you get up. My doc encouraged me to take in half of my pregnancy weight in water each day.
Avoid getting heartburn
Heartburn is a common ailment of pregnant women; especially in the third trimester. But did you know that heartburn can trigger nausea?
Even if you’ve never experienced heartburn in the past, you’re much more likely to get it now that you’re pregnant. Avoid unpleasant heartburn symptoms by:
- Sitting upright for at least 30 to 60 minutes after each meal
- Avoiding overly spicy foods
- Drinking a lot of water (upwards of 80 ounces per day); drink a large glass of water before each meal
- Eating 6 small meals per day, rather than 3 large meals
- Eating ginger or drink ginger tea
Don’t force yourself
If the smell, taste, texture or thought of something makes you ill, avoid it all together. There’s no need to force feed yourself something that’s going to leave you feeling nauseous. Don’t worry if only a handful of foods appeal to you for a little while– just focus on keeping something in your stomach. Trust me, your queasiness will subside, and your appetite will return.
Get some rest
Fatigue is only natural during pregnancy, and especially during the first trimester. Do you know what makes morning sickness even worse? Extreme exhaustion! Don’t feel bad for climbing into bed immediately after dinner or sneaking in naps every day– you’re growing a human and rest is a priority!
Other natural remedies for morning sickness
Acupuncture has been around for centuries and works to correct imbalances of energy.
And good news for pregnant mamas everywhere, this ancient Chinese method has actually been proven to reduce nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. (source)
Acupuncture works by inserting tiny needles at various points of the body. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce headaches, and since most of the good drugs for headache relief are off limits, many women find relief for headache pain with acupuncture as well, myself included!
Much like acupuncture, acupressure works to open up blocked energy pathways in your body. But instead of using needles, an acupressurist simply applies pressure. According to Michigan Medicine:
“Constant pressure on the P6 point is used to prevent or reduce nausea. The P6 point is on the inner side of your arm, in line with your middle finger. It is close to your wrist, one-sixth of the way between your wrist and elbow.”
If needles aren’t your thing and you’re suffering, give acupressure a go!
Don’t have time to go visit an acupressurist? Try sea bands! Sea bands work to put pressure on your inner wrists and work well at preventing nausea. Many people swear by these for sea sickness, too! I used sea bands during my first trimester and could definitely feel a big difference.
Vitamin b6 and unisom
I almost didn’t come across this magic bullet of a morning sickness remedy, but I’m so glad I did.
Research has shown that taking a combination of B-6 and unisom (an over-the-counter sleep aid) work to reduce symptoms of morning sickness by up to 70%. (source) Be advised that unisom will make you sleepy, so that that into consideration before you take it. As always, check with your doc about dosage.
Preggie pops are made from essential oils and are completely natural. Unfortunately there’s not too much research on whether or not these work, but if you’re suffering it’s worth a shot, right? I personally never tried these, but many of my friends did and seemed to think they helped.
Other questions you may have about morning sickness
What makes morning sickness go away?
Most morning sickness symptoms fade by weeks 12-14, but for some not so lucky mamas to be, morning sickness lingers throughout pregnancy.
What should I eat if I have morning sickness all day?
The thought of consuming food probably isn’t on the top of your to-do list while you’re overcome with nausea, but choosing not to eat can actually make you sicker. The placenta will be depleting your energy quickly and as a result, if you’re not consuming small, frequent meals, you may experience a drop in blood sugar, which can make you feel nauseous. Stick with bland foods that are easy to digest.
Aim to try and eat bland foods every couple of hours. A good starting point is the BRAT diet:
- B: Bananas
- R: Rice
- A: Applesauce
- T: Toast/crackers
Is morning sickness more common with a girl or boy?
Tell someone you’re experiencing a lot of morning sickness and likely the first response you’ll get is “You’re having a girl! Girl’s always make you sicker.”
Contrary to what you might hear, morning sickness is not an indicator of your baby’s sex.
What’s the difference between morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum?
Traditional morning sickness is no fun, but it’s not absolute misery day in and day out. If you’re experiencing extreme nausea to the point where you absolutely can’t keep any food down, and are experiencing dehydration, give your doc a call– you may have hyperemesis gravidarum
Hyperemesis gravidarum affects about 3% of pregnant women and is much more severe than morning sickness. Unfortunately, know one really knows what causes hyperemesis gravidarum, or why it only affects a small percentage of women. The rise in hormone levels is thought to be the main culprit, though.
Is there a prescription medication I can take for morning sickness?
Zofran and Phenergan are two of the most common drugs prescribed to women suffering from intense morning sickness. It’s important to note that both drugs are categorized as Category C drugs, which means risk can’t be ruled out. Your provider will likely want you to try many over the counter and natural remedies as a first line of defense before prescription meds; especially in your first trimester. If you’re at this stage, talk with your doctor about your options.
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