The term morning sickness is a misnomer, as pregnant women can experience nausea and vomiting at any time of the day. While there is no cure for morning sickness, there are a number of things that soon-to-be moms can do to help ease feelings of nausea. Remember that what works for one person may not work for another, it is a process of trial and error. Read on to learn how to get rid of morning sickness.
How to Get Rid of Morning Sickness by Dieting
Drink lots of fluid. It is extremely important that you stay hydrated, especially if you’re getting sick frequently. If you let yourself become dehydrated, you will feel even more nauseated. Sip fluids throughout the day, using a straw if it helps. Try to refrain from drinking 30 minutes before or after eating, however.
- You should try to drink about 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. However, if you’ve been getting sick a lot, you can try replacing some of the water with a sports drink containing glucose, salt, or potassium to help restore lost electrolytes.
- Alternatively, you can try drinking cold, carbonated beverages, as some women find these easier on the stomach. Other women also find sour drinks, like lemonade, easier to keep down.
- Avoid drinking too many fluids, though. Liquids can give you a false sense of fullness which may cause you to feel less hungry throughout the day.
Eat small, frequent meals. If you’re suffering from morning sickness, sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is eating. However, it is important that your body gets the vitamins and nutrients it needs to keep you and your growing baby healthy.
- Try to avoid an empty stomach by eating small, frequent meals throughout the day.
- You should also try to eat at a slower pace than you normally would to avoid overeating, which may make you feel even worse.
Eat high-protein foods. Some women find that high protein foods help to ease their morning sickness. Whether it’s scrambled eggs, peanut butter, or a lean piece of meat, try to find a protein-rich food that works for you.
Eat carbohydrates. A lot of women find carbohydrate-filled foods the most appealing when feeling nauseated. Stock up your cupboards with carbohydrate-rich pasta, bread, pretzels and granola bars.
Eat cold food. Try to eat your food either cold or at room temperature, because food tends to have a more pervasive smell when heated, and strong aromas can be major triggers for morning sickness. Stick to sandwiches, fruit and raw vegetables, and salad (when it is properly prepared to prevent listeria).
Snack on crackers. Many women insist that crackers are a necessity when dealing with morning sickness. They make a great snack as they are portable, inexpensive and easy to digest. Keep a stash of dry crackers beside your bed and eat a few before getting up in the morning, then continue to nibble on them throughout the day.
- If you need to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, try eating a cracker or two then as well. They’ll help stave off hunger and settle your stomach before the morning.
- It doesn’t matter what kind of crackers you eat, saltines, wheat thins, rice cakes – it’s a matter of personal preference. If you’re not a cracker fan, try eating dry cereal instead.
- Avoid coating your crackers in greasy butter or fatty spreads, they may make you feel more unwell and are harder to digest. Eat the crackers dry, if possible.
Stick to bland food. Stick to bland foods as much as possible when dealing with morning sickness. They smell less strongly and are easy to digest.
- Do your best to avoid spicy, acidic, and fried foods, as these are more likely to upset your stomach.
- Try the BRAT diet, which consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods are bland and low in fiber and thus gentle on your digestive track. They are also very inexpensive.
- You can also add tea and yogurt to the list to go on the BRATTY diet.
Avoid foods and smells that trigger your nausea. After a while, you will start to notice that certain foods or smells will trigger your nausea. It may be pizza, bacon or anything at all. Once you know your triggers, you can take steps to avoid them.
- Try making a note of when and why you feel queasy every day, in order to identify your food triggers.
Avoid fatty foods. Fatty foods take longer to digest and can be rough on your digestive system, which can worsen feelings of morning sickness. They are also less healthy, providing fewer nutrients than other types of foods and have a tendency to smell quite strongly, which isn’t good.
Listen to your cravings. Indulge your cravings, especially if it helps you to feel better. If you have a craving for a particular food, your body may be trying to tell you something. If you are craving dairy, perhaps you need calcium. If you are craving peanut butter, perhaps you need protein or more calories.
Avoid lying down after eating. You should avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after eating, as the horizontal position can interfere with digestion and lead to queasiness.
Brush your teeth. Brush your teeth thoroughly and swirl some mouthwash after you eat. This will prevent odors and tastes from hanging around your mouth after eating. Get your partner to brush his teeth too, while you’re at it. Nothing like a pepperoni pizza breath kiss to trigger your gag reflex.
Move slowly. Sudden movements can jolt your stomach and bring on a fresh wave of nausea, so try to move as slowly and carefully as possible. Take your time getting up in the morning – nibble a cracker while still lying down, move gently into a sitting position, then stay seated for a few minutes before standing up. Pace yourself throughout the day, don’t overexert yourself.
- Set your alarm clock a half hour earlier than usual to give yourself plenty of time in the mornings.
- Try putting a little stool or seat in the shower, so you can avoid feeling light-headed.
Learn to avoid triggers. It’s not just the smell of food that can trigger your nausea, you need to watch out for non-food triggers as well. According to babycenter.com, “a warm or stuffy room, the smell of heavy perfume, a car ride, or even certain visual stimuli, like flickering lights, might trigger your nausea”. Make a mental note every time your nausea is triggered, then you can make a conscious effort to avoid that trigger moving forward.
Get plenty of rest. Sometimes the easiest and simplest solution is just to stop and give your body a break for a while. Try lying down, closing your eyes, taking a few deep breaths, and just getting some rest. Many women find that sleep is a great way to escape morning sickness – and it might be just what your body needs!
- If you already have a kids, bring a babysitter in, even if it’s just for an hour or two, so you can catch up on some long overdue R&R.
- Having trouble nodding off during the day? Try wearing a sleep mask or putting on a pair of dark sunglasses to block out bright light.
Get some fresh air. Escape from the stuffy indoors and head outside for some fresh air and light exercise. Breathe deeply through the nose, then exhale through the mouth. Clean, country or seaside air is best, but your garden or a nearby park will also do nicely.
- If you’re stuck indoors, try opening a window to let the stale air out and the fresh air circulate.
Distract yourself. Morning sickness can be difficult to ignore, but finding something to take your mind off it – even for a little while – can help. Read a magazine, call a friend, or go for a short walk. Light exercise, such as yoga or gentle swimming may also help to ease morning sickness, but you should get any exercise plans approved by your doctor first. It is also important to listen to your body. If you start feeling tired or more queasy, it is time to stop.
Adjust your computer. You may think that surfing the web will help take your mind off morning sickness, but the computer’s bright screen and undetectable strobe effect may make you more nauseated. To combat that, try adjusting your screen to reduce eye strain.
- Try changing the font size to make it bolder and larger, and change the desktop background to a soft pink or tan.
- You should also take short breaks from the computer as frequently as possible — you can do this by getting up and moving around or simply by closing your eyes.
Carry a survival kit. It is a smart idea to put together a little survival kit for yourself for those emergency situations when you are not at home. Pack a toothbrush and toothpaste, some mints and a clean blouse. You could also include a snack such as crackers or pretzels, and a plastic bag for when you just can’t make it to a restroom on time.
See a doctor. If you just can’t seem to find any relief from your morning sickness, go to see your doctor. Ask about anti-nausea medications, which can help ease or eliminate your suffering. A small percentage of women may also develop a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which is an extreme form of morning sickness which causes extreme dehydration and weight loss. If you think you may be at risk, contact your health care provider immediately.
- Some anti-nausea medications may not be covered under insurance plans and can be costly – so consider the expense before getting a prescription.
Home Remedies for Morning Sickness
Try ginger. Ginger has been used to relieve nausea for centuries. Try drinking ginger ale (made with real ginger) or make ginger tea by adding a thin slice of fresh ginger into hot water. If that doesn’t float your boat, snack on some ginger cookies or gingerbread, or grab a handful of crystallized ginger candy.
Try peppermint. Peppermint relieves feelings of nausea and reduces the stomach’s gag reflex. Make a peppermint tea by adding a few fresh leaves to some boiling water and leaving to infuse for a few minutes before drinking. You can also try sucking on some peppermint candies.
Use lemons. Lemons have a natural calming effect which can relieve nausea and leave you feeling clean and refreshed. Try nibbling on a fresh slice of lemon, squeezing some lemon juice into hot or cold water before drinking or simply sniffing on a freshly cut lemon for some citrus-y relief. You may also find it helpful to keep a stash of lemon candies nearby at all times.
- You may also find lemon-scented candles or lemon essential oils good options for surrounding yourself in a fresh, lemon scent.
- Other citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, orange and tangerine may also help.
Make red raspberry-leaf tea. Brew yourself a cup of red raspberry-leaf tea. This herb is popular for a number of pregnancy problems, including morning sickness, and has been shown to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried herb to a cup of hot water before drinking.
- However, you should check with your doctor before taking this remedy as there is some evidence that raspberry leaf can cause uterine contractions.
Take vitamin B6. A number of physicians recommend taking a supplement of this vitamin (the usual dose is 10 to 25 milligrams three times a day) to combat the nausea of morning sickness. Talk to your doctor before trying a supplement, however, and be sure not to exceed 75 milligrams of the vitamin each day.
Take cider vinegar. Adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to some hot water before drinking has been known to help with nausea. Try adding a teaspoon of honey for sweetness, if desired.
Use lavender and thyme. Battle unpleasant odors by arming yourself with a small satchel stuffed with dried herbs. Lavender and thyme are particularly appealing since both have soothing and therapeutic scents. Keep the satchel near the nose and breathe in deeply when odors turn your stomach sour.
Chew on anise or fennel. Chew on some anise or fennel seeds, which are known to soothe upset stomachs.
Eat popsicles. Having some cooling, fruit-flavored popsicles at hand can help to keep morning sickness at bay, while also helping to keep you hydrated.
Wear an acupressure band. Acupressure wristbands are said to help relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting and are often used to ward off seasickness. They work by stimulating an acupuncture spot located on the underside of the wrist. Some women claim that acupressure wristbands have helped to relieve their morning sickness, though there is no medical evidence to support this claim. Acupressure bands are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most drugstores.
Meditate. Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of morning sickness, so meditating on a daily basis can help you to relax and let go of anxiety. Take some time to yourself, find a quiet space to sit, then close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
- Having some soothing music or water running in the background can help to create a calming and peaceful atmosphere.
- Pilates and yoga can also help you to relax and take your mind off things, while allowing you to get some gentle exercise as well.
Try aromatherapy. Experiment with the soothing scents of essential oils to help you overcome odor-induced nausea. Some women find scents such as lemon, mint, or orange to be particularly soothing. Simply add a drop or two of your chosen essential oil into a diffuser to disperse throughout the air, or you can add a drop to a tissue or piece of cloth and take a little sniff whenever you feel any queasiness coming on.
- It’s usually only necessary to use a drop or two of essential oil, as the fragrance is very concentrated.
Try acupuncture. Studies have shown that acupuncture can help to significantly relieve morning sickness. Just do some research to ensure that your chosen acupuncturist has experience treating nausea in pregnant women.
Try acustimulation. An acustimulation device stimulates the acupuncture point on the underside of your wrist with a mild electric current. Although they are not very commonly used, some research suggests that they may help with the relief of morning sickness. These acustimulation devices are completely safe to use, but can be cost prohibitive.
- Call your doctor if you lose more than two pounds in weight.
- Call your doctor if you vomit more than four times in one day.
- Call your doctor if you are vomiting blood.
- Discuss the use of prenatal supplements with your doctor. Some women are sensitive to the iron in the supplement which can cause morning sickness.