Written by: Jessica Diamond, MPH, RDN
Morning sickness during pregnancy is so common and thought to be caused by a range of factors including hormonal shifts, changes in blood sugar, and changes in overall metabolism and digestion. While morning sickness looks different for every person, it’s usually the worst between 6-12 weeks of pregnancy. In some cases, it can be longer and even last throughout your pregnancy. Be sure to talk to your doctor if your morning sickness is resulting in impaired weight gain or weight loss, dehydration, or affecting your ability to keep food down after that first trimester as you may have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.
While there is no one magic remedy to get rid of morning sickness, there are some natural remedies that can help! We’ve rounded up our favorite ones here:
- Hydration: Hydration is key for management of nausea, but large sips of water can make nausea worse. Try taking lots of little sips throughout the day, and add some flavor to your water, like citrus or ginger, to keep the nausea at bay.
- Keeping small amounts of food in your stomach: An empty stomach can make nausea worse so have a snack before bed and a snack before getting out of bed in the morning. Crackers are a popular choice. Protein is also especially helpful in keeping blood sugars balanced.
- Motion sickness bracelets: Studies have shown that these can help with morning sickness. The EmeTerm Relieve Nausea Electrode Stimulator has also worked for some pregnant women.
- Nausea-fighting teas: Teas like raspberry leaf, peppermint, ginger (this one also has B6 added), and nettle tea can help you stay hydrated and relieve symptoms of nausea.
- Ginger and citrus: Ginger and citrus seem to help with pregnancy-related nausea. Add fresh ginger to hot water or tea, suck on ginger-based chews, or try a ginger-based drink. Citrus can also help, so try some homemade lemonade or get some hard citrus candies. Our doula, Lori Bregman, has an amazing morning sickness juice that helped us during pregnancy:
Lori’s Morning Sickness Juice Recipe
3 organic apples (cut and quartered)
¼-½ inch of organic ginger (peeled)
3 ribs of celery
Half a lemon
Place in your juicer and then drink throughout the day.
- Staying cool and not overheating: Carry a portable fan, like this one, with you. This fan is so versatile and can be used during pregnancy, labor, and then for your baby in their stroller or car seat. Too much heat can raise your blood pressure and make nausea worse, so opt for warm, not hot, showers when your nausea is at its worst.
- Yoga/resting positions & light exercise: Give cross legged forward bend and legs up the wall pose a try. Laying down with legs up on a wall or sitting cross-legged on the floor and bending forward. It can be really hard, but if you can get outside for some fresh air and a walk, slow and gentle movement has also been shown to help.
- Sucking on ice, frozen fruit, or popsicles: We’re big fans of frozen grapes and ice cubes with a splash of lemonade added before freezing. Frozen lemonade ice cubes, sometimes with ginger added, were a lifesaver for Jess during her pregnancy.
- B6 supplementation: Always talk to your doctor before starting a supplement, but taking B6 has been shown to improve nausea symptoms in pregnancy at a dosage of 10 to 25 mg every 8 hours per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
- Take it easy and avoid triggers: Lack of rest and quick movements can make nausea worse, so do your best to listen to your body and take it slow. Avoid laying down immediately after eating and avoid things that make nausea worse like strong odors from perfume or foods. Many women enjoy cold food since the flavor is milder than warm foods.
And if you’re looking for an antacid, this one by Genexa is made with cleaner ingredients.
This unpleasant pregnancy side effect is estimated to affect more than three quarters of all pregnant women, so remember, you’re not alone. It will take some trial and error, but try a few different remedies to see what works best for you! And as always, talk to your doctor about your symptoms and before you start any new medication or supplement.