Although morning sickness affects over 50% of expectant mothers, every woman—and every pregnancy—is different. Just because you experienced morning sickness during one pregnancy does not mean you'll experience it during another, and what worked to relieve your symptoms one time might not work the next.
We’ve put together a list of go-to remedies for morning sickness. We recommend keeping a journal or log of when you feel sick (or wonderful!), what you're eating, and what you're doing to try to alleviate the symptoms. Look for patterns to get some insight into which remedies are working. Reach out to your health care team with any questions or concerns and consult the Infant Risk Center for the latest information on what’s safe to use while pregnant (and breastfeeding). Also, check out our blog post for everything you need to know about the first trimester.
1. Avoid an Empty Stomach
While nausea can affect expectant moms at any time of the day, many women notice stronger symptoms in the morning; this may be because you wake up with an empty stomach.
Although you may feel so sick you don’t want to eat anything, try to make eating a priority. For many pregnant women, “grazing” instead of “hoarding” wards off morning sickness; eat many smaller meals instead of a few larger ones—and don’t hesitate to indulge in a midnight snack!
Try to keep these snacks fairly bland. Getting some toast or crackers in your stomach before the symptoms kick in can help prevent nausea. Keep crackers in your handbag and by your bed.
Honor your cravings and aversions; they’re your body’s way of letting you know what will work and what won’t.
2. Nausea-fighting Foods
Certain foods are natural nausea relievers that might help soothe your symptoms:
- Dry toast, saltines, or other bland crackers
- Chicken soup or broth
- Carbonated water
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruit (some women swear by water with lemon!)
3. Vitamin B6
4. Acupressure and Acupuncture Therapy
Stimulating pressure point P-6, which is located on the inside of your arm just above your wrist, can relieve nausea. When you start feeling ill, apply pressure to this area with the thumb of your opposite hand for a couple of minutes. You can also wear an acupressure wristband, like Sea-Band Mama Wristbands. Wear these wristbands all day or during your peak nausea periods.
Acupuncture has also been successful in treating morning sickness and other pregnancy-related symptoms, like heartburn. Some insurance companies cover acupuncture, so it may be worth considering a highly trained practitioner. Confirm that the practitioner has experience with prenatal care and treating morning sickness.
5. Essential Oils
Lavender, ginger, and chamomile essential oils have been known to help relieve nausea. Essential oils are usually absorbed by your body in one of two ways: through inhalation via a diffuser or through skin contact by rubbing them on. Either way, these scents might help tell your brain to take it easy on the queasy. Confirm that the essential oils you choose are safe for use during pregnancy, and make sure you dilute them properly. Double-check usage on Using Essential Oils Safely.
Electrolytes help replenish you after you’ve been sick and may even help with prevention. Ready to Ease Nausea Relief Ice Pops contain electrolytes and B6. Plus, they’re organic and refreshing—perfect for those summer pregnancies! Coconut water and Nuun Hydration tablets are also great sources of electrolytes.
7. Yoga and Meditation
Pregnancy affects a woman’s entire being. Connecting the mind and body through breathwork in yoga and meditation can help some women contend with morning sickness. Try a daily practice that focuses on relaxation and gentle yoga poses.
If natural remedies aren’t working, considering talking to your doctor. Prescription drugs can reduce and sometimes eliminate nausea symptoms. You and your health care team can determine if these medications might be right for you given your symptoms and medical history.
While some women may develop hyperemesis gravidarum, which is more severe than morning sickness, for most women morning sickness is short-lived; by the second trimester, many expectant moms feel relatively normal and may even experience a boost in mood and energy. We hope that some of these remedies help get you there! If not, hang in there, Mama! We feel your pain. Just remember that there is a beautiful baby at the end of this journey who may just make you forget how tough pregnancy can be.