You’ve just found out you’re expecting a baby. Yay! But now you feel like you’re on a boat 24/7, and not in a good way. What gives? Say hello to morning sickness! For many women, nausea and vomiting are the first noticeable signs of pregnancy. In fact, about two-thirds of pregnant women experience morning sickness during their first trimester.1 Keep reading to learn what causes morning sickness and to get some tried-and-true morning sickness remedies from other moms-to-be.
What is Morning Sickness?
The two main morning sickness symptoms are a queasy feeling in the stomach and vomiting. It’s like that feeling you get when you step off a rollercoaster, but for hours on end and without the thrill. Morning sickness typically begins around the sixth week of pregnancy and often tapers off around week 12.2
And the biggest misconception about pregnancy nausea is that it’s in no way limited to the a.m. hours! Morning sickness is actually a misleading name because the symptoms can occur at any time of the day or night!
What Causes Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is the result of a nice new mix of hormones produced in your body during the first trimester.2 Your body is going through a lot of internal changes during a short period of time. And those lovely waves of nausea can happen as a result.
Your morning sickness may have triggers like certain smells, foods (including some foods you used to like!), or even a too-warm room. But frustratingly, for some women, morning sickness may have no triggers at all!
Prenatal supplements that contain iron may also contribute to nausea. vitafusion PreNatal is formulated without iron so they’re gentle on your stomach. Just sayin’!
8 Morning Sickness Remedies from Real Moms
Suck on Sour Candy
Some moms swear that sucking on sour candy can help stave off pregnancy nausea when you’re out and about. Keep candies in your bag in case you get hit by a wave of nausea on-the-go. If you can’t stomach sour flavors, try strong mints or candied ginger instead.
Cold and Frozen Foods
Many women report that it’s easier to eat foods that are cold or frozen when they’re going through morning sickness. Try eating frozen yogurt, popsicles, frozen fruit bars, or chilled fruits right from the fridge like watermelon or grapes. You can also make your own anti-nausea popsicles by mixing fruit juice and grated ginger, then freezing in a popsicle mold.
Eating ice cubes or sipping on ice water will do double duty — with frozen items that also will help to keep you hydrated. And good hydration is very important throughout your entire pregnancy and even post-pregnancy, when you’re breastfeeding.
Brew Some Tea
Can’t stomach cold food? Try hot tea instead. Some women find that caffeine-free herbal teas like peppermint or ginger help settle their stomach. But check in with your OBGYN before brewing up caffeinated varieties like black and green teas to be sure you stay within their daily recommended caffeine intake for you.
No, not champagne! Sipping on a carbonated beverage like ginger ale or sparkling water may also help relieve symptoms of morning sickness. But again, colas and other soft drinks can be loaded with caffeine and sugar. So check with your doc before reaching for high-caffeine, high-sugar, or diet versions of your favorite sodas.
Sharp scents like peppermint, ginger, and lemon may actually help snap you out of a bout of morning sickness. Try sniffing soothing essential oils or using an oil diffuser. Some women even find that smelling unlit scented candles or freshly cut lemons can do the trick.
If you know your triggers for morning sickness, avoid them like the plague! If you can, have someone else cook for you. And open the window or use the kitchen fan to get rid of those cooking odors.
Avoid greasy and spicy foods, which can trigger nausea in many women. And if a food suddenly sounds gross, even something you used to like, then don’t eat it! Women’s tastes for certain foods can change during pregnancy. So listen to your body if it’s telling you to avoid a certain food.
Some women believe that having an empty belly can make you feel queasier. Keep plenty of snacks on hand so you can always get something in your stomach if you get peckish. Think light, easy-to-digest carbs like crackers, bananas, pretzels, or toast. Keep baggies or single-serving packs in your purse, in your desk, in your car — wherever!
Start snacking early in the day. Eat crackers as soon as you wake up in the morning to get something in your stomach. Go ahead and keep a stock of snacks in your nightstand as well!
Get Some Fresh Air
Taking a short walk outside can clear your head and helps improve blood flow, pumping more oxygen through your body. Plus, it may help get your mind off your morning sickness. It’s true what your mom always told you — a little fresh air never hurts!
Remember, many women experience morning sickness at some point during their pregnancy. If they can get through it, so can you! But if your morning sickness becomes unmanageable or you simply can’t function, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for some guidance.
We love sharing our insights about vitamins and health. But that doesn’t mean it should be a substitute for professional medical advice. For that, you should talk to your doctor!
1 Flaxman, SM, et al; Q Rev Biol, 2000.
2 American Pregnancy Association; “Morning Sickness,” 2019. (americanpregnancy.org)