Does brushing your teeth cause you to gag? Are you afraid of even opening the refrigerator? You’re not alone. While pregnancy can be an amazing ride, the dreaded morning sickness that often comes with it isn’t so fabulous. And despite its name, morning sickness doesn’t discriminate between the time of day—nausea or vomiting can sneak up on you morning, afternoon or evening. Even a mild case of nausea can wear you down and leave you feeling miserable and exhausted.
So, how do you deal? If you’re suffering from nausea, vomiting, or both, here are some pregnancy-safe ways to find relief.
4 Pregnancy-Safe Remedies for Morning Sickness
Grab Some Ginger
Ginger is a natural remedy used to settle the stomach and quell queasiness. If taken regularly in a capsule or a powder or grated into hot water for tea, ginger may relieve morning sickness after a few days. You could also try ginger candies or gingersnap cookies to help ease your nausea.
Eat Small Meals
In your first trimester, the concept of breakfast, lunch, and dinner might go straight out the window. Instead, try eating several small snacks throughout the entire day.
Many women find that grazing all day settles their stomach, especially if they start eating as soon as they wake up in the morning. When your stomach is empty, there’s nothing left for the stomach acids to feast on except your stomach lining, which can increase nausea.
Try keeping a stash of healthy, bland snacks (crackers, pretzels, bananas or nuts) close by to prevent hunger from striking. Try nibbling on some crackers first thing in the morning to fend off nausea and a light bedtime snack. By eating small snacks throughout the day you’ll keep some food in your stomach at all times, which could help bouts of morning sickness.
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Sniff Something Fresh
Certain scents can turn your stomach when you’re pregnant, and they don’t necessarily have to be “bad” smells either.
Your sense of smell is in overdrive while pregnant and can leave you riding a wave a nausea even if you catch a whiff of a previously favorite food. Try smelling fresh scents throughout the day like lemon, rosemary or mint. Keep a bottle of lemon extract with you or a sprig of fresh rosemary in your bag. Don’t be afraid to breathe it in as often as possible to settle your stomach.
This might be difficult if your morning sickness is severe enough that even water comes back up. If that’s the case, you’ll need to power through! The more dehydrated you are, the more nauseated you become. Keep ahead of the nausea by staying hydrated and trying to get at least eight glasses of water a day. Or settle your stomach while staying hydrated by crunching on ice chips or sipping ice cold water.
If you’re not a huge water fan, try lightly flavoring your water with some frozen fruit (citrus water can also ease nausea). Another way to soothe your stomach is with cold, slushy drinks like a frozen lemonade.
Talk to your doctor.
If you have severe nausea and vomiting that won’t go away, see your physician immediately. An estimated 2% of pregnant women will experience severe morning sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Sometimes women with HG will need to go to the hospital to be treated for dehydration and malnutrition if they’re unable to consume enough food and water. Not to fear, though! As draining and uncomfortable as HG is, most women go on to have healthy babies.
Listen to your body, and get the relief you need.
There are a variety of other pregnancy-safe morning sickness remedies and medications that your doctor can advise you about. If you are struggling with feeling sick all day, talk to your doctor about your options.
And just remember, as terrible as morning sickness can be, it’s often temporary and usually starts to go away in the 2nd trimester. Hang in there and know that it’s a great sign that your baby is developing just the way they should!
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Originally published December 7, 2017 – Revised/Updated August 30, 2019