When it comes to morning sickness remedies, I can attest, I have literally tried everything possible. Having had Hyperemesis Gravidarum for all of my pregnancies, I was willing to try anything that could possibly work.
Needless to say, medication was the only thing that actually helped and even then it wasn’t great.
However, after the Hyperemesis subsided, I was still left with what I would consider to be ongoing ‘morning sickness’.
That kind of nausea and vomiting that isn’t too disruptive to your everyday life, but still makes you feel like you want to curl up and sleep it away.
As lovely as that would be, often that’s not an option, so instead as pregnant women, we have to figure out something that’s going to actually work in combatting the morning sickness nausea (that lasts all day).
These are some options for you that will hopefully help you alleviate nausea and keep on top of your morning sickness.
Be sure to talk to your Midwife about the symptoms you’re experiencing too and the options you’ve found to help, your Midwife can help you tailor these options to suit your unique situation more.
Food Related Remedies
Food based options and your choice in food is one of the easies places to start when trying to find ways to keep your morning sickness at bay.
Sometimes simple little tweaks and changes can make a whole world of difference to how you feel.
Try these food based remedies first to see if they help:
1 – Bland Food Like Crackers
Empty stomach = nausea, and our stomaches are empty first thing of a morning which is why often our nausea feels worse then.
Many women swear by having something bland and a little salty like crackers first thing in the morning to help pass the stomach churning feeling.
Some even suggest to keep a small snack by the bed so if you wake at night you can have something, and it’s right there ready for you as soon as you wake in the morning.
Avoid anything too flavoursome as this can have the opposite effect.
2 – Water (Staying Hydrated)
Dehydration = nausea. This can sometimes be tricky because we end up dehydrated because we are nauseous, then we become more nauseated because we are dehydrated.
Such a vicious cycle.
Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration (such as dry mouth, chapped lips, dark colored urine, decreased urine output, and constipation) and be sure to get on top of your hydration levels sooner rather than waiting.
If you’re struggling to drink water because of the bland taste (it’s a thing, if you know, you know) then try something like peppermint tea, or adding lemon to your water to help make it more palatable.
3 – Peppermint
We just mentioned peppermint tea to help with hydration levels, but the delicious brew can also help keep your nausea at bay too!
If you find it hard to drink hot drinks (some do) then you can brew it hot and then refrigerate it and have it as a refreshing cool drink. Pop some frozen berries in your drink too if you want to add a little more flavour.
You can also suck on peppermints too as they’ve been reported to help combat nausea.
They also have the added benefit of overpowering most unpleasant smells that can be a trigger for nausea and vomiting.
Keep a few in your pocket or bag and use them throughout the day as needed.
4 – Sodium Bicarbonate
Before you go taking big tablespoons of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) just hold up a second – because THAT’s not going to work.
Sodium Bicarbonate is commonly found in small quantities in over the counter antacids and is used in the treatment of heartburn, but it can be effective in reducing the intensity of morning sickness too.
You can also find in in some confectionary like Fruit Tingle Lifesavers – which makes it an easy thing to chew on when the nausea kicks in.
I always kept a packet of Fruit Tingles on me when I was pregnant as they really did seem to help to keep the nausea at bay (after my Hyperemesis settled – be warned, they burn on the way back up).
5 – Ginger
I swear, if one more person told me to have some ginger crackers when I was in the height of my hyperemesis, I was going to absolutely scream!
However, for your regular ol’ morning sickness, ginger does work a treat.
Ginger crackers, ginger tea, ginger chews… they all have the same anti nausea benefit.
If ginger really isn’t your thing, or you’re struggling with the taste, you can have ginger supplement capsules that can help too.
If you’re really struggling with vomiting, and not just nausea, keep in mind ginger burns a lot on the way back up.
6 – Frequent Smaller Meals
Remember how we said that an empty stomach = nausea? Well, this doesn’t only happen of a morning. Some women report that whenever they were hungry they felt nauseous, or their nausea was worse when hungry.
To prevent this, try have frequent smaller meals and snacks rather than your traditional 3 meals a day.
This can also stop you from feeling ‘too full’ and overwhelming your digestive system which can also cause that sick feeling.
7 – Skip Greasy / Heavy / Rich Foods
Your stomach is extra sensitive during pregnancy, which means foods that are greasy, feel heavy in your stomach, or a rich (think tomato based, or cream based) can leave you feeling not so great.
Instead opt for meals that are lighter or more bland to help you maintain your food intake without increasing your nausea.
Also be mindful that some smells can make your nausea worse.
Being aware of what these are and avoiding them can help. You may find the eases over time, however this aversion can last throughout your pregnancy.
Alternative Therapy Based Remedies
While dietary modifications are always the best place to start when trying to relieve morning sickness, there are a wide range of alternative therapies that can help and work concurrently with your dietary changes.
Keep in mind, just because something is ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean it is safe in pregnancy.
It is still important for you to discuss these options with your Midwife who may also offer some additional resources for alternative therapies too.
8 – Massage
While massage is not used to directly reduce morning sickness, it can help you to relax, relieve tension of muscles, and reduce anxiety – all of which can ultimately help with reducing nausea.
Best to be done on a day when you aren’t feeling overly nauseated or are vomiting, be sure to see a massage therapist who is well trained in the treatment of pregnant women and who will talk with you through any concerns you have before you start.
As with all massages, be sure to stay hydrated before and after, and stop any massage immediately if it becomes overwhelming or makes you feel worse.
9 – Aromatherapy
While we love peppermint tea, sometimes simply the smell of peppermint can help to alleviate nausea and keep your morning sickness at bay.
Other aromatherapy oils that can help are ones like lemon or orange as it is reported that citrus based smells have a positive effect in the relief of nausea.
Remember to never ingest essential oils, and be sure to run the oils you’re using by your midwife as some essential oils shouldn’t be used in pregnancy.
10 – Acupressure
Acupressure requires pressure to be placed on certain pressure points throughout your body and can reduce the symptoms, severity, and duration of your morning sickness.
You may even find the use of sea sickness bands can help as they are designed to put pressure on the P6 pressure point, used to help alleviate nausea.
Alternatively, you can combine massage with acupressure by finding a practitioner who is trained in the use of acupressure during pregnancy.
11 – Acupuncture
Some women turn to acupuncture if they find acupressure is not working for them.
Often women try acupressure first as it is less invasive than acupuncture, which involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin along specific energy pathways.
There are clinical trials that show the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, and is a relatively safe practice when done by a trained professional.
Medically Based Remedies
While many women can control their morning sickness with either dietary and lifestyle changes, or alternative therapies (or a combination of both) there are times when they may need to consider using medically based remedies for relief.
There are a wide range of studies on various treatment options and your Midwife or healthcare provider can talk with you through which options would be best for you.
12 – Vitamin b6
While the active cause of the antiemetic (reduction of vomiting and nausea) effect of vitamin b6 is largely unknown, studies do support its effectiveness in the treatment of morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting in pregnancy.
Adding Vitamin b6 to your supplement regime may be the small change you need to help keep your nausea and vomiting in pregnancy under control.
13 – Timing Your Prenatal Vitamins Correctly
Some prenatal vitamins contain a wide variety of supplements which can make it difficult to pinpoint which one is causing an increase in nausea.
It is preferable that you speak to your Midwife about what specific supplements you need as opposed to taking a general catch all vitamin which often contains lower doses of a number of vitamins.
That being said, the timing of your supplements, as in when you take them, can actually make you more nauseated.
For example, supplemental iron can lead to an increase in nausea so taking iron at night can be beneficial as it has time to process through your digestive system while you sleep, as opposed to taking it first thing in the morning and feeling the nauseating effects.
Small tweaks like the timing of your supplements can have a big effect on the intensity of your morning sickness.
14 – Medications
While many women attempt to control their morning sickness through diet and lifestyle modifications, there are times when the risk to pregnant mama and her baby is increased and therefore medications need to be considered.
There are several studies that show the efficacy of these medications, increased maternal outcomes, and there are many different medication options available.
It is best to discuss with your Midwife or healthcare provider what the best options are for you. Be sure to research what is available, so you’re informed of your options, and talk through the benefits and potential side effects with your care provider.
15 – Intravenous Rehydration
Sometimes during pregnancy nausea and vomiting become so intense that oral hydration through drinking water and other fluids is no longer possible.
This can lead to severe dehydration, which poses an increased risk to the mother and baby, and won’t pass on it’s own.
At this point intravenous rehydration (IV fluids) is the required treatment and the relief it provides is almost instant. This is also in combination with IV electrolytes.
I spent a large portion of my first (and second) trimester on an IV fluid protocol and can attest (as many other women support too) that when hydrated, the nausea experienced is significantly reduced.
There are risks involved with intravenous fluids, as there are with any medical treatment) however the benefits often far outweigh these risks.
If you are experiencing signs of dehydration and having difficulty with oral fluids, speak to your Midwife or healthcare provider straight away.