Motherhood can bring a mixture of emotions for most women: excitement, nervousness, surprise, dread, and relief are all normal feelings women go through when they see a positive pregnancy test.
Soon, though, all of those emotions often turn into one, big feeling: sick.
Morning sickness is common for most expectant mothers: upwards of 80% of all pregnant women experience some form of nausea and vomiting during their first trimester. However, knowing that it’s normal doesn’t make morning sickness any easier. You need relief, and you want it fast.
Here are 14 ways you can get some trusted, natural relief when you’re feeling nauseous due to pregnancy related morning sickness:
#1: Take a Prenatal Vitamin
When you’re feeling sick during pregnancy, the last thing you want to take is a prenatal vitamin. It’s important, though, for a variety of health reasons. It provides your future baby with vital nutrients he or she needs during a critical stage of development. Prenatal vitamins also help you to stay as strong as possible during a physically taxing time.
Participants in a study who took prenatal vitamins before pregnancy were found to have less severe morning sickness than those who didn’t. As hard as it may be to take vitamins, it can help you feel better.
When And How To Take Your Prenatal Vitamin
If your vitamin makes you nauseous, try to take your vitamins in the evening instead of the morning. Avoid taking your vitamin on an empty stomach to help it stay down. If you still have a hard time keeping your vitamin down, try a different one. There are prenatal gummies, for example, that can make taking it easier.
#2: Avoid Carbonation
Remember staying home sick from school, watching daytime television, and sipping on ginger ale or soda to help calm your stomach? Turns out, that maybe wasn't the best idea.
Carbonated drinks can make your pregnancy nausea worse for a couple of reasons. The carbonation can cause bloating and acid reflux, which is a recipe for making morning sickness even worse.
And Sugar, Too
Beyond the carbonation, most sodas, even ginger ale, have a lot of sugar. Although this may temporarily help with morning sickness, the drop in blood sugar afterward may make morning sickness come back, sometimes even worse than before. Steady blood sugar may help you keep a settled stomach during pregnancy, so avoid overly sugary drinks to keep nausea at bay.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has treated pain, illness, and nausea for thousands of years with acupressure. Specifically, for nausea, the inside of the arm about an inch below the wrist is thought to stimulate specific nerves to relieve sickness.
There is some research that shows acupressure can be useful in combating nausea, and devices that stimulate specific points for nausea relief.
#4: Chamomile Tea
Instead of sugary sodas, try chamomile tea for morning sickness relief. It helps to keep you hydrated, which is critical for combating nausea. It also helps to relax the stomach muscles, which can help relieve nausea.
Chamomile tea has traditionally been used to treat various gastrointestinal issues, including nausea. Especially if you find it hard to rest because of your nausea, chamomile tea can help to both relieve your stomach and get you to sleep.
#5: Meditate/ Take Deep Breaths
When you’re sick, it’s hard to think about anything else. It can completely derail your plans for the day and keep you from doing things that you love. Unfortunately, dwelling on nausea only makes it even worse. Deep breathing has been shown to be effective in helping to relieve nausea.
Take some time out throughout the day to either practice some mindful meditation or slowly take some deep breaths. Although it may not completely cure your nausea, it'll help your body relax and relieve some of the tension that makes morning sickness even worse.
During the first trimester, your body is doing incredible work. Not only is your body creating a person, but it is growing an entirely new organ to support that life. It’s like running a marathon that no one else can see.
Nausea is just one way your body may be signaling to you to slow down. If you feel wiped out and sick, it’s time to rest. Take a nap, read a book, get a prenatal massage, or do something else that you enjoy. Make sure that you get the proper amount of sleep each night to keep your body strong.
Stress and sleep deprivation will make morning sickness even worse. Take a time-out to give your stomach a break.
#7: Get Moving
In addition to rest, make sure that you take the time to exercise as well. As much as you would like to spend your time hiding in bed and having another Netflix- binge session while you're sick, getting some movement in your day will help relieve your nausea.
Research shows exercise can help some women with their nausea, so do some movement that you enjoy. It doesn’t mean that you have to go out and run a 5K, but a walk around the block or prenatal yoga will help you feel more energized and less sick. It is also good for your overall health.
#8: Cool Down
As much as morning sickness may make you miserable, that hot and sticky feeling you get with nausea and vomiting makes everything even worse. Heat is your enemy with morning sickness, so cool down to help prevent and relieve some of the nausea.
Put a cold compress on the back of your neck, take a lukewarm shower, or stand in front of a fan to cool down. Avoid staying out in the sun or other situations where you could overheat. Wear cool clothing, or layers so that you can stay as cool as possible.
#9: Morning Sickness Diet Plan
Even the thought of food can be vomit-inducing when you're in the throes of morning sickness. It's essential, though, to avoid an empty stomach to help keep nausea to a minimum.
Most people have heard of the BRAT diet for nausea: banana, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods won't aggravate the stomach while helping to keep it full enough to keep nausea at bay. Another two components, tea and yogurt, may also help with nausea during pregnancy. The BRATTY diet may be best to help you get extra nutrition and morning sickness relief.
Stick To Cold Foods in the Morning
Try to eat cold foods, since hot foods may make your nausea worse. Most women find that smell makes nausea worse, so cooking and warming up foods may be off limits until the morning sickness passes.
Don’t Drink While Eating
Although hydration is essential for keeping nausea to a minimum, try to avoid drinking any beverages during meal time. It can hurt your digestion and make nausea worse. Instead, opt for water in-between meals.
Keep It Small
Lastly, eat small meals throughout the day to help keep your blood sugar stable. Small meals also prevent you from overeating, which can also trigger nausea. Small, bland meals are the ideal morning sickness diet.
Ginger is a traditional remedy for morning sickness and it has been shown to be effective in fighting nausea in multiple studies. Ginger is a versatile spice and can be consumed in many forms to help provide relief. You can have it in tea, candies, or pill form, for example. In the studies on ginger, any form of ginger was found to be useful for treatment, so take it whichever way feels best to you.
Lemons are also shown to be powerful against nausea. Both as food and aromatherapy it can help fight morning sickness.Try keeping sliced lemons or lemon essential oil to bring relief whenever you feel morning sickness start to hit.
Many women also find relief mixing lemon into their water or tea to help nausea. Lemonade is also a popular drink of choice for women who are suffering from morning sickness induced nausea.
Peppermint essential oil can help bring you relief from morning sickness. Try putting five to 10 drops in a warm bath, or a couple drops in a cold compress. Keep peppermint essential oil on you to smell whenever nausea strikes.
#13: Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, plays a vital role in the body. It helps maintain a healthy metabolism, promote skin and brain health, as well as several other functions. It's also been shown to help women who are experiencing morning sickness get the relief they need.
There has been plenty of research on the effectiveness of vitamin B6 in relieving morning sickness. Some experts recommend taking vitamin B6 with an antihistamine, such as Unisom, to help improve its effectiveness in curbing morning sickness.
#14: Hana Tonic
When you're in the throes of morning sickness, you want to feel like yourself again. You also don't have the strength (or stomach) to consume many of the foods that help relieve nausea. A tonic is a great way to get the nausea-busting nutrition you need in a whole-food form.
Hana Tonic contains many of the foods shown to curb nausea in one small drink, such as ginger and lemon. It also includes the B-vitamins that help get you feeling strong and healthy again as quickly as possible.