Whoever came up with the term ‘morning sickness’ has a lot to answer for.
For many mamas-to-be it’s more like morning-afternoon-evening-and-most-of-the-night sickness. And it really sucks.
If you’re feeling green around the gills and can’t stop hugging the toilet bowl then here are 12 home remedies for morning sickness to try that are tried and tested.
Why do you feel nauseous in early pregnancy?
The thing is – no one knows for sure. It’s believed that it’s probably down to the surge in hormones.
As soon as you become pregnant there’s a sudden increase in Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) and oestrogen.
Lower blood sugar is also thought to be another common cause. And your heightened sense of smell might add to the problem.
How soon can you get morning sickness?
Morning sickness is one of the first symptoms you may notice in pregnancy.
It usually begins at around 6 weeks pregnancy. And it can peak at around 9 weeks.
When should morning sickness go away?
For about 60% of women it eases and then disappears by the end of the first trimester (at around 13 weeks). Only about 10% of women experience it beyond 20 weeks.
Every woman is different though. So don’t worry if your body hasn’t read the textbooks and doesn’t work to this schedule.
Ginger can ease mild nausea. You can nibble on ginger biscuits or drink ginger tea to settle your stomach.
This study found that ginger helped significantly with nausea in pregnancy so it’s one of our favourite natural morning sickness remedies.
Although it’s a very commonly used to combat nausea in pregnancy, some experts are concerned that it might have side effects if taken in high doses.
There isn’t enough evidence yet but as always we believe it’s best to check with your doctor before taking a lot of ginger. Especially if:
- you want to take it in high doses
- you have a history of miscarriage
- you’ve had bleeding in early pregnancy
- you have a clotting disorder
- you’re close to your delivery date, as it may cause bleeding during birth.
Wear the acupressure bands
Have you ever worn acupressure bands?
They are commonly used for travel sickness. They relieve some of the nausea by applying pressure to certain points on the wrist.
And they can work for morning sickness too. How?
It’s all about the acupressure point called P6. It’s located about two finger widths below the crease of the wrist on the same side as your palm.
The bands put pressure on this point, which can ease feelings of nausea.
Be a bit sniffy
Aromatherapy oils can help ease the heave. Peppermint, lemon and orange scents work best.
Not all essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy so check that yours are suitable.
Try putting a few drops of one essential oil onto a cotton bud and sniff it whenever you feel a wave of nausea.
Breakfast in bed
If you wake up feeling queasy before you even get up, nibble on some plain foods. Try crackers, nuts or dry cereal.
Keep supplies by your bedside so you’re ready to start the day with an (admittedly rather meagre) breakfast in bed.
Suck on a lemon
It sounds wrong when you’re feeling so queasy, but sucking on something sour can soothe your stomach.
Try sucking on a lemon slice, a sour sweet or sipping hot water with lemon or lemon juice in it.
Go the vitamin route
Certain vitamins and minerals have been shown to help.
Vitamin B6 in particular has been shown to alleviate morning sickness.
The recommended amounts according to Web MD are up to 100 milligrams per day.
If you’re taking prenatal vitamins then they’ll probably contain vitamin B6 anyway. Check with your doctor if you want to take any more on top of that to help with morning sickness.
Some foods that contain vitamin B6 are bananas, potatoes, chicken, spinach, salmon, certain nuts and fortified cereals.
It’s thought that a magnesium deficiency can make morning sickness worse.
How do you know if you’re low on this mineral? A recent study claimed over 70% of British people are low on magnesium. So you could well be one of them.
You can take in more magnesium by eating plenty of leafy greens, nuts and seeds.
You can also pop a scoop of pregnancy Epsom salt which contains magnesium, into your bath to soak it up through your skin.
It’s known to ease anxiety too. So Epsom salt baths could become a part of your evening routine.
It’s always worth double-checking that the Espom salt bath you want to use is OK for pregnancy. Avoid having baths that are too hot due to the risk of overheating.
Move it, move it
You might not feel like doing anything other than curling up under the duvet until your morning sickness passes.
You certainly won’t feel like a full on gym session. But a gentle walk in the fresh air can work wonders to clear nausea and feelings of sickness.
Sip flat cola
It’s what Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge was advised to do during pregnancy. And if it’s good enough for royals…
Doctors apparently use Coca Cola to treat certain stomach conditions. The chemical make-up of cola means it can help calm the stomach.
Taking big deep breaths can settle queasy tummies.
Researchers ran an experiment to establish whether smelling aromatherapy oils helped with morning sickness. They found found that they did. The pregnant women in the study reported a decrease in nausea.
They began to wonder if it was just the oils or the deep breathing that also made a difference.
A second study went on to prove that the deep breathing did indeed help.
Researchers asked mamas-to-be to practice ‘controlled breathing’. They would breathe in slowly to the count of three and then breathe out slowly to the count of three.
Try some deep breathing exercises to see if it helps for you too.
Avoid nasty pongs
When you’re pregnant your sense of smell is heightened. Certain strong smells can have you hurtling to the loo with a wave of sickness.
Avoid any of these powerful odours that make you heave. If you can’t avoid them, try breathing through your mouth instead of your nose until you can breathe fresh air again.
Ice, ice, baby
Some mums-to-be find that sucking on icy foods, helps to settle their stomachs.
It might take a bit of trial and error to find the right cool food that eases your nausea. But once you do it, it can really help.
Maybe start with frozen watermelon slices or popsicles.
5 small meals
Eating little and often instead of eating three big meals can help keep sickness at bay.
Consider having 5 small meals a day instead of 3 big meals.
This helps to keep your blood sugar more stable. This is because when your blood sugar drops, it can trigger nausea.
So eating smaller but more frequent meals throughout the day could help keep the morning sickness at bay.
Some other weird and wonderful morning sickness remedies mums swear by
If you hit the parenting forums, you’ll also find some pretty weird and wacky morning sickness cures. Mamas swear they worked for them.
If you’ve tried all the things we’ve suggested above and are still feeling green around the gills then maybe some of these more ‘different’ ideas will help?
- Sucking on strawberry laces (sweets)
- Eating fruit pastels
- Eating whole tomatoes (like apples)
- Chewing gum
- Eating scrambled eggs
- A spoonful of peanut butter
- A cold flannel on the back of your neck
- Wearing loose clothes so that nothing digs into your tummy
- Eating a small bowl of porridge before you go to bed
What morning sickness remedy works for you?
Let us know in our Bump Club Pregnancy Chat Room
Ask questions or share advice and experiences in this pregnancy chat forum exclusively for expecting mamas.
What to do when the morning sickness won’t go away
A small number of pregnant women find that they are sick several times a day. They can’t keep any food (or sometimes liquids) down and experience extreme sickness that won’t go away.
If this is the case for you, you could be experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum. It is not known exactly how many pregnant women this affects but the NHS estimates that it happens to around 1 to 3 of every 100.
Continuous and extreme vomiting often requires medical attention and sometimes a hospital stay to receive intravenous fluids and medication.
Symptoms of hyperemisis gravidarum:
- Prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting.
- Being dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include, feeling thirsty, tired, dizzy or lightheaded, not peeing very much, and having dark yellow and strong-smelling pee.
- Weight loss.
- Low blood pressure (hypotension) when standing.
If you have extreme sickness and trouble keeping food or drink down then always seek medical advice.
Hyperemisis Gravidarum can make you feel very unwell, but it’s unlikely to harm your baby if it’s treated effectively.
Early treatment can prevent dehydration and help you receive medication, which may help you feel better.
Finding your own unique morning sickness remedy
Everyone experiences morning sickness differently. We can even have different feelings of nausea for different pregnancies.
The key is always to find what makes the difference for you. These 12 natural morning sickness remedies are some of the most popular with mums-to-be.
Try them and find the ones that work best for you. Or test out some of your own ideas to beat the nausea. Maybe it’s something like pop corn and lemon juice that does the trick!
Pin it for later
- Ginger for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, NCBI
- Can A $12 Bracelet Cure Motion Sickness?, Refinery 29
- Pregnancy outcome following use of large doses of vitamin B6 in the first trimester, NBCI
- Controlled breathing with or without peppermint aromatherapy for postoperative nausea and/or vomiting symptom relief: a randomized controlled trial, NBCI
- Severe vomiting in pregnancy, NHS
- How much vitamin B6 should you get when you’re pregnant? WebMD
- Pregnancy Diet: Nutrients You Need, WebMD
- Everything You Need to Know About Morning Sickness, HealthLine