I bet you’re wondering how to get rid of morning sickness. I bet you’re looking for something – ANYTHING – to stop that feeling that you’re feeling right now.
The one that is making you camp out with your head leaning over the toilet bowl. The feeling that makes you want to sleep the day away – but it won’t let you sleep.
Congratulations, mama, you’re pregnant! But I bet the last thing you feel like doing right now is celebrating. Yes, pregnancy is totally a miracle, but it probably doesn’t feel as much like a miracle right now as it does a not-so-fun-roller-coaster-ride.
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If you’re curious (or in a hurry):
All you want to do right now is learn HOW to get rid of morning sickness, the very thing that is causing you to clench your stomach and desperately search for a remedy.
I was going to start this post off by telling you that not every day of pregnancy is going to be sunshine and rainbows, but since you’re already here I’m willing to bet you don’t need someone to tell you that. You already know it.
Morning sickness sucks. There’s no way around that fact. There are, however, a few morning sickness remedies that you can use in an attempt to ease morning sickness – and some of them may be exactly what you need right now.
It took several weeks after I found out I was pregnant before the very thing I was dreading set in. See, up to 85% of pregnant women get morning sickness. I was just hoping with all I had that I would be one of that lucky 15%.
I was not.
And if you’re here, I’m guessing you’re not, either.
Before we dive into how to get rid of morning sickness, let’s quickly go over what morning sickness is and the causes of morning sickness.
(If you’re just here to learn how to get rid of morning sickness, click here and it will take you straight to the morning sickness remedies section.)
What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness is nausea that many pregnant women (up to 85%) experience throughout their pregnancy, with it usually diminishing around the 3rd to 4th month of pregnancy.
(I know, you do NOT want to wait that long to get rid of this morning sickness. Don’t worry, we’ll go over how to get rid of morning sickness in this post so you can start to feel some relief quicker than waiting around for the 3rd or 4th month of pregnancy.)
Don’t let the name fool you – morning sickness can strike a pregnant woman at ANY TIME during the day or night, not just in the morning.
Though most pregnant women find their morning sickness goes away at around 12 – 16 weeks pregnant, some women experience it through their entire pregnancy.
Will morning sickness harm my baby?
This is a question that many moms-to-be have, myself included. With all the nausea and vomiting that’s happening with you right now, it’s easy to worry that it’s somehow going to cause harm to your baby, whether that be by putting a strain on the baby or not having enough nutrients in your body to sustain it.
The good news is, your baby is a bit like a parasite (I know, no one wants to think of their baby as a parasite) as in, it’s going to take what it needs. Even if you can’t stomach any healthy food, and you find you seem to be throwing everything up, your baby will still get the nutrients it needs from your body.
In MOST cases, morning sickness will not harm your baby, but in some cases, some pregnant women can develop hyperemesis gravidarum.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a fancy way of saying severe and prolonged vomiting.
* If you think you may have hyperemesis gravidarum call your doctor right away.
Hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe, persistent vomiting, is something that needs to be taken seriously in pregnancy as it can lead to dehydration and weight loss.
While it needs to be taken extremely seriously, it’s important to note that hyperemesis gravidarum only occurs in about .5 – 2% of pregnancies. (Source)
What causes morning sickness?
Studies haven’t confirmed exactly what causes morning sickness, but many doctors believe there are a few things that play a role in causing morning sickness in pregnant women.
The most popular cause is believed to be the increase in hormone levels that pregnancy brings on.
Another cause of morning sickness is believed to be reduced blood sugar levels. Morning sickness is often worse in women who are pregnant with multiples.
Other things that seem to bring on morning sickness can vary from woman to woman, but a few of them may include:
Increased sense of smell
When you’re pregnant you seem to have super-nostrils and can smell things from a mile away. While this doesn’t sound like it would be the worst thing ever, sometimes it can be.
An increased sense of smell and an easily irritable stomach don’t make the best combination, since there are many smells that are likely to send your stomach doing somersaults, and you may not even know where the smell is coming from. All you know is you can, in fact, smell it, and you’re going to need a bathroom. Stat.
An easily irritable stomach
Just because you were able to eat it before you got pregnant, doesn’t mean you will still be able to eat it now, and foods that you once craved in early pregnancy may now be the very foods that upset your stomach.
Early on in my pregnancy, after my morning sickness subsided slightly, one of my favorite foods was a grilled cheese sandwich. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and supper. If my stomach felt slightly off, I could still usually keep a grilled cheese sandwich down.
But now just like all the physical changes I am facing with pregnancy, my appetite is changing too, and so are the things that send my stomach crawling. I haven’t eaten a grilled cheese sandwich now for a couple months, and the thought of one doesn’t make my stomach all that happy.
Whether this is just because I ate myself sick of grilled cheese, or because of the changes my body is going through, I am not sure. But I do know that our stomach’s become a lot more sensitive when we get pregnant, and there are certain foods that will trigger sickness.
The good news is that just because you have morning sickness with one pregnancy, doesn’t mean you will have it with your next pregnancy. The bad news is, the same is true for the opposite (if your pregnancy is morning-sickness-free, that doesn’t mean you won’t get sick with your next pregnancy).
Pregnant and exhausted? Learn how I finally started getting some sleep during my pregnancy, here!
How to prevent morning sickness
If morning sickness hasn’t hit you yet, you’re probably not so interested in pregnancy nausea relief, you’re more interested in what causes morning sickness, and how you can prevent it from hitting you. There are a few things you can do to try and prevent morning sickness. But remember – every pregnancy is different. Just because something worked for one mama’s pregnancy doesn’t mean it will work for yours (unfortunately).
If you try one of these ways to prevent morning sickness and find it doesn’t work for you, move on to the next until you find something that does work for your pregnancy. And if all else fails and NONE of these morning sickness prevention tactics work for you, you can find out how to stop morning sickness further down in this post.
Possible ways to prevent morning sickness:
Eat snacks frequently
Don’t let yourself go hungry, because morning sickness often tends to be worse on an empty stomach. Rather than eating three big meals a day, turn that into smaller, more frequent snacks and ensure your stomach doesn’t go empty.
Keeping yourself hydrated through the day and night may help prevent morning sickness. Try drinking sips of water throughout the day. I couldn’t drink much water at all during the first 4 months of my pregnancy or else I’d get sick, so I substituted this with juice. If you can’t drink water either, don’t worry so much about what you’re drinking, just that you’re drinking.
Use a reusable water bottle and carry it around with through the day. A reusable water bottle with fluid intake measurements on the side helps you ensure you’re drinking your water throughout the day, without drinking too much at once (since that can cause an upset stomach). Carrying a water bottle around with you is a good way to get yourself into the habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day. (This is a good water bottle.)
Sleep when you can, where you can
The more you sleep in your pregnancy, the better you will feel. (Plus, however long of a nap you take will be that much time that you won’t be feeling nauseous. Win-win). But, it’s easy to say “sleep as much as you can”. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to actually do it.
Pregnancy insomnia is a real thing and it can cause you to become extremely exhausted. Even if you ARE sleeping well at night, many pregnant women experience exhaustion during the day in the first trimester.
Add insomnia on to that, and you won’t be able to function properly during the day. Or night.
Before I even knew I was pregnant I was having troubles making it through the day without a nap. There would be some days that I would fall asleep while I was working (I am very thankful I work from home) without even realizing it. That was one of the very first signs that gave me an inkling that I might be pregnant.
If you have the option to sleep anytime, especially during your first trimester, do it.
Take naps and sleep whenever you can.
If you’re not sleeping well because of discomfort, you can grab a FREE pregnancy pillow here to help you sleep better. Use the code deliberatelyhere50 to get your pillow for free.
Take your prenatal vitamins at night with a snack
Prenatal vitamins were another thing that made my stomach churn like none other, and when combined with water, those things came flying back up faster than they went down.
Doctors will likely recommend that you take your prenatal vitamin on an empty stomach, but that wasn’t an option for me, so I started taking it right before bed with a light snack, and I would take them with juice rather than water.
Once I started doing this I found I didn’t get as sick from the vitamins, and if I did start to feel nauseous I could just lay down in bed and sleep it off.
If you find your gag reflexes are overactive and you have issues swallowing your prenatal vitamins without gagging or vomiting, you can check out some other options for prenatal vitamins, including gummy vitamins, that go down much easier. (These are the ones recommended by a lot of pregnant mamas).
Don’t use strong scents
Strong scents often did one of two things during my pregnancy (or both if I was extra lucky). They would either make me feel nauseous, or give me a killer headache.
Since I didn’t enjoy either of those, I chose to keep the strong-scented candles stored away for a few months and I stopped wearing perfume, and switched to a very mild-scented deodorant.
My sweet husband even helped me out by doing the same, and it helped prevent morning sickness from striking me too often.
Eat breakfast in bed
An empty stomach is an open door just welcoming morning sickness to come in. So, what are you supposed to do – wake up every two hours throughout the night to eat a snack?
No, that’s not the answer… If you’re able to sleep at night, by all means possible, stay asleep.
Early on in my pregnancy I would wake up in the mornings nearly already throwing up (I always slept with a bucket on the night table), then I over time I learned that the reason I felt so sick every morning was because my stomach was completely empty.
So, as soon as I would wake up, before I could move a muscle, my husband would run to the kitchen and bring back those life-saving saltine crackers.
Eventually, I ended up realizing it would be a lot easier for everyone if we just kept the crackers on the night table. Right beside the puke bucket.
Munching on a cracker or two (or a dozen if I was feeling particularly hungry and could handle it) first thing in the morning helped to subside my morning sickness a LOT.
Sometimes I would even find I was waking up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach, so having the crackers right beside the bed was an easy solution to help settle my stomach and get back to sleep.
Saltine crackers seem to be the most widely used snack-food for pregnant mamas, but if you can’t stomach these crackers, find what you can stomach, and keep that on your night table.
Eat what you want
I worried so much about eating the right foods early on in my pregnancy, that I ended up not being able to keep those foods down because they weren’t the right foods. While they were healthy and full of nutrients, they weren’t the type of food that my stomach agreed with.
And let’s face it, my stomach had most of the say back in those days.
While eating healthy is important, especially during pregnancy, if you can’t keep any healthy foods down, eating them isn’t doing you much good.
Find a food that you can eat, then eat that food. Don’t worry about the calories or the nutrients, just worry about finding something – anything – that you can eat without it coming back up.
When your morning sickness finally subsides and you are able to eat more than saltine crackers and grilled cheese, then you can start focusing on eating healthy foods and getting the nutrients you need.
But for now, any food is better than no food.
What to do for morning sickness
If it feels like you’ve tried almost everything but still weren’t able to prevent morning sickness, here are a couple things you can do to help settle your stomach whenever the pregnancy nausea hits you:
- Sniff a lemon. Many moms reported that carrying a fresh lemon around with them while they were pregnant helped settle their stomach. Anytime they smelled an unpleasant smell that would upset their stomach, they pulled out the lemon and took a big sniff. This helped eliminate the bad smell and eased their stomach. (You could try putting one of these in your purse so you don’t have to carry a lemon around.)
- Drink a soothing tea. Drinking a cup of tea is another way you can soothe your upset stomach. I have found that chamomile tea works best to soothe my stomach. It’s gentle, has a mild taste, and helps with sleep. Make sure you talk to your doctor before drinking chamomile tea, as drinking a lot of herbal teas when pregnant isn’t always advised.
- Ginger chunks. Ginger is known for calming upset stomachs, so carrying around this small container of ginger chunks could go a long way in helping you deal with your pregnancy nausea. (Again, talk to your doctor before taking ginger regularly.)
- Rest. During this stage of your pregnancy, you’re going to want to get as much rest as possible. Resting, if nothing else, will at least help pass the time as you wait for your pregnancy nausea to diminish (which usually happens around 14 – 16 weeks).
How long does morning sickness last?
For most moms-to-be, morning sickness will start around 6 – 7 weeks, and start to go away around 14 – 16 weeks, but with some women, it can begin earlier than 6 weeks and go on much longer than 16 weeks.
Some pregnant mamas don’t catch a break and will experience morning sickness through their entire pregnancy.
My morning sickness started part way through the first trimester and only got worse and worse as I got closer to the second trimester. I finally caught a break a few weeks into my second trimester, then a few more weeks after that I got a random bout of morning sickness again for about a week, then it went away again and so far it has stayed away.
Though there’s no definitive answer to the question “how long does morning sickness last”, MOST pregnant women find it ends around 14 – 16 weeks, so you should be able to aim for that.
How to cope with morning sickness
Getting out of bed and going to work is probably the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling so gross. Consider taking a sick day if the morning sickness gets too bad, and if all else fails, bring a bag full of saltine crackers to work with you to munch on so your stomach doesn’t go empty between breaks.
I was very blessed to be able to work from home during my pregnancy so I didn’t have to worry about going to work on the days when I couldn’t get myself out of bed.
If you want to learn how to make your dreams of working from home a reality, sign up to get my free new bloggers email crash course below.
Some of these morning sickness remedies may work for you, while others may not. If you try one that doesn’t work, try another one.
You know your body and your pregnancy best. If you know that one of these morning sickness remedies will not make you feel better and may, in fact, make you sicker, then avoid it and try something else.
If you’re wondering what foods are good for morning sickness, dried, candied ginger is the #1 answer. Ginger has helped settle stomachs for a very long time. When it comes to morning sickness, ginger should be one of the first things you try.
This is the specific kind of ginger that has helped many moms settle their stomach.
Ginger helps get rid of nausea (and diarrhea, but things are likely fairly backed up right now, so you most likely don’t have to worry about diarrhea), and you can take it in many different ways.
Many pregnant women like to suck on crystallized ginger, since the sugar helps level the taste so it isn’t quite so strong. You can also make ginger tea or ginger lemonade to settle your stomach.
You will want to note that ginger gives off a strong smell and taste, and while some pregnant women like both the smell and taste of it, others find they can’t stand it.
2. Coca Cola
I talked about using coke to settle my morning sickness prone stomach in the early stages of my pregnancy in this post – 20 pregnancy must haves.
I’m sure you’ve heard of drinking Ginger Ale to settle an upset stomach, but have you ever heard of drinking coke, instead?
For years I have had success with ginger ale settling my stomach, but when I learned that you can use coke in the exact same way, I gave it a try. And surprisingly, it worked.
Anytime my husband or I get the flu, I always use coke to settle our stomachs, and it has always seemed to help.
One day when I was struggling to keep any food or fluids down, I remembered that we used coke when we were sick with an upset stomach, so I figured I would give it a try with my morning sickness – and it worked.
I have never been much of a pop drinker, but coke is what helped me get through the first 4 months of my pregnancy.
When you use coke to settle an upset stomach, be sure you pour it into a glass and stir the fizz out of it before drinking it (fizz + an upset stomach = not good), then sip it slowly, don’t chug it.
If you’re concerned about drinking coke in pregnancy because of the caffeine, research has shown it is safe to have up to 200 mg of caffeine a day while pregnant. (Source)
In a 12 oz can of coke, there is only 29.4 mg of caffeine – so if you’re having a coke every several days to settle your stomach, you should be more than okay.
A friend of mine passed this secret down to me when I was struggling with morning sickness, and though I didn’t use it all the time, when I did it always seemed to work.
Keep a box of freezies (or popsicles) in your freezer, and anytime you are struck with morning sickness, suck on one.
I found that even when I wasn’t able to keep anything else down, I could suck on a freezie and it would help settle my stomach, even if it wasn’t the healthiest option.
The cold and mild flavor of the fruit freezie felt very soothing on my stomach. I don’t know why this works, but it did – for me, anyway.
4. Vitamin B6
Talk to your doctor before taking any new vitamins, but many moms to be find using vitamin B6 helps with morning sickness.
Vitamin B6 is an important ingredient in Diclectin, the very popularly-prescribed pill that treats nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Diclectin is a combination of vitamin B6 and an antihistamine. According to studies done, there is approximately one Diclectin prescription written for every two births in Canada. (Source)
Doctors are starting to now first give vitamin B6 alone since there is evidence that vitamin B6 is an effective treatment on its own.
You can get vitamin B6 without a prescription and it is very affordable and low risk. (*always talk to your doctor before going on new medication or vitamins.)
5. Suck on ice cubes
If you’re having a hard time keeping fluids down, try sucking on an ice cube to get some water into your body slowly.
You can also make Gatorade ice cubes (just pour Gatorade into an ice cube tray and freeze) to suck on as a way to get fluids and electrolytes.
6. Carry a lemon around with you
I have heard from a couple different ladies that one of the only things that would settle their stomachs during their pregnancies was lemon.
Some preferred squeezing fresh lemon in their water to drink every morning, while others found the tartness of eating a slice of lemon helped.
Another option is to just smell a lemon, and apparently, that can help settle your nausea-prone stomach.
7. Eat bland foods
Even if you were the type of gal who would eat spicy food that was full of flavor before pregnancy, you might want to cut back now that you’re pregnant.
I was that girl, but when I started getting sick from the foods I was eating, it was straight to eating bland food I went.
I’m not a fan of bland food.
I like food that’s popping with flavor. But, my pregnant self did not, so that was something I had to give up for a few months. Now that the nausea is gone, I can happily eat those spicy hot wings again without running to the bathroom mid-dinner.
8. Use a Seaband
Seabands are something I hadn’t heard of until after my morning sickness was gone, but from what I have read about them, there’s seems to be a lot of expecting mamas out there who have found great relief with their Seaband.
Seabands are clinically proven to relieve morning sickness (need I say more?!?). (Source)
They are a wristband that provide relief through acupressure, and apparently, they can offer you relief from your morning sickness as quick as 2 – 5 minutes after putting it on. (This is the one that many mamas recommend.)
9. Preggie Pops
I have never tried these, but I have heard many pregnant women rave about them. Preggie Pops are a pregnancy candy that provide fast, natural relief from morning sickness.
These candy lozenges are made with natural essential oils combined with natural sugars. Plus, this kind here is made with vitamin B6, which also helps get rid of morning sickness.
If you’re a mama struggling with morning sickness whether you’re early on in your pregnancy and haven’t announced it yet, or you’re almost at the finish line, remember – it will all be worth it.
As soon as you’re holding that little baby in your arms, the countless hours you battled to settle your stomach will all fade away (you might even forget about it altogether!).
Are you a mama who has been through the bouts of morning sickness a time or five? Do you have some morning sickness remedies to share with us? I’d love to hear your tips on how to get rid of morning sickness!