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Morning sickness might have been one of the first clues that you are expecting a baby – it doesn’t take long until you realize the nauseous feeling you’re experiencing is morning sickness.
Some days you may find yourself dealing with a difficult bout of morning sickness or notice your nausea doesn’t happen in the morning but at night.
Yes, while it might be called morning sickness, it should be named all-day sickness if you ask me. UGH.
Whether you have severe morning sickness that keeps you from getting out of bed for hours and makes it nearly impossible for you to have anything to eat or just feel blah each morning, follow the tips below to get some relief. Plus, learn more about morning sickness, what causes it, and when it’ll go away.
Remember, if you are struggling and feel severe morning sickness is affecting your health, you should talk to your doctor about your concerns and get the care you need.
RELATED: The Best First Trimester To-Do List
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is a condition many pregnant women experience during the early stages of their pregnancy. Symptoms can include fatuge, nausea and vomiting. The cause of morning sickness is unknown, but it is thought to be related to the changing levels of hormones in a woman’s body. There is no cure for morning sickness or particular risk factors, but some things can help lessen the symptoms (which we will review below).
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent morning sickness- but it can be better managed (try the tips below). Morning sickness usually goes away by the end of the first trimester, but in some cases, it can persist throughout the pregnancy.
Symptoms of Morning Sickness
What does morning sickness feel like? It can start subtly or hit you suddenly. Symptoms can include one or more of the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Food aversions
- Smell aversions
- Fatigue or low energy
These symptoms can vary from mild annoyance to severe nausea (called hyperemesis gravidarum). There is no way to know how pregnancy will affect you. Some experienced moms will tell you they had very different symptoms with each of their pregnancies- with previous pregnancy helping them come up with theories about gender, time of year, and more. Ultimately, you won’t know until you’re there yourself!
When Does Morning Sickness Start?
Morning sickness typically starts between the fourth and eighth weeks of pregnancy (when hormones start ramping up), but it can start as early as the first week.
With my second pregnancy, I remember thinking I got away without symptoms this time. Then, BAM, they struck me at 6 weeks on the dot 🙂 Just like most things in pregnancy, you never know, and it’s best to stay open-minded to what pregnancy will throw at you.
9 Essentials Tips for Morning Sickness Relief
#1 Have a Cup of Ginger Tea in the Morning and Before Bed
You can purchase ginger teabags at the store or make them at home using boiling hot water mixed with grated pieces of ginger.
Drinking a cup when you first get up in the morning and right before you go to bed- or any time of day your symptoms get worse- can help combat your morning sickness.
It is known to help those who suffer from motion sickness, too.
If you are going to drink ginger tea, make sure you are not guzzling it (that won’t help!).
Take your time while drinking it to see if it help you feel better.
Not everyone is fond of the strong ginger flavor, but if it reduces your morning sickness symptoms, it may be something you do not mind drinking each day. You can also find ginger chews if you aren’t a fan of tea too.
I love mine with some lemon and a splash of honey to give it some flavor.
#2 Drink Plenty of Water and Liquids
Hydration is essential for all human beings.
It is even more important when you are pregnant.
If you are not hydrated, you may suffer from a broad range of side effects, including dizziness, constipation, and nausea.
You may be dehydrated and unaware of it.
It is common for a pregnant woman to easily end up dehydrated because they are not consuming enough water and are also struggling with morning sickness.
Try to drink as much water as you can each day. It may help to keep the water at room temperature to prevent teeth sensitivity (common during pregnancy) and make it easier to process for your grumbly stomach too. How much water do you need? Rather than focusing on a number, use your pee color as an indicator. It sohuldbe clear to very pale yellow when you’re hydrated.
If you are properly hydrated, you might not feel as sick as you were feeling beforehand.
You can consume the water cold, warm, or hot. If you have difficulty drinking water because of its plain taste or severe nausea, add lemon slices, lime slices, or even fresh berries to it for natural added flavor.
#3 Try Eating Dry Foods When You Have Trouble Holding Food Down
You may have trouble holding some of your favorite foods down.
I was super sad when my go-to favorite Mexican dishes suddenly made me queasy.
It does not mean you cannot eat these foods during your pregnancy, but you might want to hold off until you have managed to overcome the morning sickness that commonly occurs during the first trimester. Flavorful foods just don’t taste good when they come back up- blech.
Dry foods often help combat morning sickness- the same ones you ate as a kid when you got stomach bug.
These foods might include saltine crackers, cereal without milk, peanut butter crackers, graham crackers, and pretzels. You can keep them near your night stand for a small snack when you first get up to avoid an empty stomach.
Keep them around for times of the day when you feel most nauseous. If they help, that’s great! Then, try to add more variety to your daily diet as you can handle it.
Other bland foods that can help relieve nausea:
- Cold foods
- Mashed potatoes
- Fruit juice
- Carbonated drinks (not soda pop)
- Bagel with cream cheese
- Ginger ale
- Ginger chews
- And anything that sounds good!
Other food tips for fighting morning sickness:
Research shows that protein-rich meals are best to ease nausea. It keeps your body satieted best when compared to carb or fat heavy meals. Plus, too many carbs- although they may be bland- can also lead to blood sugar spikes that can actually exacerbate your nausea.
Overall, do your best to find a balance and eat foods that curb your nausea and prevent vomiting.
RELATED: How To Combat Pregnancy Fatigue
#4 Wear a Nausea Relief Wristband
Did you know that nausea relief wristbands are a thing?
These morning sickness bands have helped many women who struggle with morning sickness.
The wristbands are drug-free and safe to use while you are pregnant.
They rely on acupressure to combat morning sickness. You can test it out by applying prolonged pressure to the inside wrist. You can learn more about the wrist pressure point, and other potential nausea-relieving points here.
You can read reviews to get more information on the wristband and how it has helped others overcome the frustrating symptoms they were experiencing while pregnant.
#5 Avoid Consuming Heavy, Greasy Foods
Many pregnant women will crave certain foods, but you should avoid having anything too greasy or heavy on the stomach while suffering from morning sickness. Avoid spicy and fatty foods when you’re not feeling so great.
If you have nausea and vomiting more often than not, certain foods like rich pasta, pizza, and tacos can cause more harm than good by making the nausea worse.
You can still indulge throughout your pregnancy and in daily life, but you should wait until your morning sickness subsided.
Stick to lighter options to reduce nausea like toast, protein bars, plain pasta, smoothies, scrambled eggs, or anything else you can handle without upsetting your stomach.
RELATED: Newborn Baby Shopping List
#6 Have Light Snacks Instead of Heavy Meals
Eating anything might seem like more of a chore for you these days because you experience morning sickness.
While you might not have much of an appetite, it does help to have light snacks or small meals instead of consuming large meals.
As long as you are fueling your body with enough nutrients, you are still getting the vitamins and nutrients you and your unborn baby need.
Not sure what types of light snacks to have?
Consider dry toast, apple slices with peanut butter, peanut butter crackers, carrots with hummus or ranch dip, and even mixed nuts.
RELATED: Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
#7 Avoid Getting Out of Bed Too Early When You Feel Sick
Try not to get out of bed too fast when you suffer from morning sickness because it could worsen things.
When you first get up in the morning, try to inhale and exhale deeply for several minutes.
Gather your bearings, take a sip of water, maybe even have a small snack, and then work on getting out of bed.
If you hop right out of bed, you may get motion sickness and feel dizzy and nauseous right away, causing you to run to the bathroom to vomit before you can do anything else.
Some women will keep a stash of crackers by their bed to munch on before getting up.
#8 Take Your Prenatal Vitamin at Night Instead of the Morning
Some women say that the prenatal vitamins prescribed to them make them feel even worse.
It is not just a myth.
It is believed that the extra iron in these supplements may contribute to morning sickness, but each woman has a different experience.
If you have that problem, try taking your prenatal vitamins at night instead of in the morning when you start the day.
You want to take these vitamins because they are good for your baby’s development, but you do not want them to make you feel terrible the entire pregnancy, either.
Additionally, you may consider adding vitamin B12 to your vitamin regime to fight nausea. Some of my mom friends swore by it, and I tried it for a while when my nausea was at its worst from weeks 6 to 10.
#9 Get Enough Rest
Rest is important for morning sickness because it allows the body to recuperate and helps to prevent dehydration. When a person is tired, their body is not able to fight off nauea or other sickness as well- which is why it is important for pregnant women to get plenty of rest.
You’ll likely need a lot more rest than usual too to curb nausea and vomiting. I went from sleeping 6 to 8 hours a night, to 9 or more hours per night. For me, when I prioritized an early bed time (when my nausea and fatgue was actually worst), I always felt a little better in the morning.
What Helps Morning Sickness the Most?
Try any of the remedies above to see what helps you the most. It will vary from woman to woman. Getting enough rest was the most important part of surviving my first trimester and beyond.
What Else Can I Take for Morning Sickness?
If you want to take a vitamin or meds for nausea and vomiting, it’s always best to talk to your doctor first about medical treatment- especially if you suspect you have hypermesis gravidarum. Options for early pregnancy sickness and severe vomiting might include the following:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K and C (taken together)
- Vitamin D
- Anti-nausea medications or antiemetic drugs, like Diclegis (prescription needed for hyperemesis gravidarum)
Note: Pepto Bismol is not considered safe for pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about safe options.
When Does Morning Sickness Peak?
Morning sickness tends to peak around the 9-week mark. If you’re feeling miserable, keep this time frame in mind and take it one day at a time. As you get closer to the second trimester, you can hopefully look forward to some reprieve.
When Does Morning Sickness End?
How long does morning sickness last? It can feel like it’ll never end when you’re feeling terrible. The average length is approximately 8 weeks (from week 5 to 13).
Thankfully, for most women, morning sickness usually ends as you enter the second trimester as pregnancy hormonal changes level out. For some women, symptoms will go away completely, while others will notice a decrease in the severity as symptoms gradually fade. Unfortunately, a few lucky moms will deal with morning sickness symptoms throughout pregnancy.
Is Morning Sickness a Good Sign?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people believe that morning sickness is a good sign, as it indicates that the woman’s body reacts to the pregnancy. However, others believe that morning sickness can be a very unpleasant experience and is not always a sign of a healthy pregnancy, especially when dealing with a severe form like hypermesis gravidarum. Ultimately, whether or not morning sickness is a good sign depends on the individual woman’s perspective.
When Should I Talk to My Doctor About Morning Sickness Symptoms?
You should talk to your doctor about morning sickness symptoms if they are severe, you have persistent symptoms for more than two weeks, or prevent you from carrying out your normal activities. Plus, in severe cases, if you lose weight this is a sign you need to talk to you OB immediately.
Very severe symptoms, also known as hyperemesis gravidarum, can lead to severe dehydration and malnourishment due to an inability to keep water or food down. Definitely talk to your doctor immediately if you are struggling.
There’s a Light at the End of the Tunnel: Mama!
Even though morning sickness sucks, you’ll get through it. Because you’re one strong mom! Ultimately, be kind to yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re at your worst. It’s a perfect time to start asking for help and earn how to set aside time for crucial self-care.
Before you know it, you’ll be in the middle and then the end of your pregnancy and ready to meet your baby.
Are you struggling with morning sickness? What remedies helped you the most to relieve symptoms of pregnancy nausea and vomiting? What didn’t help you? I tried all of the remedies above myself- my favorites were rest, exercise, and distraction. I’d love to hear your recommendations!