Inside: Sick and tired of being sick… and tired? Use these 9 remedies to learn how to get rid of morning sickness in pregnancy when it’s at its worst.
If you’re sitting there, cracker in hand and a puke-bucket beside you, looking for some way to get rid of morning sickness… you need to know this.
“Congratulations! You’re pregnant!” Countless people will hug you and exclaim. While all you can do is smile and nod, trying not to move too much because if you do you’ll irritate your stomach and the storm waves will come crashing in (and there had better be a bathroom nearby).
Yes, pregnancy is a wonderful miracle – but it doesn’t always feel that way. Especially in the first trimester.
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>> Need a quick fix? According to thousands of moms, this is the best way to get rid of morning sickness in a hurry.
Right now, you couldn’t be less interested in hearing about how awesome pregnancy is. All you want to know is how to get rid of morning sickness and how to start feeling like this little human isn’t eating you from the inside out.
Morning Sickness Sucks. There’s No Way Around That
If you’re here, we can agree on one thing: morning sickness is anything but fun.
In case you didn’t already know, you’re not alone in the morning sickness boat, mama. up to 85% of pregnant women will experience morning sickness at some point throughout their pregnancy, so you can bet “how to get rid of morning sickness” is a popular question.
Before we get to the how (how to get rid of morning sickness), let’s go over the what (what is morning sickness).
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is nausea that 80 – 90% of women experience at some point throughout their pregnancy.
Don’t let the name fool you – many pregnant women report having morning sickness at different times throughout the day and night, which is why many people have stopped calling it morning sickness and have started referring to it as “nausea and vomiting during pregnancy”. Fitting.
Morning sickness is often triggered by higher levels of hormones in the pregnant woman’s body indicating a healthier pregnancy.
When Does Morning Sickness Start & How Long Does Morning Sickness Last?
Morning sickness typically starts anywhere between the fourth and seventh week of pregnancy, with it peaking to its worst generally around 9 weeks.
By the third to fourth month of pregnancy, most moms-to-be will see their morning sickness tapering off, but for some women, they can experience this sickness throughout their entire pregnancy.
To answer the question, “how long does morning sickness last?”: most pregnant women will find themselves getting relief from morning sickness around 14 – 17 weeks of pregnancy.
Will Morning Sickness Harm My Baby?
When I first started vomiting like a fire hose early in my pregnancy, this question was heavy on my mind.
Was I harming my baby by throwing up so much in pregnancy?
The answer shocked me:
Morning sickness means your baby is healthy. A recent study also shows that women who had morning sickness during pregnancy may have had a lower chance of miscarrying, and their babies were possibly more intelligent.
Regular morning sickness will not harm you or the baby, however, if you find you have extreme morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, this can cause serious problems during pregnancy.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a fancy way of saying severe and prolonged vomiting, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Signs you may have hyperemesis gravidarum include:
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy weight
- Decreased urination
- Food aversions
If you think you may have hyperemesis gravidarum, call your doctor immediately.
While hyperemesis gravidarum shouldn’t be taken lightly, it’s notable that only .5 – 2% of pregnant women get hyperemesis gravidarum. (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 of morning sickness is believed to be due to the increase in hormone levels that pregnancy brings on.
Another cause of morning sickness could be due to reduced blood sugar levels and is often worse in women who are pregnant with multiples.
Some more possible causes of morning may include:
> Increased Sense of Smell
Pregnancy hormones can make your sense of smell soar. While it’s not always the worst thing in the world (you can smell the bake shop in town making donuts first thing in the morning), sometimes it works against you.
An increased sense of smell and an easily irritable stomach don’t make the greatest combination since there are many smells that are likely to send your stomach doing somersaults even if you don’t know where or what the smell is coming from.
> An Easily Irritable Stomach
Some of the things you were able to eat pre-pregnancy are more than likely off the table for the next nine months, and while one day you may be craving pickles and peanut butter, the next day those foods may send you searching for a toilet to barf in.
Pregnancy doesn’t just bring on physical changes – it brings on mental and appetite changes, too.
>> Free Prenatal Class <<
If you’re pregnant and looking for a prenatal class that fits your budget and your schedule, this free online prenatal class that’s taught by a licensed L&D nurse is all that. (My hubby and I took this one then upgraded to the full class to learn even more.)
How to Get Rid of Morning Sickness & 9 Morning Sickness Remedies
Finally, here are the 9 best ways for how to get rid of morning sickness as soon as it hits.
Ginger is one of the best foods for morning sickness. But you’re not going to want to go out and take a bite of raw ginger root. These dried, candied ginger chunks work phenomenally in settling an upset stomach. (Plus ginger has health benefits, like reducing inflammation.)
Ginger helps to get rid of pregnancy nausea, it helps with diarrhea, it’s high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and Healthline even states:
“Ginger can treat many forms of nausea, especially morning sickness[.] According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea” – Healthline
As with anything else, always speak to your doctor before starting any new foods when pregnant.
We’ve all heard of drinking Ginger Ale to settle an upset stomach… but Coke?
Since learning about the Coca-Cola trick, I’ve long since ditched Ginger Ale and have been using Coke to settle my stomach anytime I get the flu.
For me, it works better than Ginger Ale. So, I tried using it when I was pregnant and got morning sickness… and it worked.
It’s important to remember to pour the coke into a glass and stir all the fizz out when using it to settle an upset stomach, and then sip it slowly, don’t chug it.
Coke does have caffeine in it and mounds of sugar, so you won’t want to drink too much.
However, research has shown it is safe to have up to 200 mg of caffeine a day while pregnant, and a 12 oz can of coke has only 29.4 mg of caffeine in it, so if you have a coke every couple of days to settle your stomach, you should be just fine.
I learned this morning sickness hack from a friend of mine when I was in the flurry of the first-trimester pregnancy nausea and couldn’t keep anything down.
If you can’t seem to eat or drink anything and keep it down, try munching on a freezie.
Even if I couldn’t keep any other food or fluids down, I was able to keep a freezie down, and it gave me something to nibble on for a while.
Keep a box of freezies (or fruit popsicles) in your freezer for those emergency days.
4. Vitamin B6
Always talk to your doctor before starting any new vitamins or supplements during pregnancy.
Many pregnant moms have found morning sickness relief by taking vitamin B6.
This vitamin is an important ingredient in Diclegis (the only FDA-approved prescription medicine for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy).
Some doctors have started giving vitamin B6 alone instead of Diclegis since there is evidence that B6 is an effective treatment on its own.
You can get vitamin B6 without a prescription, and it’s very affordable.
5. Suck on Ice Cubes
If you can’t keep fluids down, try munching on an ice cube. You’ll get at least a bit of fluid from the melting cube, and sometimes chewing on ice is enough to distract you from nausea.
Sometimes it’s hard to stomach water. If that’s the case for you, make ice cubes from Gatorade and chew on those instead.
6. Carry a Lemon Around With You
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it time and time again. The simple act of sniffing a lemon can help ease an upset stomach.
Some pregnant women like to drink lemon water or even suck on a piece of lemon, while others found something as simple as smelling the lemon was enough to calm their bellies. (Don’t want to carry a lemon around everywhere you go? Sniff this instead.)
7. Eat Bland for a While
Before getting pregnant, I loved flavor. Everything I ate needed to be filled with as much flavor as possible.
After getting pregnant, I was a plain-Jane type of gal. No more flavor, just bland foods (until the pregnancy nausea subsided).
During pregnancy, you’ll find some flavors – and scents – send you looking for a bathroom, so try to avoid those and stick with bland foods instead.
8. Use a Seaband
Seabands are something I hadn’t heard of until after my morning sickness was gone. But by the sounds of it, there have been a lot of expectant mamas who have used these to reduce and even take away their morning sickness.
Seabands have been shown to offer relief from morning sickness as quickly as 2 – 5 minutes after putting it on.
9. Preggie Pops
These pregnancy candies provide fast, natural relief from morning sickness. They’re made with natural essential oils combined with natural sugars, and this particular brand includes vitamin B6, which also helps with relieving pregnancy nausea.
How to Prevent Morning Sickness
If you haven’t been hit with morning sickness yet, you’re probably not as interested in pregnancy nausea relief as you are in what causes morning sickness and how to prevent morning sickness so that you can try to avoid getting it in the first place.
One thing to keep in mind while preventing morning sickness is that each and every pregnancy is different. What works for one person may not work for you, and what works for you may not work for the next person.
That’s why it’s important to be open to trying new things – but stick with your gut. If you know something absolutely will not work for you or it’ll just make you sicker, then don’t do it. But, don’t be so stuck in your ways that you miss out on experimenting and finding something that does work for you.
How to Prevent Morning Sickness in 7 Steps
(If you already have morning sickness and are just looking for ways to get rid of it, scroll down to the section “How to Get Rid of Morning Sickness” below this one.)
Eat Frequent Snacks
Some women have reported that being hungry can worsen morning sickness. Instead of eating three regular meals throughout the day, try to graze and eat smaller portions more frequently to keep your stomach filled at all times.
Staying hydrated is so, so important during pregnancy. Becoming dehydrated won’t only affect you, it will also have negative effects on your growing baby.
If drinking water worsens your pregnancy nausea, try adding something like these Mio Flavors to your water to add flavor, infuse it with lemon, or substitute it with some other non-sugar-filled fluids.
Using a reusable water bottle (particularly this one that tells you how much you should be drinking according to the time) will help you drink more water. This way you don’t have to go out of your way to get a drink, instead, you can take sips every couple of minutes.
Sleep Where You Can, When You Can
The more sleep you can get, the better you’ll feel. (Plus, you can’t tell if your stomach is upset when you’re napping.)
Use a break at work to sneak off to your car and take a quick cat-nap in the backseat. Use weekends to catch up on some much-needed Zzz’s before baby comes, and don’t feel bad for turning down plans so that you can rest instead.
If you’re struggling to sleep due to pregnancy discomfort, using a pregnancy pillow helps alleviate pregnancy pains, and align your body while you sleep, resulting in more restful and deep sleep.
If you don’t already have a pregnancy pillow, you can grab one here for $50 off with the coupon code MHM50
Take Your Prenatal Vitamins Strategically
My prenatal vitamins used to make me sicker than sick. I remember multiple times standing in front of the kitchen sink, taking a mouthful of water and popping the pill into my mouth.
Before it’s even all the way down…
…back up it comes.
Something needed to change, or else neither me or the baby were going to be getting the required nutrients from the vitamins.
So, I started taking my prenatal vitamins at night and with a light snack. Doing this seemed to help me get sick a lot less from the vitamins. And, the second time around I was a lot smarter about it…
…I gave in and purchased this kind of prenatal vitamin.
Avoid Strong Scents
An overactive sense of smell thanks to pregnancy hormones means you’ll be smelling smells you’ve never experienced before. Pair that with a stomach that’s constantly turning and you’ve got a recipe for a disaster.
Since your senses are on such high alert already, try to avoid using strong scents.
During my pregnancy, strong scents did one of two things for me (or both, if I was lucky):
- Make me feel nauseous
- Give me a major headache
Once I realized that strong scents were making me feel gross (even my favorite candle), I stopped wearing perfume, threw away my car air-fresheners, put the candles in storage, and switched to a homemade deodorant that had next to no smell.
My sweet husband even helped out by switching to my homemade deodorant, too. What an awesome guy.
Breakfast in Bed
Morning sickness will often be worse on an empty stomach, [find something to back up this claim] which can make mornings miserable for many women.
Keeping some crackers, toast, or other mild foods on your night table to munch on as soon as you wake up and move too much will help ease the morning sickness and possibly fight it off for a little while longer.
Having these foods on your night table is also good in case you wake up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach. This way you don’t need to move out of bed or even fully wake up to – hopefully – find some relief.
Eat What You Want to Eat
Early on in my pregnancy, I was so worried about eating the “right” foods that I kept forcing stuff down my throat that was coming back up at the speed of light, even if I knew it was going to make me throw up.
…because it was healthy, and I needed to eat healthily, right?
I’ve since learned that eating something you can actually keep down – even if it’s not necessarily healthy – is more important than eating healthy if it’s just coming right back up.
Your stomach has most of the say these days, so let it eat what it wants to eat.
Eating healthy in pregnancy is important, so when you’re past the morning sickness stage and can stomach the thought of a salad, go ahead and start eating healthy.
Until then, just find something you can keep down, and eat that. At this point, any food is better than no food.
How to Cope With Morning Sickness
If none of the above suggestions help to prevent morning sickness, here are 4 things you can do to cope with morning sickness throughout the day.
Remember that every woman and every body is different – so while some of these suggestions to help get rid of pregnancy nausea will help, others you may find don’t help at all.
Just keep trying until you find something that works for you.
- Sniff a Lemon
Carrying a fresh lemon around with you and sniffing it at the first signs of a queasy stomach may help your morning sickness subside. If you don’t want to carry an actual lemon around in your purse, you could get this oil and sniff it anytime your stomach starts to churn. (Afraid to use essential oils in pregnancy? Here’s a list of which oils are safe to use – lemon is on there – and which ones should be avoided.)
- Drink Tea
Drinking a soothing tea – nothing too strong – is another way to soothe an upset stomach. For me, chamomile tea worked the best. It’s a gentle tea, has a mild taste, and helps with sleep, which I needed. It is also caffeine free so I didn’t have to worry about having too much caffeine while pregnant. Drinking too much herbal tea while pregnant isn’t always advised, so you could check with your doctor before starting.
- Eat Candied Ginger
Ginger is notorious for calming upset stomachs (we used to give our horses ginger chunks before we’d trailer them anywhere to soothe their bellies). Carrying a small case of ginger candies around with you can go a long way in getting rid of pregnancy nausea when it strikes out of nowhere.
Last but not least, get plenty of rest. Resting, if nothing else, will at least help pass the time as you wait for your morning sickness to diminish (which usually happens anywhere between 14 – 17 weeks).
Your Turn… How to Get Rid of Morning Sickness
Do you have any tips and tricks that you use to get rid of morning sickness that work? Feel free to share them with everyone else in a comment below.