Severe nausea hit me like a ton of bricks just 5 weeks into my pregnancy. I don’t get hangovers, so I really wasn’t prepared for morning sickness - Nausea. Every. Damn. Morning.
Worse, the morning sickness would last all day long. It’s a miserable way to feel; I had to find a way to fight it.
I dove into everything Google had to say about morning sickness, and I tried anything and everything it suggested to do to feel better. I’m happy to say I found a bunch of tips that actually worked! For all you mothers-to-be who are also suffering from morning sickness, read this list.
I’ve included everything that worked for me. Every body responds differently to remedies, so mine might not work for you. But for the chance to be able to get out of bed in the morning without sprinting to the bathroom to puke...it’s worth a shot, am I right?
1. Eat something before you get out of bed.
This was a huge one for me, and the number one reason I could start my day off on the right foot (i.e. not queasy and miserable). My husband would get up before me and bring me cut up grapefruit, a glass of grapefruit juice and a packet of plain, bland crackers - every single morning. Grapefruit was one of the few things I could eat that didn’t make me nauseous, so that’s what we focused on every single day.
I’d eat the grapefruit while I was still halfway lying down. For some reason it felt like even the slightest movement on an empty stomach was like rocking the nausea boat. And once I started feeling queasy, there was no getting out of it. Eating grapefruit lying down helped, and then I’d take my time drinking the juice and eating some crackers sitting up.
Give it a try! Choose a fruit that works for you. The crackers I added just to have something a little more substantial in my tummy – I never craved them (actually, plain crackers are the devil and I hate them. But you gotta do what you gotta do).
2. Get your fruit on. Fruit is your friend!
Ditch what anyone has ever told you about fruit - at least during morning sickness. Fruit will not hurt you! I stocked up on green apples and grapefruit because for two straight weeks, they were the only things I could eat. I could also eat sour, slightly unripe fruits of any kind - firm kiwis, solid mangoes, green grapes.
I sent Dennis to the supermarket with the most detailed grocery lists you’ve ever seen:
- 4 kiwis – FIRM (they do NOT dent when you press your thumb into them!)
- 2 mangoes – UNRIPE (so unripe you wouldn’t even think of wanting to eat them!!)
- sparkling water – THE RIGHT KIND
Pretty amusing. He returned one day with mangoes that so clearly were not unripe. They were juicy and soft, but still considered not quite ready by my Caribbean husband. I gagged as I took them out of the bag. Ugh.
So. Eat fruits, but do it on your terms! You can’t overeat on fruits; they have high water content and there is so much to choose from. Of course, go organic if you can!
3. Drink sparkling water.
This kept me alive, people. Sparkling water over ice, to be exact. It was the only way I could ingest fluids. Something about the bubbles made the taste sharper, less flat, easier on the taste buds. You can always flavor it with lemon, mint or a dash of cranberry juice if you’re feeling brave.
But remember - over ice. Over ICE! Ice saves lives.
4. Eat a little bit every 90 minutes.
Or eat around every 2 hours. It sounds insane, but it works. Having something in your stomach at all times is key. If I’d eat every 90 minutes, all day long, the nausea would just sort of go away.
What I was able to eat varied from day to day, but it was always tiny portions of carefully selected foods:
- Fruits, mostly; I ate so much grapefruit I’m surprised I didn’t turned into one.
- Cold food worked the best for me - nothing heated or with too much flavor.
- Fruits and crackers always worked.
- Vegan yogurt with plain cornflakes was a big hit for a while, and cornflakes with almond milk and raisins. I never liked cornflakes before, but hail the yellow gold! It doesn’t taste like much, but it fills you up a bit.
- Rice with soy sauce and boiled broccoli was successful a few times.
- Dried fruits hit the spot, sometimes.
Weird little meals like that.
I would just go for what my cravings wanted every 90 minutes. This meant my kitchen needed to be stocked for every imaginable possibility, and that my husband was sent out for impromptu grocery shopping every other day. Thank god for Dennis.
5. Don’t overeat.
This is a big one! I had it happen a few times (evenings in front of Netflix, mostly, when I wasn’t paying enough attention to my body). I felt almost normal, and then I dug in a little too deep to whatever was in front of me, thinking I could eat like normal.
DO. NOT. DO. THIS. Not if your pregnancy nausea is bad. It resulted with me regretting every bite and almost throwing up, every time.
Don’t overfill your stomach. Go for many small meals throughout the day instead.
6. Eat ginger (if you can!).
Yes, every pregnancy site you pull up will talk about ginger and it’s magical healing nausea powers. But let’s take a moment and get real, people: who the hell wants to eat ginger when they’re about to throw up?? NO ONE, that’s who.
Ginger in foods does not work for me, crystallized ginger is the worst, and I wasn’t able to find ginger candy that was edible.
But give it a try for yourself – for many people, chewing on ginger stuff works!
I found that infusing my sparkling water (OVER ICE) with cut-up, fresh ginger and some lemon worked. But not too much. A little ginger goes a very long way.
7. For your heightened sense of smell, use essential oils.
Okay, so this one will sound very hippie and like it absolutely won’t work. But it does! I have a small essential oil diffuser, and using a few drops of eucalyptus oil made my house smell less like dogs and dirty yoga mats and more like, well, eucalyptus.
This is more about covering up smells that your newly sensitive nose might be sensitive to than it is about the actual power of the essential oil.
I made it a habit to carry a small bottle of peppermint or eucalyptus oil with me everywhere I went so that I could take a whiff whenever I came across something unpleasant (like getting stuck behind a garbage truck. Or picking up Dennis from soccer practice). Lol.
8. When water won’t stay down, eat popsicles.
Yay! A fun tip! During my first week of super awful nausea I was completely unable to drink water, even sparkling water (over ice). I got dehydrated, which led to really bad headaches – not a fun addition to wanting to throw up round the clock.
I found this tip online and while it sounded silly, it actually worked! You can buy natural popsicles in many stores these days – go for ones made with real fruits and without a ton of sugar. Or, you can get popsicle molds and make your own! Some orange juice, passion fruit and fresh strawberries thrown in a blender makes for a delicious way to drink OJ. Or try using natural sodas/juices in the molds – delicious! Anything that helps you keep fluids down.
9. Bring snacks with you everywhere you go.
This is one of the most important tips I can give you. You don’t want to get stuck somewhere feeling a wave of nausea coming up with nothing for you to snack on but French fries (ugh) or chocolate bars (kill me now). For some reason, I wasn’t able to eat chocolate during much of my pregnancy.
I would pack a grapefruit, a green apple, dried fruits and crackers in my bag every time I left the house. And hey, this is good practice for always packing snacks for your baby later on, too!
It’s important to keep a positive outlook while your body is creating a miracle. This is very challenging when you’re overcome by nausea all day long, though.
After you’ve had your first mini meal of the day (lying down, perhaps), take at least five minutes to sit in silence and focus on your breath.
Visualize deep, cleansing inhalations filling you with peace and calm.
Everything you have been holding onto from the previous day that you want to release, let it go with your exhale. Place a hand on your belly and feel the magic your are creating this very moment!
Meditating was so important (and helpful) that I filmed a 10-minute guided meditations on morning sickness on oneOeight.com, too.
Feeling pregnancy symptoms is a GOOD THING. It is! Your nausea means hormones are rushing like crazy through your body because it’s busy growing a baby! Remind yourself every day of the miracle this is.
Day-long morning sickness and all.
Have you come across any tips that I didn’t list above? Share with the other moms in the comments below!