Are you currently expecting and can’t keep anything down? Are you having trouble eating and getting to work because you’re so nauseous?
Up to 80% of women will experience morning sickness at some point throughout their pregnancy. While morning sickness is typically a normal part of pregnancy and causes no harm to your baby, it can cause a lot of discomfort for you and can negatively affect your daily functions.
But how are you able to alleviate these symptoms without pumping your body full of toxic medications? In fact, many medical attempts to reduce morning sickness through medication have not been proven safe for an unborn baby. Luckily, there are lots of safe natural remedies that can help alleviate your morning sickness symptoms.
In this post, we will cover why it’s called morning sickness, when symptoms peak, what causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and 13 of the best natural remedies for morning sickness.
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Why is it Called “Morning Sickness?”
Despite its name, morning sickness can actually occur at any time of the day or night. However, symptoms are more likely to occur early in the day when blood sugar levels are at their lowest, hence the name “morning sickness.” Some women only experience nausea in the morning, while others may experience it all day long and are barely able to leave the porcelain throne.
When Does Morning Sickness Begin and End?
Generally, morning sickness begins in the first month of pregnancy, peaks around week 6, and persists until week 14. For some women, the nausea and vomiting will continue well into the second trimester, and some may even experience intermittent episodes throughout their entire pregnancy.
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What Causes Morning Sickness?
There’s several factors that could be the cause of your nausea and vomiting during pregnancy:
- Increased hormone levels: The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone increases rapidly in early pregnancy. The rise of hCG along with the rise of estrogen tends to peak around the same time nausea usually does. If you are having multiples, the amount of these hormones could exacerbate your morning sickness.
- Reduced blood sugar: Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be caused by the placenta draining energy from the mother’s body, often creating nausea.
- Enhanced sense of smell: Your sensitivity to certain odors could create an instant trigger to the gag reflex.
- Sensitive stomach: Some women’s digestive tracts are just more sensitive to all of the changes your body goes through during pregnancy.
- Stress: Nausea and vomiting could simply be an abnormal response to all of the emotional and physical stress that your body is going through.
- Fatigue: I know it feels like your constantly wanting to sleep during the first trimester, but you need to listen to your body, as increased fatigue can trigger or exacerbate your morning sickness.
Natural Morning Sickness Remedies
Here are 13 of the best natural morning sickness remedies that can help alleviate and prevent that dreadful nausea and vomiting.
Ginger is well known for all kinds of digestive support. Try drinking some ginger tea or ginger ale, chewing on some ginger candies, or taking a bite of pickled ginger (like the kind you get when you go to a sushi restaurant) before and after you eat. There’s also powdered ginger root capsules you can take.
Dosage: Steep 1 tsp. of freshly grated ginger root in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Do not exceed two full cups of ginger tea daily.
For capsules, you can take 2 “00” capsules every few hours, but do not exceed 10 capsules per day.
Anything mint can help ease the stomach and reduce nausea. Sip on a cup of peppermint tea, suck on some peppermint candies, or drink some peppermint infused water to curb your queasiness.
3.) Essential Oils
Essential oils can be a great tool for nausea. However, ALL essential oils be avoided during the first trimester, which of course is when morning sickness is usually at its peak.
If you are dealing with morning sickness beyond the first trimester, oils, such as ginger, peppermint, spearmint, and sweet orange can help ease your nausea and vomiting. Dilute and apply topically or inhale via a diffuser, personal inhaler, or diffuser necklace. Never ingest essential oils during pregnancy.
Acupressure works to restore your body’s balance, energy, and flow by applying pressure to set points on the body. To relieve morning sickness symptoms, the pressure point is employed by the P6 (Neiguan) acupuncture point. This point is located about three fingers below the wrist on the forearm, between the prominent tendons. Apply pressure to this point four times a day, for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
You can also access this point using a tool called a Sea Band, which is a product designed to eliminate motion sickness. These bracelets contain plastic studs which stimulate the P6 acupuncture point.
5.) Cold Washcloth
Try applying a cold washcloth to your forehead, neck, or throat to help ease your nausea.
6.) Vitamin B6
Some women have found that taking between 50 and 200mg of vitamin B6 daily drastically reduced their morning sickness symptoms. Vitamin B6 is thought to be effective, because it helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Because supplements may aggravate your stomach and actually trigger nausea, it is best to avoid taking them on an empty stomach. Try taking them with food or a glass of orange juice.
If you have the MTHFR mutation, you’ll need a methylated version of vitamin B6, such as Thorne’s Basic B Complex.
Dosage: Start by taking 25mg twice daily. If nausea/vomiting still persists, try taking 25mg three times daily and increase as needed, but do not go above 200mg daily. Be sure to check your prenatal vitamin ingredients, as it most likely has vitamin B6 in it.
Carbohydrates, especially potatoes, can help with morning sickness. Potatoes are thought to help because they have alkalizing properties and absorb excess stomach acid.
8.) Get Plenty of Rest
Your body is going through so many changes during pregnancy; your hormone levels are rising, you’re developing a whole new organ, and of course growing another human being! That plays quite the tool on your body.
I know it may feel like all your doing is sleeping during the first trimester, but listen to your body and get some rest, otherwise you’ll just feel icky all day. Take a nice, relaxing bath and ask for help with your responsibilities. By staying well rested, you will help minimize your nausea and vomiting.
9.) Stay Hydrated
Regular fluid intake in small amounts will keep you hydrated and help eliminate your morning sickness. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and sip on it throughout the day. You can even infuse it with peppermint and/or lemon for extra relief.
If fluids are too much for you to handle, even in small amounts, try chewing on some ice chips. If you absolutely cannot keep any kind of fluids down, seek medical attention as soon as possible, as IV fluids will probably be necessary.
10.) Small, Frequent Meals
Having an empty stomach can lower your blood sugar and will often trigger nausea and vomiting. Try to keep something in your stomach at all times. Take some nutritious snacks with you everywhere you go, and eat small frequent meals throughout the day.
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If none of the remedies listed above are working for you, then it may be a good idea to contact your midwife or OB/GYN and talk to them about using the following remedies:
11.) Nux Vomica
Nux Vomica is a homeopathic medicine that was designed for hangover relief. It helps with nausea, indigestion, upset stomach, and heartburn. It is non-drowsy and has no known drug interactions or side effects.
Dosage: Dissolve 5 pellets under the tongue 3 times a day until symptoms are relieved or as directed by a doctor.
Diclegis is a prescription drug (so, not completely natural), but it’s actually mostly vitamins. It’s comprised of doxylamine (an antihistamine) and pyridoxine (a form of vitamin B6). This is the only FDA approved class A drug for morning sickness relief, meaning that it has the highest safety rating and has been proven safe for both you and your baby.
Dicelgis does cause drowsiness and should not be taken if you are allergic to doxylamine or pyridoxine, or to other antihistamines such as Benadryl or Dramamine.
Unisom Natural Nights Sleep Tablets, an over-the-counter sleep aid, contains an antinausea ingredient that can help ease your morning sickness. Most practitioners agree that this product is safe to take during pregnancy. Because Unisom is a sleep aid, it’s best to take it at bedtime, especially if your symptoms are typically worse in the mornings.
Dosage: Take 12.5mg (1/2) tablet by mouth at bedtime.
When to Worry
In most cases, morning sickness is a completely normal part of pregnancy will cause no harm to your baby. However, there are certain times where it can pose risks and complications. You should call your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following severe symptoms:
- severe nausea and/or vomiting
- passing very little urine or urine dark in color
- cannot keep any fluids down
- dizziness and/or fainting
- Rapid heart rate
- vomiting blood
- Weight loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy weight
If you are having severe morning sickness symptoms, it’s most likely that you have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition occurs in 1-2% of pregnancies, and causes severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte imbalance. Hyperemesis gravidarum can be managed, but can also get so severe that hospitalization is required.
For more information and support on hyperemesis gravidarum you can go to the HER (Hyperemesis Education & Research) Foundation or the Facebook group, Hyperemesis Gravidarum Sufferers and Survivors.
Morning sickness is usually a completely normal part of pregnancy, that causes no harm. It’s often one of the very first signs of pregnancy and frequently correlates with the rapid rise of hCG. It can also be caused by sensitivity to smells, low blood sugar, fatigue and stress.
Many anti-nausea medications have not been proven safe for use during pregnancy, but luckily there are several natural remedies that are, such as ginger, peppermint, essential oils, acupressure, potatoes, vitamin B6, staying well hydrated and keeping your tummy fed. If none of these remedies are helping you can talk to your provider about Dicelgis, Nux Vomica, and/or Unisom. If you are experiencing any severe symptoms or dehydration, be sure to seek medical care as soon as possible.
What About You?
Did you experience morning sickness during your pregnancy? Comment below and tell us what helped alleviate your nausea and vomiting. Be sure to share this post with all of your nauseous pregnant friends.
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4.) “The Natural Pregnancy Book” Third Edition by Aviva Jill Romm
***Disclaimer: I am NOT a health care professional. The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition. See full disclaimer here.