Ah, morning sickness. It’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with this common pregnancy symptom. It’s usually one of the first signs you’re pregnant (yippee!). But – to be blunt – it can also f*cking suck (ugh!). So, let’s cut to the chase and chat about morning sickness, specifically, morning sickness remedies – yep, we’re going to give you nine ideas to try at home.
What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness is nausea and/or vomiting that comes on during pregnancy. And despite its name, it can happen any time of the day or night (joy).
Who gets morning sickness?
Anyone who’s pregnant can get morning sickness. But according to Renee Lynch, a clinical Naturopath and Holistic Nutritionist, “Mild to moderate nausea in pregnancy affects 70 to 80 per cent of women, and approximately 50 per cent experience vomiting.”
Interestingly, there are factors that can also increase your likelihood of having morning sickness (f*ck!). These include:
- You had nausea and vomiting from motion sickness, migraines, or exposure to estrogen before pregnancy.
- You’ve had morning sickness during a previous pregnancy.
- You are pregnant with twins or other multiples.
When does morning sickness start?
And most importantly, how long does morning sickness last?!
While many sources say morning sickness starts around the four to six-week mark, recent research indicates morning sickness can begin even in the very early stages of pregnancy – think eight to 10 days after ovulation. And when does morning sickness end? It usually dissipates around week 12-14 (though an unlucky few can experience it throughout pregnancy).
What causes morning sickness?
We don’t exactly know. But possible causes include changes to your hormones, blood pressure, and carbohydrate metabolism. (Basically, all the things your ‘bod is doing to make a home for your babe.)
What helps with morning sickness?
While you can’t really ‘cure’ morning sickness, you can take steps to relieve it. Here are nine home remedies for morning sickness:
- Eat less and more often. Having too full or too empty a stomach can make you feel nasty at the best of times. Let alone if you’re experiencing morning sickness. So smaller frequent snacks are your go-to.
- Eat as soon as you wake up. Remember how you’d line your stomach with a bread base before hitting the club? (Those were the days!) It’s the same concept. Lay down a base of crackers or dry cereal to help keep that morning sickness nausea at bay. Carbs are your friend.
- Keep yourself away from nausea triggers. When morning sickness strikes, particular tastes and smells can, quite simply, make you feel downright ill. It could be milky drinks, or spicy curries, or just the smell of your partner’s deodorant. Whatever it is, identify those triggers and avoid them.
- Make wise food choices. The foods you eat, particularly during the first trimester, can help ease the ‘quease. Find foods that are easy to digest, bland (e.g., they won’t make your stomach churn), and calming. Avoid foods that are particularly greasy, spicy, sweet, acidic, or fatty – these are harder on the ‘tum. You might try lean meats, nuts, seafood, crackers, bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, salty foods, and anything with ginger or peppermint.
- Pop a little nausea-fighting tablet. There are products out there (like this one) that contain vitamins, minerals, and herbal ingredients that are shown to help ease pregnancy-induced nausea in one yummy (they’re orange-flavored) chewable tablet. So easy. Though, do speak to your primary care provider for individualized health advice before taking any supplements or treatments for morning sickness.
- Slap on an acupressure bracelet. Performing acupressure on the P6 point, which sits on your wrist, is one way of relieving morning sickness. You could stimulate that little spot yourself, or you could pop on a bracelet (like this one) that’s designed to do the job for you.
- Take vitamin B6. Ingesting just 50mg of vitamin B6 daily has been shown to help with pregnancy-related nausea (this product fits the brief). But do check in with your primary care provider before taking any supplements or treatments for morning sickness.
- Drop into the drugstore. If vitamin B6 doesn’t relieve your symptoms on its own, you can try taking it in combination with an over-the-counter medication called doxylamine (funnily, it’s often sold as a sleep aid called Unisom). Again, do chat with your doctor before taking any supplements or treatments for morning sickness.
- Rest, hydrate, and get outdoors. Morning sickness can be tough on your body and can make you feel ‘blah’. Rest, to conserve your energy. Hydrate, to keep your fluids up (try flat lemonade, diluted fruit juice, ginger or peppermint tea, or clear soup if water is triggering you). And get some goddamn fresh air to, if anything, distract yourself from the morning sickness.
When to get help
If your morning sickness symptoms are persisting, or they are moderate to severe (e.g., you’re constantly vomiting and not keeping any fluids or food down), see your doctor. They can give you information on how to help with morning sickness symptoms. They can also prescribe morning sickness medicine to help with nausea that’s safe for you and your babe. And, they can check for a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum – which is where morning sickness symptoms are so intense that you can lose weight, become dehydrated, and potentially need hospitalization and medication. It can cause complications for you and your babe if left untreated – but before you fret, know that it affects only about one in 1,000 women. So be aware of it, but don’t panic about it.
“…[Morning sickness] is a normal occurrence in the first trimester and should pass as you enter the second trimester. [It] can be debilitating at times; however, it is not all doom and gloom and is considered to be part of a healthy pregnancy, mama,” says Renee. So long story short, consider morning sickness to be a sign that your body is doing what it needs to help your little one grow (and as an excuse to snack 24/7). We know it’s cr*ppy, but you’ve got this.
Head onto Mumli for more morning sickness remedies, and read here for more information on early pregnancy symptoms.
The information in this article does not replace medical advice. If you are concerned about your health, speak to your primary care doctor.