Welcome! If you found your way to this blog post, I imagine you’re searching for ways to kick your current morning sickness to the curb or help someone going through this. Trust me – I know the feeling, and it’s a feeling i’d rather not feel again. While I was fortunate to not have thrown up during the worst of my morning sickness, I did everything I could to make that possible. Some people find that getting sick makes them feel better, but I didn’t want to go down that route if I didn’t have to in case it wouldn’t stop. Plus, I’m a baby when it comes to that.
My morning sickness began around week 6 and peaked around week nine and ten. There were some good days mixed in there, but most were a bit of a struggle. Below are a few tips and tricks that helped me throughout the first trimester and beyond. There were multiple posts, articles, and resources I Googled in order to experiment with suggested methods, and please note what may have worked for me might not be effective on your end. I’m convinced it was a combination of methods that truly helped me through my first trimester. Not to mention my incredibly patient, supportive, and loving husband! I could not have done it without his support!
Please be sure to consult with your doctor first. This blog post does not contain medical advice.
Eating often even if you have no appetite whatsoever is a huge help in order to get ahead of the nausea that’s about to bombard your day. Nine out of ten times I woke up barely being able to consume a cracker, but I knew those crackers (ok I relied on Pringles lol) would help put a little something in my stomach right away which would then keep the nausea off a little longer. Waiting until I was hungry to eat actually caused my nausea to kick into full gear.
Hungry or not – eat. Most doctors will remind you that you don’t have to eat perfect during the first trimester – especially if you cannot keep much down to begin with. Small frequent meals are important in order to get ahead of nausea.
Wow. I cannot stress this one enough, and I wish I had known this as soon as my morning sickness kicked in at six weeks. I’m a vegetarian for those of you new here, and my diet has never been incredibly high or average in protein. That being said, my body required and begged for protein throughout the first trimester and beyond – I just didn’t know it right away. Typically i’d always gotten away with minimal protein, but that was NOT the case during my pregnancy.
So, what foods did I add to my diet to increase protein? Siggi’s Yogurt became my best friend first thing in the morning. The sooner I scarfed down some protein the better I felt throughout the day. In fact, I usually avoided any major nausea if I consumed protein right away. I also added collagen to my oatmeal, tea, smoothies, and soup broths. Add yogurt to your smoothies if you’re not a big fan of yogurt by itself. You may also deck out your yogurt with nut butters, fruits, granola, or healthy fats such as almonds.
In addition to yogurt and collagen, I relied heavily on nut butters such as almond and peanut butter. Legumes played another big factor. I added chickpeas and black beans back into my diet once I got passed only being able to consume bland foods. The beans were added to salads, rice bowls, tacos, and soup. Healthier granola (Purely Elizabeth or Trader Joe’s) helped as well. At the end of the day, adding a protein source to any meal I consumed seemed to make a pretty big difference. Protein first thing in the morning is key!
The past three topics have been about eating and you’re most likely not hungry, but it’s important! As mentioned above, Pringles were my crackers. Personally I found saltine crackers to be way too dry to get down when I already felt nauseous with no appetite first thing waking up. Don’t beat yourself up if what you can keep down isn’t the best food for your body. Prenatal vitamins help pick up for the lack of nutrients during the first trimester (noted from doctors).
With that said, eat what sounds good to you at any given time. It might become an aversion tomorrow, but if it sounds good now – eat it! Avoid aversions at all cause (even smells)! This one can be tough, but I had asked my husband to avoid cooking onions or garlic for a little bit as I could NOT handle it.
If you’re not already aware, heartburn may be the main trigger and culprit of your nausea. I found that anytime I had bad heartburn I was almost always nauseous (even beyond the first trimester.
This one can be a little tough given the amount of fatigue that lingers throughout pregnancy, but it does work. Side note: heartburn and acid reflux has been part of my life for the past 6 years, but never to the extent of pregnancy heartburn.
Laying down after you eat may immediately trigger heartburn even if you didn’t consume any high acidic foods. Pregnancy caused heartburn shows no remorse or sympathy. How rude. My doctors all advised sitting with perfect posture both during and after eating for at least 2-3 hours. HA! I can barely do that for 2 seconds before I find myself slouching out of habit. Unfortunately sometimes the body simply needs to lay down right away, so expect some potential heartburn. Nothing like feeling a nice fire lit inside your esophagus on top of the 200 other symptoms that come along with pregnancy.
Going for a walk or tackling tasks around the house after eating is what I tried to focus on in order to avoid laying down post meal. This helped me slightly, but my heartburn required Pepcid AC (approved by my doctor) and a whole lot of Tums given my prior condition!
We’ve been told to stay hydrated since we were young, and now it’s more important than ever! You may not be able to consume much food due to nausea, so it’s important to stay hydrated. The good news is is that you can consume liquids in various methods such as fruits, broths, vegetables, and many other ways! Sick of water? Try hydration packets, Powerade, or electrolyte drinks as long as your doctor approves and there are no harmful ingredients.
Pop the bubbly (virgin bubbly that is)! Club soda and sparkling water became my best friend during the moments I felt the most nauseous. There were a few moments when I felt pretty sick while out to eat where club soda or sparkling water curved my nausea pretty quickly. I’ve never been a fan of pop/soda, but I imagine Ginger-ale would also help here as well.
Stay active, but be sure to rest if your body is telling you it needs rest. That sounds goofy, but I have days where my mind tells me it would rather rest vs. my body telling me it actually needs rest. Two different scenarios!
Week 6-10ish were pretty tough, but I tried to walk every single day in the morning or whenever I was able to get out of bed (sometimes I couldn’t and that’s ok). Mixing in some gentle yoga or a low impact light weight strength class was helpful as well, but only during the times where I had the energy and it felt good to move. Most of the time I felt ten times worse laying in bed thinking about how awful I felt. Getting up and moving was a great distraction to how I truly felt in the moment…although sometimes there was no way to avoid that feeling.
Ok, maybe being pregnant during the summer wasn’t the best idea. Just kidding, I know it’ll be worth it! With that said, I spent most of the tough days inside laying in bed during the hottest days of summer. We got hit with a pretty hot and humid summer, so I felt as though we hibernated the later half of summer since the humidity felt like trash. It sucked the energy right out of me.
Take your walks or activity outside if the weather is nice and enjoyable. The Fall crisp air is one million times more enjoyable when you’re pregnant – especially after a hot summer. Fresh air usually made me feel better right away. Open up your windows for some fresh air if you’re not able to be super active or get out of bed. It makes a big difference!
Pretty self explanatory here, but a warm shower always seems to do the trick in just about any scenario. Laying in bed multiple days in a row made me feel icky sometimes, so standing under a warm shower seemed to give me some life again. Avoid any scented soaps or body washes as they may trigger your smell aversions.
Target nightgowns have become my best pal throughout this pregnancy so far. Loose clothing is/was easily one of the best methods to help me feel a little better as it took the pressure off bloated areas. Oftentimes women become bloated throughout the first trimester which causes a ton of discomfort and some nausea for a number of people.
Nightgowns, large t-shirts, wireless bras (more like team no bra), and any other loose fitting clothing are most likely going to help take the pressure off your growing belly/band area(s). This may also help decrease your nausea.
Beyond blessed that I work remotely, because my PJs were (ok still are) all that I live(d) in.
My nausea usually kicked in during the morning and then again right when I wanted to go to bed. There were a few nights I thought I was going to be sick without a doubt, but I forced myself to try and fall asleep in order to sleep off and through the nausea. Harder than it seems, but you can do anything you set your mind to!
Take a nap when your body is clearly telling you it’s tired. The nap can be 5 minutes or as long as you need. Sometimes my nausea got so bad during the middle of the day that i’d lay down and try to take a nap even if I wasn’t tired. A majority of the time I was able to doze off for a few and that seemed to help lessen the extent of the nausea. It’s definitely something you have to work at.
Honestly, just get comfy! Some articles suggest that laying on your back isn’t good for you, but I found I was most comfy on my back a good chunk of the time. I also read that laying on your left side is best for blood flow and a few other things backed by science, but I felt better on my right side or back during my prime nausea. So, find a comfortable safe position and try and snooze or rest!
Consult with your doctor on this one, but the vitamin B6 helped me during the worst of my days. I took 100mg of B6 each morning and it seemed to help, but it easily could have been a placebo effect! B6 is commonly recommended by doctors as a potential method to help lessen nausea, but it may not work for everyone. I only took this from week 7-10ish.
Do I still have your attention?! Can you tell I was willing to try anything and everything to kick morning sickness to the curb?! If you’re still reading this – THANK YOU for your time and attention! I pray that you are able to find at least one of these methods will help you out…even if it’s just a little! You’ll get through the morning sickness and tough days, and from what i’ve been told by many people, it’s all worth it in the end.