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So, you’ve peed on a stick, gotten a positive pregnancy test, and are excitedly awaiting your baby’s arrival–yay!! Before your first trimester ends, you’ll likely be hunting for morning sickness treatments, too. Boo.
An upset stomach is a common and frustrating early sign of pregnancy for around 70% of expectant mamas. In addition to annoyances like sore boobs and mood swings, pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting is often the first sign that your body is reacting to pregnancy hormones (specifically hCG).
Since avoiding food altogether isn’t an ideal option when carrying babies, finding ways to deal with morning sickness symptoms is crucial.
Lucky for us, there’s no shortage of nausea and vomiting solutions we can try.
Whether you’re interested in acupuncture or ready to pursue a diet of bland foods, take a look at the suggestions below when you’re desperate to overcome the trials and tribulations of nausea during pregnancy.
Morning Sickness 101: What is Pregnancy Nausea & When Does it Start?
When I discovered I was pregnant, I realized that lifestyle changes would be inevitable for the next nine months. No matter how often I’d heard people talking about morning sickness, though, the non-stop nausea I experienced during the first trimester was shocking.
Per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), nausea and vomiting are a normal part of early pregnancy.
Although often referred to as “morning” sickness, ACOG also states that the condition is prone to striking any time of day – sometimes even all day long!
On average, most of us will start experiencing pregnancy-related nausea around the 9th week of pregnancy – sometimes as early as 6 weeks pregnant, though!
You can expect morning sickness to last throughout your first trimester, but it usually subsides around 14 weeks.
What Causes Morning Sickness Symptoms?
The jury’s still out on exactly why we have such a strong desire to puke during early pregnancy. The best guess, however, is that pesky pregnancy hormones are to blame.
After implantation, our bodies start producing a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). There seems to be a connection between HCG and morning sickness, mainly because nausea tends to be worse for those of us with higher hormone levels, e.g. if you’re pregnant with twins or triplets.
Research shows that some of us might be at a higher risk of pregnancy nausea. If you suffer from the following conditions, you could be one of those people:
- Motion Sickness
- Morning Sickness During a Previous Pregnancy
- Family History of Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy
General Tips to Curb Nausea & Vomiting During Pregnancy
Before we dive into specific morning sickness treatments, there are a few simple techniques and lifestyle changes you can try to alleviate symptoms. These include:
- Get lots of sleep – fatigue is said to make nausea worse.
- Eat small meals and snacks several times a day instead of a few big meals.
- Drink lots of fluids. If you feel sick, sipping on your drink as continuously as you can help.
- Try to pinpoint trigger foods and smells and avoid them. For instance, I realized quickly that any types of red sauce were a no-go for me during early pregnancy!
- Stick to foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat, i.e., bread, pasta, or crackers.
- Utilize the BRAT diet – this consists of bland foods that are easy on the stomach, such as bananas, dry toast, rice, and applesauce.
The Most Popular At-Home Morning Sickness Treatments
Morning sickness treatments are usually a top priority if you’re in the market for pregnancy essentials for the first trimester. When the tips and tricks above aren’t cutting it, give some of the options below a try!
1. OTC Remedies for Morning Sickness
One of the easiest and most popular options for treating morning sickness during pregnancy is the wide range of available over-the-counter (OTC) pregnancy nausea remedies.
The products listed below are readily available, affordable, and easy to slip into your bag if you’re looking for morning sickness treatments on the go:
- Pink Stork Morning Sickness Sweets
- Preggie Pop Drops
- Sparkling Mama’s Morning Sickness Relief Drink Mix
- Dramamine Nausea Relief
2. Ginger is Great for Treating Nausea
While we’re on the subject of top-notch OTC treatments, it’s worth mentioning the wide selection of ginger products available.
Evidence shows that ginger offers several medicinal properties, including natural nausea relief. Not only is it a dependable morning sickness treatment, but it’s also readily available and inexpensive.
Whether you decide to drink ginger tea, take supplements, or purchase pre-made ginger snacks, there are lots of popular products available, such as:
- Yogi Ginger Tea
- Nature’s Way Ginger Root Capsules
- Gin Gins Ginger Candy
- Anna and Sarah Crystalized Ginger Snacks
- Sea-Band Ginger Gum
If none of these sound appealing, you can always stick to classic ginger ale to alleviate your upset stomach during pregnancy.
3. Acupressure Bands Aren’t Just for Motion Sickness
If you’re someone who experiences motion sickness, I would guess you’ve heard of acupressure wrist bands – such as Sea-Bands.
These products work by triggering the P6 (or Nei-Kuan) acupressure point on the inside of your wrist. While you might have a hard time believing this could make much difference, a 2001 study proved acupressure is an effective option for treating nausea during pregnancy.
I used to be a naysayer who had a hard time trusting this solution.
Then, I had a child who suffers from serious car sickness on long road trips.
I was amazed by how well these types of acupressure wristbands worked! Within minutes of putting them on, she already felt better.
4. Make an Acupuncture Appointment
In the same vein as acupressure treatments, acupuncture is also a trusted technique for alleviating nausea during early pregnancy. A controlled study showed that women who underwent acupuncture sessions were less likely to experience morning sickness symptoms.
5. Start Diffusing Some Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils is not only a natural way to make your house smell incredible, but they can also help with nausea symptoms. Some popular options for morning sickness include:
You can even buy ginger essential oils if you’d like to diffuse the scent in your home instead of consuming it!
Note: Avoid using essential oils directly on your skin or ingesting them during pregnancy. Instead, use only the scent benefits by purchasing inhaler sticks or diffusers.
6. Take Your Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is a crucial component of brain and nervous system health. As if that wasn’t enough reason to convince us to take it during pregnancy, it’s also an integral part of morning sickness treatments!
While most prenatal vitamins are a great source of this vitamin, you can also add more B6-heavy foods into your diet, such as:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Dried Fruits
When Should You See a Doctor About Your Morning Sickness
In most situations, we don’t need to worry about morning sickness during pregnancy. It’s a common side effect that usually goes away on its own.
However, when OTC remedies and alternative treatments aren’t helping with severe nausea and vomiting, it might be time to speak with your healthcare provider. You could be one of the 1 – 3% of pregnant people who experience a dangerous condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)?
Some of us might wonder whether morning sickness and HG are the same. While they both involve the same types of symptoms, HG is a more extreme form of the condition.
It’s identified by serious cases of nausea and vomiting that interfere with day-to-day life.
When left untreated, it can lead to dehydration, significant weight loss, miscarriage, or even death, in rare circumstances.
Are you wondering whether you’re dealing with normal pregnancy nausea or HG? Take a look at the signs of HG below:
- Vomiting more than 3 times a day
- Food aversions
- Weight loss of more than 5%
- Low blood pressure
- Extreme fatigue
- Decreased urination
Common HG Treatments
Before the 1950s, HG was considered the leading cause of maternal death. Now, we’re lucky to live in a modern society that’s developed several reliable treatments for the condition.
In addition to hospital stays where you might receive intravenous fluids and medication, doctors will often prescribe various medications to alleviate HG symptoms, such as metoclopramide or ondansetron,
The First Trimester (and Morning Sickness!) Will Be Over Before You Know It
With a little luck and a lot of biology, you’ll be happy to hear that morning sickness doesn’t last forever. While symptoms can feel neverending while you’re in the thick of them, as your body adjusts to pregnancy hormones and things level out, pregnancy nausea and vomiting usually subside, typically around the second trimester.
The best thing you can do until then is simply wait out the storm, drink plenty of water, and use some of the nausea and vomiting treatments listed above to help curb your symptoms and get on with the joys of early pregnancy. However, if things are more severe, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor.
Have you tried any other morning sickness treatments that worked well?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.