After seven pregnancies and six full-term healthy babies, I have dealt with my fair share of morning sickness!
Morning sickness is somewhat of a misnomer: at least for me it was! I actually felt best in the morning. Afternoons and early evening were worst for me. With each pregnancy, the morning sickness arrived earlier in the pregnancy, left later, and felt worse.
@dinkumtribe Pregnancy nausea, or morning sickness, can really do a number on you! Here’s 9 tips to help you survive it, from a mom of 6. #morningsicknesstiktok #morningsicknessrelief #morningsicknesshelp #pregnancynausea #pregnancynauseatips #pregnanttiktok #expectingababy #firsttrimesterpregnancy #firsttrimestersymptoms #1sttrimesterprobs #preggoproblems #experiencedmom @dinkumtribe ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel
In desperation, I tried nearly every safe suggestion for surviving morning sickness. Here, are as many ideas and tips as I could think of—hopefully some will be helpful to you!
(Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am simply a mom of six kids, who has been through multiple pregnancies and has substantial experience! Please consult with a doctor regarding your specific questions about pregnancy-induced nausea with your specific situations/ medical needs.)
1. Eat small, frequent snacks: This was my best all-around strategy. I felt awful at the sight and smell of food, but I always felt just slightly better if I was eating something, and usually for a few minutes afterwards. Getting too hungry was guaranteed misery.
2. Stay upright: Don’t lay down after eating. Also try not to bend over whenever possible— bend from the knees instead. Sleep with your head slightly elevated if possible.
3. Stay hydrated: I honestly did not find that this helped all that much, but many of my pregnant friends said it made a huge difference for them. Get a lidded cup and straw, and sip often.
4. No tight clothing around the waist/belly: That just kicks up acid reflux, which will make you feel worse. Loose, flowing clothing around the belly and waist area will help.
5. Get as much sleep as you can: I was so tired, especially with my second and subsequent pregnancies. So whenever I had the opportunity to sleep, I went for it! This generally helped with nausea too.
6. Stay away from whatever is being cooked: Get someone else to cook for you whenever possible! I found that smelling food being cooked made me feel worse, and made it nearly impossible to eat that meal.
7. Fresh air: sit outside, or with windows open, whenever possible. Avoid strong smells (car exhaust, garbage, some plants/flowers, and so on).
8. Exercise: Some of my friends found that walking or light exercise reduced nausea temporarily. That was not my experience, but I include it here because others say it works!
9. Sex: Same as with exercise – including it here because some people say it helps. For me, activity of any kind was not helpful.
Specific Foods/ Drinks
There were no specific foods that helped throughout my pregnancies. What usually happened to me was that I would find some food/drink that worked for a few meals, or a few days; then that same food would start to make me feel nauseous.
@dinkumtribe Morning sickness (pregnancy nausea) can require some creative food choices. Here’s over 30 foods that I found helpful for morning sickness. @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #morningsicknesstiktok #morningsicknessrelief #morningsicknesshelp #pregnancynausea #pregnancynauseatips #pregnanttiktok #expectingababy #firsttrimesterpregnancy #firsttrimestersymptoms #1sttrimesterprobs #preggoproblems #experiencedmom #momshelpingmoms ♬ Cute – Bensound
If that’s your experience, change it up frequently.
Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy
- Ginger chews (Trader Joe’s has some great ones).
- Gingerbread/gingersnap cookies
- Ginger tea
- Ginger beer (this is non-alcoholic, in case you’re not familiar with it)
- Avocados—I like mine with a little lemon juice, salt and pepper
- Peppermint tea
- Peppermint candies/ Altoids/ Tic Tacs
- Mint gum
- Sour hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, or you can get some on Amazon specifically for pregnancy)
- Lemon water
- Lemons (I ate them with salt as a kid—it’s worth a try!)
- Cottage cheese (the salty sour plain taste worked really well for me!)
- Saltine crackers
- Potato chips (plain flavored)
- French fries (McDonald’s worked best for me, but to each her own!)
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- Clear soda (Sprite, 7Up, Ginger Ale)
- Dill Pickles (Clausen refrigerated)
- Ice cream—whatever flavor floats your boat
- Rice cakes
- Pop Corners (just discovered these the other day—yum!)
- Plain popcorn, or salted, or with a little butter
- Toast—buttered, or with honey
- Top Ramen—chicken flavored worked best for me
- Homemade applesauce (boil and puree apples—Honeycrisp are amazing!)
- Cinnamon sugar toast
- Cinnamon gum
- Greek yogurt
Some things to remember about diets
You will notice that many of the foods listed here are not on the superfoods list, or even on the recommended, non-junk food list. During pregnancy, especially with persistent nausea, doctors will tell you that this is not the time to try to lose weight!
Eat real, whole foods whenever you can. When you can’t stomach that, this list will help make sure you get SOMETHING into your tummy.
Pregnancy only lasts nine months, so try not to freak out about what you eat. You can go back to your regular eating habits when the nausea wears off, or once the baby is born.
Desperate? This may help
Having said this, there is one suggestion I will make here, that I add with caution. There were times during my pregnancies when I absolutely could not stomach the thought of food. I found that a sip or two of dry red wine before a meal would usually take the edge off enough for me to eat.
I am not suggesting you chug a glass here folks! And definitely if you are on medications that could potentially interact with alcohol, don’t do this! However, sometimes you just need to eat, and I found that this worked well for nausea when nothing else would do it.
At what point should you consider medicine for morning sickness? With my first three pregnancies (my girls), the nausea was not too bad. I was able to manage with lifestyle changes and dietary changes.
However when I was pregnant with my first son, I suddenly, out of nowhere, developed awful acid reflux. Tums wouldn’t touch it!
Medication can help
After a couple of days of that, and not being able to eat almost anything, I asked the doctor if there was something I could take. She put me on an acid reducer, and that brought my nausea down to a manageable level.
@dinkumtribe As a mom it’s easy to feel guilty for not eating healthy food during pregnancy, or to worry that we are putting on too much weight. Please don’t add any unnecessary shame to yourself! Eat what you can, follow your doctor’s advice, and remember that you are doing the best you can. @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe @dinkumtribe #morningsicknesstiktok #morningsicknessrelief #morningsicknesshelp #pregnancynausea #pregnancynauseatips #pregnanttiktok #expectingababy #firsttrimesterpregnancy #firsttrimestersymptoms #1sttrimesterprobs #preggoproblems #experiencedmom #momshelpingmoms ♬ original sound – DinkumTribe ADHD family travel
Generally the recommendation is that if you are throwing up often, or if you are not gaining weight, it is advised to take an anti-nausea medication. Check with your doctor if you are finding that the nausea is impacting your day-to-day life too much.
Keeping up with life
For most of the second through fourth months of my later pregnancies, I was on the couch whenever possible, just waiting out the morning sickness. That was hard, but since I homeschooled and we did not have to go anywhere, we made it work.
If you find yourself in similar circumstances, ditch the mom guilt and ask the doctor if they can recommend something for you. It’s not worth it to be miserable for weeks on end, and there are good medications available to help.
I would hope that this goes without saying, but please do not take any new medication (over the counter or prescription) without checking with the doctor first!
Some foods and medications interact with others, and your pregnant body processes things a little differently. It’s always a good idea to check first.
While you’re waiting for the morning sickness to pass, start building your baby registry list with this handy guide.
Are there any remedies I missed that someone else found helpful? Drop them in the comments so others can benefit!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does walking help with pregnancy nausea?
Some women find that mild to moderate exercise, including walking, is helpful for their pregnancy nausea. Others, like myself, find that it doesn’t really make a difference. Try it for a few days and see what works best for you.
What helps morning sickness in the first trimester?
Ginger is one of the most popular natural remedies to try. Sour foods and salty foods also tend to work well for many pregnant women. Check with your doctor for specific medications to help your morning sickness if you are having trouble keeping any food or liquids down.
Does morning sickness come on gradually?
I found that my morning sickness began gradually at about 4 weeks (or around the time of my first missed period). The nausea peaked at about 6 weeks, and then tapered off somewhere between 14-18 weeks.
Morning sickness lasted longer with each subsequent pregnancy for me. Some women experience morning sickness for the entire pregnancy. Others have no pregnancy nausea whatsoever.
© Copyright 2021-2023 Jennifer D. Warren. Updated: February 7, 2023
Great advice and very informative! Thank you!
Thanks for reading it!
I wished I’d know all these back when I was pregnant…I had all day nausea. I mostly just tried ginger. Great list.
Ginger wasn’t great for me, but lots of friends swear by it. Sorry you had such a rough go!
There are such great ideas in this post, I wish I had known about them when I was pregnant.
Amazing tips!! ‘Morning’ sickness really is the worse!
100% yes. I do not miss it AT ALL.
I was so unprepared for morning sickness with my first pregnancy! I was one of those women who lost weight in my first trimester because of how little I could eat and how drained I felt. All anyone ever told me was to eat crackers, as if pregnancy was a stomach bug! I would have loved having this list handy. You’ve really hit everything here!
Morning sickness is one of those things that sounds mild until you experience it.
I remember those days very well….For me, the ginger chews did the trick, but good to know that there are so many other things to try!
Yes, I made this list because I remember how desperately I needed options when I was dealing with morning sickness!