Next, a proclamation: I hate feeling nauseous and throwing up! The good news is that I learned a lot of natural morning sickness remedies (and a few not so natural) my first go around. I had it pretty bad and now consider myself a bit of an expert. The next day after my positive home pregnancy test, I jumped on Amazon and ordered a few provisions.
Not a fan of being sick, either? Here is a list of all of the remedies I have tried and found helpful. They are roughly in order from more natural to more intensive. Please remember that I am not a physician and you should always consult your own midwife, doctor, or care provider regarding your own particular health.
- Preggie Pop Drops. These are little sour candies. The company also makes lollipops, but I find them too big. The drops can really help you get to the place where you are ready to eat something else. They are also good to have stashed in your purse, diaper bag and desk at work.
- Crackers. Keep them on your bedside table. Eat them when you wake up in the middle of the night and upon first waking. My first pregnancy I liked water crackers, but this time I like Hawaiian soda crackers. (I have heard that there is something about baking soda that settles the stomach.)
- Psi Bands!!! These are bracelets that push on a pressure point on your inner wrist that directly reduces nausea. Crazy, but they really work to take the edge off. On bad days, I wore them nearly the whole day and took them off to sleep. Sea Bands are a similar concept but look a little like an ace bandage.
- This may sound gross, but if you are for sure going to throw up, eat something that isn’t so bad coming up, like applesauce. My first pregnancy, I could guarantee vomiting at least once in the morning throughout weeks 8-16, and this helped it go a little easier.
- Fresh Ginger. You can make tea, add it to smoothies…
- Ginger Candy. There’s ginger hard candy, ginger chews, ginger gum, and crystalized ginger. Spicy, but effective.
- Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale. Start by sipping just a little.
- Eat like a toddler. Really the secret is to keep food in your stomach. Frequent, small meals are the way to go. At the peak of morning sickness, I ate something every 30 minutes. This time around, I snack whenever I feed Little Bird a snack (usually the same thing), and it works out. Also, snacks and sweets are good to get you to the place you can eat, but the goal is to eat a mini balanced meal. Protein and complex carbohydrates are especially important in making you feel good again.
- Humor your cravings and aversions (as long as they aren’t totally unhealthy or unsafe.) Pregnancy likes/dislikes are fickle, but for the most part, go with them. Can’t get enough fresh watermelon? Great! My first pregnancy, after days of not wanting to eat anything, I found that I could eat fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. I then ate them four days in a row.
- Going for a walk outside. Yup, the last thing you probably want to do. But getting outside and getting the blood flowing can help. Other gentle exercise, like yoga, could help, too. I like to stay very active during pregnancy, typically with Bar Method, but first trimester is definitely a time to find balance with gentle, easy exercise.
- Coca-cola. I know, not very natural. But my mother is from the South and gave us a little bit of coke when we were sick and it strangely can settle the stomach. (Like the ginger beer or ginger ale, start by sipping a little, a whole can would probably make me feel worse from all the sugar.) If you are worried about GMO corn syrup, try a Mexican market. The coke sold in bottles is usually made with cane sugar. You can also buy the mini cans instead of 12oz ones.
- Vitamin B-6 was recommended by my doctor. I personally didn’t find it super helpful. A fried of mine found good results with a shot of B-6, which is usually a much larger dose.
- Soothing teas. I personally didn’t find tea appetizing, but others find pregnancy teas soothing. A Facebook friend suggested drinking it iced. I found making my Red Raspberry Leaf tea iced for the third trimester vastly improved the taste. Here is a recipe.
This next section are remedies that you may want to tell your doctor/midwife you are using, just to be sure that they aren’t contraindicated in your particular case.
- Acupuncture. Chinese Medicine has been the single most helpful remedy for both of my pregnancies. When selecting a practitioner, find one who specializes in OB/GYN. For my first, even after morning sickness subsided, I continued going regularly for all of those pesky, but normal, pregnancy symptoms throughout the entire term. If you are in San Diego, I recommend Eti Domb, L.Ac. (You can also read in this post how it helped naturally induce my full term baby.)
- Along with acupuncture, Chinese Herbs have been used for millennia. It has always seemed strange to me that western medicine says to avoid herbs of any kind during pregnancy, while still prescribing heavy pharmaceuticals. Their answer: there hasn’t been enough studies to prove the safety of herbs. Well, turns out there is plenty of peer-reviewed evidence published. It’s just in Chinese!! I have been amazed by the benefit I’ve received from herbs given to me in conjunction with acupuncture. Many of the ingredients are not that scary: ginger, licorice, orange peel, cinnamon, date… (I tend to be a rule follower and dutifully informed my doctor of everything I am taking. At first the doctors got into a tizzy that licorice could raise my blood pressure, but since mine remains 100/50, they have grudgingly approved of the tincture.) If you want to consult with someone, Eti is available by phone for those outside of San Diego. My friend Ahlea also consults locally and by phone on pre- and postnatal nutrition and herbs.
- Two over the counter medications that I did not try, but that my doctor recommended are Benadryl and Unisom (especially in combination with B-6). I didn’t try them out, but it might be worth discussing a trial of one or both with your doctor before trying a prescription.
And if all that fails and you are interested in talking to your doctor about a prescription, here are my thoughts on a few medications I have tried. Remember, I am not a doctor, just offering my own personal reviews.
- Zofran (Ondansetron) is prescribed for nausea and vomiting associated with surgery, cancer and Hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme morning sickness marked by dehydration.) In my case, I was given a pill that dissolved in my mouth and tasted like mint and artificial sweetener. It worked like a miracle but had a catch, the next day after using it I invariably suffered from painful constipation. Thankfully, this pregnancy I have only had to use Zofran once, but during my first, although I treated it as my last resort, I did have to use it regularly in order to function at work. I also used the smallest amount possible, and often found a quarter of a pill helped. Although I tried not to use it, sometimes simply having it in my bag with me eased the anxiety that I wouldn’t be able to get through the day. For other nursing mothers: my doctor (and my own research) indicated that Zofran is acceptable to use while breastfeeding, but obviously do your own research and use caution. (Thankfully I managed to always keep myself hydrated and nourished and did not have to go to the ER. But for those that do, Zofran is often given IV, along with fluids.)
- Phenergan (Promethazine) is also prescribed for Hyperemesis gravidarum. It is an antihistamine and is very sedating. Its use is NOT recommended during breastfeeding. I did not like it at all. Even a quarter of a pill knocked me out completely in a “drugged” kind of way. I can’t imagine anyone being able to use it while caring for a toddler. But everyone reacts differently!
So there you go! More than enough ideas to at least start with.
Enter a giveaway of a prize pack with my favorite remedies here!
What worked for you? please comment and share morning sickness remedies that you recommend or would like to try.
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