Nobody knows what causes morning sickness (or in some cases, all-frickin’-day sickness) and sadly there’s no one size fits all morning sickness remedy that works for everybody. Typically, this is when my grandmother would have chimed in to say “If men had this you know damn well they’d have it figured out by now.” True enough.
Either way, nearly three-quarters of pregnant women have morning sickness at some point during their pregnancy. The symptoms often show up in the first trimester thanks to a raging cocktail of pregnancy hormones coursing through your veins. It is more common in first pregnancies but can also happen in subsequent pregnancies.
The most common treatment for morning sickness is “suck it up, Buttercup” which is always nice advice to give along with eating leafy greens and deep breathing – easy for people to say when it isn’t them who's suffering from it.
It’s important to note that morning sickness is not hyperemesis gravidarum, which is like morning sickness on steroids. You can read more about that here.
Here's a list of morning sickness remedies, hacks and products to get on your radar.
Natural Morning Sickness Remedies:
It sounds like this is the go-to herb to quell the barfs. Anything from ginger ale, ginger snaps, candied ginger to boiling fresh ginger in water with a bit of honey to make ginger tea – sounds very hippyish which makes me think this last one might work. These ginger candies also got very high praise.
Taking a B6 supplement
25 milligrams of vitamin B6 (also called pyridoxine) three times a day, for three days - so 75mg per day - is supposed to reduce nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, although they don’t know why.
When life hands you lemons in the form of morning sickness, make lemonade? For a fresh take on morning sickness remedies, lemons squeezed in water and lemonade popsicles seem to help some people. Sour Patch Kids got a lot of votes from readers.
Don’t get hungry & eat often
Eat all the time to keep low blood sugar at bay. Even keep something like crackers on your bedside to nibble on before you get up in the morning. Have a snack every hour or two, keeping the servings small. I like this one. Gum chewing was up there on everyone’s list too. A few people recommended Pür gum if you’re trying to avoid aspartame and sugar.
Some people really respond to aromatherapy. This Expecting inhaler from Soothing Scents is nice because you can take a whiff whenever you need it. Sniffing lemons was recommended in a few places too, or you can find an essential oil that perks you up.
Take your prenatal vitamins with food to help them stay down
Even a cracker will do the trick. Taking them before you go to bed also helped lessen the barfs because you are sleeping when the queasy normally hits.
Avoid fried, fatty foods
Okay, they need to back the hell off with this one because they’re not even sure if it does anything which makes me think they’re just trying to get all preachy about what you should eat. That said, I’ve included it because it did come up a few times. Dumb.
Protein-rich snack before bed
This will help keep your blood sugar up during the night and might stave off a wave of 'ew' the next day.
Supposedly drinking 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey in cold water before bed is helpful. Personally, I think this would *make* me barf.
Increase the iron-rich foods in your diet
Foods such as beef, sardines, eggs, dried fruit and green leafy vegetables. There's also something called the Lucky Iron Fish that may help (and it's easy on your stomach).
The BRAT diet
Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast and tea - bland foods that are easy on the tummy, but more than just saltines. Potatoes and pretzels also got a nod as bland foods that people could keep down. And if nothing of substance will do, there’s always broth.
Sucking on lollipops
I think this will also increase your street cred but I’m not sure. I sucked on Preggie Pops when I was pregnant and LOVED them. They have a touch of sour but aren’t overwhelming.
Peppermint tea is supposed to help and, if nothing else, your barf will be minty fresh. Amazon has a nice selection including this one from Twinings. This tea from Earth Mama is also really popular. It contains ginger root, spearmint, peppermint, chamomile and lemon balm, plus, it’s naturally caffeine free and organic. Drinking tea also helps increase your daily fluids, which can be hard when you’re feeling crummy.
Anise or fennel seeds
Chewing on these soothes upset stomachs, making them a go-to morning sickness remedy for those who can stomach their strong flavor. I imagine these would also get stuck in your teeth but, if it works, I guess it’s better than perpetual puking.
Speak to your ob-gyn because there are both prescription and over-the-counter medications out there that can curb the pukes. Many people are reluctant to take medication because of the fear it will harm their baby – fair enough – but morning sickness can get pretty serious (dehydration is a big concern) which can also put your baby at risk, so weigh it out.
Here are just a few of the more popular prescription medications used for morning sickness:
Antihistamines – Many doctors will suggest trying an antihistamine to subdue nausea, but if you find you’d need to pop them like tic tacs, go back in to speak to your practitioner and have them step it up. Just because they are over-the-counter doesn’t mean they are safer than a prescription. Phenergan is a popular prescription antihistamine that is prescribed to pregnant people as well.
Diclegis (Diclectin in Canada) – This drug had previously been withdrawn from the U.S. market because it was suspected of causing birth defects. Turns out it was a false alarm and it has been reintroduced in 2013. It’s essentially a combination of B6 and an antihistamine and many doctors have already been prescribing that to their patients in a number of forms (mostly Unisom with allergy medication). It’s also been used safely for decades in other countries so this one sounds solid
While researching this post I found a lot of women using cannabis to control their morning sickness. It had never occurred to me, but I can see why that would make sense. Hey, I don’t judge, especially someone who’d been vomiting non-stop for nine months. Just be mindful that there isn’t a ton of research on its effects yet.
Zofran – This was (and is) a very popular drug used to curb morning sickness. It had been deemed safe for pregnancy by the FDA, however, new studies are now saying that odansetron (Zofran) may be a little iffy. Bring it up with your doctor if you are prescribed it.
Finally, there are quite a number of women whose only cure for morning sickness is giving birth, so just know that you’re not alone if nothing is working. Crappy, I know. Hopefully, karma will reward you with an easy-going baby, a kind teenager, and a winning Powerball ticket.
How about you? Have you found anything that works for morning sickness?
Drop it in the comments and let me know!