Morning sickness: It’s one of the first things associated with pregnancy as well as one of the most unpleasant. (As if swollen breasts, constant exhaustion, and mood swings weren’t quite enough!)
Pregnancy morning sickness symptoms are easy to spot, but morning sickness remedies aren’t always as easy to come by. “Most women will experience nausea and vomiting during their pregnancy and although it is most common in the morning, it doesn’t only happen during those hours,” says Mary Rosser, M.D. at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York.
What’s less clear is the cause. Experts aren’t entirely sure why morning sickness happens, but it may be related to changes in the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), Rosser says. Over the first 8 weeks of your pregnancy, your hCG hormone levels rise and then decline.
Since nausea tends to die off at the same time hCG levels drop, doctors correlate the two as cause and effect. Everyone has a different pregnancy morning sickness experience, women generally start to see relief by weeks 12 to 14.
If that’s still a ways off for you, here’s some morning sickness remedies that just might help.
1. Go for grazing
When you’re nauseous, food’s probably the last thing on your mind. But an empty stomach can cause acid build-up, which ends up making morning sickness worse. Instead of three big meals, grazing on five or six mini-meals over the course of the day is an easy morning sickness remedy.
Bland foods like crackers, potatoes, toast, and chicken broth are the easiest to keep down. If you can handle those, try yogurt—pregnant women need a whopping 1,000 mg of calcium daily, and it’s easier on your stomach than a glass of milk.
2. Try natural stomach soothers
To soothe a sick stomach, try ginger or peppermint tea, which both contain natural nausea-fighting properties that can work as morning sickness remedies. Another option is to add B6 to your prenatal vitamin regimen.
A number of studies found that a 30 mg dose of vitamin B6 daily may help lessen your morning sickness. But remember, always talk to your doctor before taking a new supplement—especially during pregnancy.
3. Get plenty of sleep
Are you getting enough rest? If you’re tossing and turning at night, try to sneak in a short afternoon nap. Despite the name, morning sickness can hit at any time—and catching enough Zzz’s can help relieve symptoms.
Keep some bland crackers on your nightstand and eat a few right when you wake up, before you even get out of bed, Rosser says. It’ll help stop empty-stomach queasiness before it even starts.
4. Stay hydrated
Too little H20 can contribute to morning sickness, so it’s essential to keep hydrated. That means drinking at least 12 8-ounce glasses of water a day, which will help your body retain the nutrients it needs (without upsetting your stomach like some other drinks can). If you don’t like the plain taste, add a few wedges of lemon or lime. They’ll up the flavor and could help nix nausea, too.
5. Talk to your doc
Pregnancy morning sickness might be typical, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still have questions. Keep your doc updated about any questions or concerns you might have, and if your morning sickness worsens—don’t panic.
That’s normal, Rosser says, and it doesn’t present any risk to you or your baby. But if you’ve gone 24 hours without being able to keep anything down, call your doctor.