Pregnancy is a beautiful experience for most mothers. However, it also comes with unpleasant symptoms like vomiting and nausea. In fact, about 70% of women experience nausea during early pregnancy, according to recent research published by PubMed.
While hormonal changes may be responsible for morning sickness, there’s no single cause or cure for pregnancy nausea. But all hope is not lost. Numerous home remedies for pregnancy nausea exist to help you ease the symptoms. In this post, we explain more about pregnancy nausea, as well as the best ways to manage it in the comfort of your home.
When Does Pregnancy Nausea Start and End?
Morning sickness, which includes nausea and vomiting, is a typical symptom of pregnancy. Although it mostly happens in the morning, pregnancy nausea can hit you at any time. The symptoms may also last throughout the day. Pregnancy nausea is no cause for alarm, even when it includes light vomiting.
So when does pregnancy nausea start and end? As part of the ups and downs of pregnancy, you can begin experiencing nausea as soon as six weeks into your pregnancy.
It is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy after a missed period and sore breasts. Some women start experiencing morning sickness between 7 and 9 weeks. It is also good to note that every woman’s body is different, and the start and end of your pregnancy nausea may vary.
The good thing is that for most women, the symptoms begin subsiding between week 12 and week 19. You may experience severe symptoms between weeks 10 and 16 before nausea eases up.
Since it is a first-trimester symptom, morning sickness usually ends at the beginning of your second trimester. If you are expecting multiple babies like twins, your symptoms may linger throughout pregnancy.
Natural Remedies for Dealing with Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is rarely a serious condition, although it may be a source of discomfort for pregnant women. You don’t have to suffer through the symptoms when you can get rid of pregnancy nausea using natural home remedies. Here are a few home remedies for pregnancy nausea to make you feel better.
1. Get Enough Rest
Sleeping is among effective ways to escape pregnancy nausea. Whenever you feel queasy, lie down, take deep breaths, and sleep whenever possible. You can use a sleeping mask if you are unable to catch shut-eye so you can rest adequately.
While getting plenty of sleep during the night is ideal, you can also take daytime naps. However, avoid sleeping or lying down immediately after a meal as it may be counterproductive. If you find yourself tossing or turning, get up and engage in a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.
2. Watch What and How You Eat
Your meal choices can act as remedies for pregnancy nausea. Choose what you eat carefully, as some foods can trigger nausea and vomiting. Avoid caffeine as well as spicy and fatty food as they stimulate stomach acid and aggravate nausea. Choose bland foods, preferably starch and carbohydrates, that are easy to digest.
Instead of eating three large meals, take smaller portions frequently to keep something in your stomach without triggering nausea. It is advisable to eat at least six small meals doing the day to calm your nausea.
3. Stay Physically and Mentally Active
Mild exercise and physical activity are good for your health and also result in nausea relief in some women. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities like reading books and solving puzzles are also excellent ways to distract yourself and curb pregnancy nausea.
To help you stay physically active, you should consider engaging in exercises like brisk walking, stationary cycling, prenatal yoga, pilates, or even water aerobics. (Read more about exercises you can do while pregnant).
Not only does exercise help with your nausea, but it also keeps you physically fit and reduces your chances of complications during pregnancy and birth. Always consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise routine for the best exercise advice, depending on your condition.
Hydrating can help your body manage pregnancy nausea much better. Keep in mind that the more dehydrated you become, the worse your sickness will be. While it may be difficult to keep anything down, try to take as many fluids as possible.
You may add lemon juice to flavor your water or opt for ice-cold or piping-hot liquids to help you tolerate them. If drinking fluids like water and herbal teas worsen your nausea, you can suck on ice popsicles and eat watery fruits like watermelon for hydration.
5. Stay Away From Triggers
It is common for pregnancy nausea to accompany food aversions and reactions to certain smells. Be mindful of what triggers your nausea, such as certain foods and smells, and avoid them.
Stuffy air can also trigger morning sickness, making it necessary to allow fresh air in whenever possible. By understanding what triggers your symptoms, you are in a better position to alleviate your nausea symptoms by staying away.
While some strong smells may aggravate pregnancy nausea, you can try aromatherapy as part of your home remedies for pregnancy nausea. Scents such as mint, rosemary, lemon, and orange can help calm nausea.
Keep the fragrances with you and breathe them in whenever you feel queasy. You can also keep an aromatherapy diffuser in your room to prevent nausea at night
If your symptoms persist, consider alternative treatments like VitainB6 supplements, wearing sea-band wristbands, and even acupuncture. Also, taking your supplements and vitamins correctly, especially those containing iron, can help you fight nausea.
Foods That Help Alleviate Pregnancy Nausea
The food you eat can make a valuable addition to your home remedies for pregnancy nausea. What’s more, you can find most of these foods easily at your local grocery or shopping stores. Here are some of the foods for pregnancy nausea you can incorporate into your diet.
Broth, especially bone broth, is packed with nutrients if you can’t keep your food down. It contains minerals, and electrolytes that promote rehydration and is easy to digest and prepare.
The broth is also great for your baby’s development, and you can incorporate it into most of your meals. If your body can only handle starch, you can use broth when cooking your potatoes and rice. You can also mix it in smoothies to keep pregnancy nausea at bay.
Ginger is a popular anti-nausea food for morning sickness. While it may not be ideal for vomiting, it is good at alleviating nausea. You can use ginger in your tea, eat ginger biscuits and candy, or drink ginger ale as part of your home remedies for pregnancy nausea. An equivalent of up to 1.5 grams of ginger root a day is good enough to provide the therapeutic effects you need.
(iii) Cold Foods
Cold foods don’t have strong smells, which makes them more tolerable when you have pregnancy nausea. Opt for cold foods such as Jell-o, ice cream, yogurt, frozen popsicles, and chilled fruits. You can also suck on ice cubes whenever you feel nauseous.
(iv) Plain Starchy Foods
Plain starchy foods like potatoes, rice, bagels, and toast are the perfect food for pregnancy nausea. The foods have a little flavor which makes them less likely to trigger nausea. Since they are starchy, they are easy to digest and can also absorb the acids in your stomach to curb discomfort.
Proteins keep you full for longer as they require more time to digest. Taking protein in the morning helps to balance your blood sugar throughout the day, thereby preventing nausea. Popular sources of protein include fish, eggs, poultry, milk, and beef. If you can’t stomach animal protein, protein shakes and plant proteins like nuts, beans, and even almond milk are effective alternatives.
(vi) Herbal Tea
Although water is the best for hydration during pregnancy, you can utilize the therapeutic properties of herbal tea to curb nausea while hydrating. Excellent remedies for pregnancy nausea include peppermint, lemon, red raspberry, and chamomile. Remember to take your teas in small sips to avoid offsetting nausea.
(vii) Salty Crackers and Pretzels
An empty stomach is a recipe for nausea. Consider snacking on pretzels and crackers early in the morning or around your bedtime to eliminate nausea and settle your stomach. Not only are they bland and easy to digest, but they are also non-acidic. The saltier they are, the better.
Drinking 8 glasses of liquid daily can go a long way in eliminating pregnancy nausea. You don’t have to drink only water if you find it uninspiring. Ginger ale, soda water, and ice tea can work just fine. However, be wary of beverages with artificial sweeteners as they can be dangerous for you and your baby.
(ix) Citrus Fruits and Bananas
The scent of lemon and oranges can help calm your nausea. You can smell the fruits, eat them, add to your beverages or squeeze them into juice for nausea relief. Also, most pregnant women can tolerate bananas when experiencing morning sickness. Eat bananas to alleviate nausea and boost your nutrients and potassium levels.
While nausea may culminate into vomiting, you can easily manage the symptoms using the above natural remedies. However, severe morning sickness might lead to weight loss, therefore the inability to hold food down for 24 hours, and dehydration require quick medical attention. Always speak to your doctor to rule out medical conditions that may jeopardize your health and that of your unborn baby.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, Morning Sickness: Symptoms and Causes, May 2021, Nationwide Children’s, Ease Nausea with Natural Remedies, Dec 2016, NHS UK, Vomiting and Morning Sickness, Apr 2021, PubMed, Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy, Jun 2011, and PubMed, Nausea, and vomiting of pregnancy – What’s new? May 2016.