11 Morning Sickness Remedies That (Might) Really Work

Every pregnant person is different, but these easy remedies for morning sickness and nausea might just bring relief.

If you've ever had morning sickness, you know how it can dominate the early stages of your pregnancy. When it's bad, it seems impossible to get through the day; and even when it's not, it's still pretty unpleasant. But just because it's common in the first trimester doesn't mean you have to grin and bear it. "People do get relief, either by using natural remedies or traditional medications," says Marra Francis, M.D., a Texas-based OB-GYN and contributing author to the Mommy MD Guides.

We rounded up a wide range of tried-and-true morning sickness remedies, from nausea-reducing foods to natural remedies to over-the-counter medications. Just moving in a different way or getting a hands-on treatment may do the trick, too. And remember: That sick-to-your-stomach pregnancy queasiness usually subsides as you enter the second trimester, so you only have a few more weeks to go!

If you're wondering about morning sickness treatment options, here are a few things to try.

An image of lemon and ginger on a yellow background.
Getty Images.

Foods for Morning Sickness

Pregnancy hormones may be doing a number on your digestive system, but you can offset morning sickness symptoms by eating small, frequent meals and eating as soon as you wake up (some people even swear by keeping snacks on their nightstand for first thing in the morning). Certain foods may offer some nausea relief, so during your next grocery store trip or order, look for these ingredients and foods.

Ginger

This aromatic root is popular in Chinese medicine and has long been noted for its tummy-taming properties. You can drink ginger in soda or tea, eat it in candies or cookies, or suck on a ginger lozenge or lollipop. Talk to your prenatal health care provider about how much ginger is safe; it may not be advised for some pregnant people.

Sour treats

If your stomach already feels sour, should you really consume something else sour? Yes, says Michele Hakakha, M.D., an OB-GYN in Beverly Hills and co-author of Expecting 411. "Try sucking on sour candy, sipping lemon water, or even just sniffing something sour," she says. "I had one patient who carried around a lemon and scratched the peel and smelled it to make her feel better."

Mint

Eating or chewing items with this fresh flavor can help you feel more relaxed and less nauseated. They may also mask unpleasant food odors that trigger tummy pain. As a bonus, mint can freshen your breath after a nasty round of morning sickness. Even just smelling mint can perk you up, so go ahead: Throw some mint lip balm in your pocket or try a rollerball filled with diluted peppermint essential oil.

Saltines

Bland, starchy crackers can help settle a queasy stomach. According to the Cleveland Clinic, saltines work by absorbing the acid that makes your tummy feel nauseous. The salt they contain also replaces lost electrolytes. (Be sure to brush your teeth well as the carbs in saltines and other crackers can amplify tooth decay, already a risk for pregnant people and those with excess oral acid.) Toast, bananas, and applesauce can soothe queasy bellies, too.

Trail mix

Trail mix is an easy thing to grab when you're feeling peckish but can't stand to eat a full meal. Keep a bag on you when you head out: The combination of fruits, nuts, and semi-sweet chocolate chips will satisfy your hunger without weighing you down. Not only does trail mix provide healthy fats, but it gives you a simple way to fulfill your daily protein intake needs (pregnant people need at least 60 grams per day).

Vitamin B6

Consuming extra vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce morning sickness symptoms in some pregnant people. "Try 25 milligrams of vitamin B6 three times a day, in addition to your prenatal vitamins," says Dr. Hakakha.

Fluids

If you're vomiting often, you can fall into a cycle of dehydration. Boost your usual intake of fluids and make sure you are getting at least 10 full glasses of something to drink every day (each one should be 8 oz or more).

Alternate watermelon ice cubes and freezer pops with glasses of water and ice chips if you're having trouble drinking enough H₂O. Italian ice or lemon slush can also help you stay hydrated. To keep your electrolytes balanced, you can also try sports beverages.

Try to drink fluids only between meals—ideally at least 30 minutes before or after meals—as an increase in progesterone levels during pregnancy slows the speed at which your body digests food, and you don't want to be overfull. If you must drink during meals, do it in small amounts.

Smoothies can be a lifesaver when you can't eat. You can pack them with nutrient-packed fruits and veggies. They can also neutralize stomach acids and normalize blood sugar.

Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness

If changing your diet isn't helping, maybe it's time to get physical. Try adopting one of these natural practices for morning sickness treatment.

Acupressure or acupuncture

These techniques, which use gentle pressure or tiny needles to hit certain nerve centers in the body, can be extremely effective in treating nausea. Specialists in these arts abound, but at-home solutions may work, too. For example, sea bands (stretchy bracelets that apply pressure to a nerve in the wrist) have been found to significantly reduce nausea and vomiting and are sold at local drugstores.

You can even test out an easy acupressure technique on yourself. Press three fingertips gently but firmly on the base of your palm, just above where you'd take your pulse on your wrist. Breathe deeply and keep pressing on that spot for a minute or more, gradually increasing the intensity until you feel slight discomfort. The sensation should feel almost like a mini-massage.

Exercise

We know, we know: You probably don't feel like working out with your tummy so queasy. Try a gentle walk instead—it can do wonders for your body. "Even walking 20 minutes a day can help release endorphins that counteract the fatigue and nausea," Dr. Hakakha says. Swimming somewhere cool might temporarily soothe your system, too; just be sure to wear sunscreen and avoid hot tubs.

Morning Sickness Medicine

Drugs are a standard line of defense against severe cases of morning sickness, but many parents-to-be worry they'll harm the baby. That's understandable, so consult your health care provider before taking anything. "I always remind my patients that we would never give them anything that isn't safe, or that doesn't have a long safety record," says Dr. Hakakha. The following drugs are commonly used as morning sickness cures.

Over-the-counter morning sickness medicines

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Unisom (doxylamine) treat allergies and insomnia, but they can also help with nausea, especially if your morning sickness starts the moment you wake up. Over-the-counter antacids like Tums (calcium carbonate) fight pregnancy-related acid reflux (if you have that, avoid ginger and peppermint) and reduce damage to the digestive tract from vomiting.

Prescription medicines for morning sickness

If you're having intense morning sickness—relentless nausea and difficulty keeping food and liquids down—your health care provider may prescribe medications such as Zofran (ondansetron). It can be dissolved on your tongue to help you stave off nausea so you can eat and get the nutrients your pregnant body needs.

The Bottom Line

No one needs to suffer from morning sickness in silence, as there are plenty of anti-nausea remedies out there. Tell your prenatal care provider right away if you can't keep food or fluids down for 24 hours, or if you're dehydrated or steadily losing weight. These symptoms could indicate a need for serious treatment.

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