Oh the dreaded “morning” sickness. I swear a man must have given it that name, because if you’ve experienced morning sickness at all you know it doesn’t just strike in the morning, its pretty much ALL DANG DAY long.. sigh.
Anyways, there are lots “theories” behind why some are subjected to morning sickness and some aren’t.. but there aren’t really any known answers. There is some literature to suggest that morning sickness tends to have better outcomes / lower risk of pregnancy loss. Now I know plenty of people that have had very healthy pregnancies and babies that had no morning sickness, so I don’t mean to make you worry if you are not experiencing this, but if you are suffering through morning sickness I hope this gives you a little piece of mind. At least for me, I felt like okay, this is a small price to pay for a healthy baby, I can deal!
My morning sickness kicked in right about the 6-7 week mark, so pretty early, and lasted a bit into the second trimester, week 17 was when I finally felt “normal”. Again, this varies for everyone, but just to give you an idea. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty miserable, but I’m sitting here writing this at week 25 and it feels like a distant memory. So if you’re going through this right now, hang in there, I know it feels like forever away, but you really will just wake up one day and feel so much better!
In no particular order, these are all the “remedies” that I tried and my thoughts on if they helped. I will also mention that I traveled to Italy for about 2 weeks around the 8-10 week mark, flying, buses, public transportation and all, I managed to get through it with a combination of all of these.
Like I mentioned earlier, my “morning” sickness was really an all day thing. I know a lot of people who slept with crackers on their nightstand to nibble before they even got out of bed in the morning. The morning was actually when I felt best. It usually hit me about 10:30-11am, and lasted through the entire afternoon. Around dinner time I usually felt okay to eat an actual meal, and then the nausea would often kick in again close to bedtime. Again, everyone is different but this is just my personal experience.
- Carbs – saltines, pretzels, goldfish, cheez-its, chex mix, potato chips, etc. basically ALL of the things I would pretty much never consume on a regular basis was ALL I could tolerate and stomach for most of the day. I learned from my amazing chiropractic that this is actually a natural defense mechanism, the body knows that these bland, processed foods are “safer” than other foods that we are used to eating that could lead us to become sick, pretty cool right? So anyways, don’t feel bad if all you want are carbs, I’m a big believer in “your body will tell you what it needs”. I had to nibble on dry foods almost CONSTANTLY to keep the nausea at bay. Some people say they couldn’t eat anything, but what I learned quickly was that the second my stomach was empty the dry heaving and nausea started, so I snacked around the clock.
- Gatorade / Pedialyte / Coconut Water / Ginger Ale / Kombucha / Sparkling Water – if you are having a hard time drinking a lot of plain water, experiment with these. I don’t recommend drinking Ginger Ale or Gatorade all day, but I found that Ginger Ale helped settle my stomach, and sometimes I need the electrolytes and calories in the Gatorade. Basically it’s super important to stay hydrated, so do what you need to in order to make that happen. Another thing I liked was flavored sparkling water. Pedialyte pops were also a saving grace.. cold and gives you electrolytes without all the sugar.
- Preggie Pop Drops – these are essentially “sour-ish” hard flavored candies. I had quite a few people recommend them to me and thought they sounded kinda silly, but they really helped. Whenever I got that dry mouth / cotton mouth / salivia-y feeling I popped one in. So much better to have something to suck on really. I ate these CONSTANTLY when we were traveling. Turns out when my mom was pregnant with me 30 years ago, she had serious morning sickness too and said she constantly sucked on sour lemon candies – like mother like daughter.
- Tummydrops – *spicy* ginger hard candies. These helped a lot when my stomach took a turn and I was actually feeling nauseas. Ginger is a known tummy aid and I really felt as though these helped. Used them at work meetings, throughout the day at home, and on our Italy trip.
- Gin Gins – these are chewy ginger candies. I would say they work the same as above but sometimes it just felt nice to have something to chew on. I also found other brands of these in the international section of the grocery store.
- Seabands – I wore these during our entire trip and literally almost around the clock during the first trimester (I did take them off to sleep, but you don’t have to). People swear by these for motion sickness (something else I deal with, unfortunately), and they work the same way for morning sickness. They are basically a bracelet made out of a soft material (almost like the top of a tube sock) with a small plastic piece on each one. You wear one on each wrist with the plastic piece over the acupressure point in the wrist that is linked to nausea. They make a “maternity” one but it is no different than the original, just pink in color, I liked the original I felt like the light grayish blue was a little less obvious 🙂 If you stalk my Italy pics you’ll be sure to see my fancy bracelets hanging out hehe.
- Young Living Essential Oils – I used peppermint and AromaEase everyday. Dotted peppermint on the tip of my nose so I could always smell it, rolled it down the back of my neck, rolled AromaEase behind my ears and on my wrists. (If you suffer from motion sickness I do this same routine during long car rides and on the plane). I diffused peppermint + citrus all day long (Citrus Fresh, Lemon, and Grapefruit were my favorites). Added bonus is that blend helps wake you up!
- Ningxia Red – antioxidant drink from Young Living. I am a MAJOR coffee drinker but while I was nauseas I wanted nothing to do with it. Enter Ninxia Red – I would drink about 2oz of this straight or with sparkling water every morning and afternoon – it gives you a clean energy boost and is full of antioxidants and made me feel a lot better because I couldn’t even stomach to look at a piece of broccoli.
- Bone Broth – call me weird but I LOVE bone broth. I will sip on a cup morning, noon, or night like it’s a coffee or a cocktail LOLOL but really. One of my favorite and accessible brands is Bonafide Provisions.. you can find it in the frozen section of most grocery stores. Bone broth is great throughout pregnancy but I loved adding this to my routine during the nausea phase because it helped me get in some protein when my normal foods just weren’t sounding great. You can even make your own.. check out my favorite blogger The Defined Dish, and search her site for her recipe.
- Unisom + B6 – this is the “over the counter” morning sickness remedy that many providers swear by. It’s essentially the same formula that is in the prescription anti-nausea medication but is a lot cheaper. Many insurance companies won’t cover the rx unless you can show that you tried and “failed” this combo. I am not going to put the doses on here because I don’t want to attempt to provide medical advice – please ask your provider to advise you. One thing I will mention is to be sure to purchase the *original* Unisom (or generic), not the liqui-gel or other varieties, as the active ingredient is not the same.
- Some words of caution if you are using this method. I would use this as a “last resort”. If you know me you know I hate taking medicine of any kind, I think I have taken an Advil twice in the past two years. B6 is just a vitamin supplement so I didn’t really have an issue with that. But Unisom is an over the counter sleep-aid. 1. it made me INCREDIBLY drowsy. Some might view this as a benefit if you aren’t sleeping well.. it will definitely help, but if you are sensitive to drowsy drugs (benadryl, nyquil, advil pm, etc) just beware. I only took it at night and it took me HOURS to feel “normal” again in the morning. Not to mention that during the first trimester you are already fighting feeling tired.
- 2. This stuff is ADDICTIVE. I took Unisom every night about 10pm, and if I got close to that time or missed it, the nausea kicked in HARD. One night in Italy I didn’t take it because we have a SUPER early flight and I was throwing up and sick the entire next day. Around the 12 week mark I ran out and thought I would be fine to go without, wrong… first day without I was nauseas the entire day like BAD, second day woke up puking. So just know that if you take it as recommended which is usually up to 3 times a day, it will build up in your system and make it very hard to quit cold turkey. I experienced horrible rebound symptoms whenever I skipped a dose.
- So how did I go off of it? My sisters are both nurse practitioners and I called them up and explained what I was experiencing. I did some googling and found that a lot of women had similar experiences. So my sisters did some research and helped me figure out a weaning method. It was a painful process. For 1-2 weeks I started taking 1/2 a dose, then once I got used to that went down to 1/4, then every other night. It wasn’t fun. I have heard some people say they haven’t had problems but I know some people don’t take it religiously, I had to take it constantly around the clock to keep the nausea at bay. Maybe if you don’t take it as regularly your body won’t be so dependent on it, but for me if I didn’t take is regularly it didn’t help. Even once I went off of it completely it took a few days to get out of my system because the half life is 12 hours (this is also why I was so drowsy ALL day from it). I’m not saying don’t take it, it definitely helped me, but I just want to throw caution out that the coming off it process was really really terrible for me, and had I known beforehand I’m not sure I would have started. But again, I’m so far removed now I forget what it’s like to gag at my husband’s farts and dry heave to the point of throwing up every morning cleaning up after my dog HAHHH! So if you need it just know that when you are ready to start to come off of it, if you are feeling nauseas, it might not be the actual morning sickness anymore, but the rebound effects from the Unisom.. so if you want to come off of it try decreasing your dose slowly and see if that helps. If not, it’s possible you might need it a bit longer.
Other helpful tips:
- Try taking your pre-natal at night before bed if you feel like it’s contributing to your nausea
- Keep a little “anti-nausea” pouch in your purse so you always have some of your favorites with you. Mine included small bottles of my essential oils, preggie pop drops, my seabands, ginger candies and chews, ningxia packets, and crackers.
- Kind of a silly one.. but you can buy saltines in the “half-size” sleeves – perfect for tossing in a purse or work bag
- Stay ahead of the nausea, even if you wake up feeling great, get something in your stomach and stay hydrated. Once you start feeling bad a lot of times it’s too late and hard to recover from.
Have any morning sickness remedies that worked for you? Share them with us in the comments!
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