During the first trimester of pregnancy, the most common symptom for the vast majority of women is morning sickness or nausea. For some of us with greater intensity and others a little less, but in general, we all go through the same ailments.
This may come in the form of gagging, feeling sick to your stomach, or just not having an appetite. You may start gagging while brushing your teeth, riding in the car, eating certain foods, or even being out in the cold.
What causes nausea in pregnancy?
First of all, you should know that the cause of nausea or morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy occurs for 2 fundamental reasons. They are:
- The substantial and sudden increase in hormones.
- The energy expenditure to grow the fetus and placenta when you also require a lot of energy.
When does nausea start in pregnancy?
The nausea for pregnant women may start before you even know you’re pregnant! That baby inside you could have set your hormones out of whack from the date of conception.
Pregnancy nausea can start from the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy, but varies for all women. You may get it super early and have it end early or you may think you’re in the clear by not feeling any gagging start until week ten or eleven.
When does nausea end?
Since the symptoms of pregnancy vary so greatly for all women, it’s tough to give you an end point for when nausea will end. However, most women typically report pregnancy nausea ending around the time that the 2nd trimester begins, so about 12-13 weeks.
This can be extended longer into weeks 18 or 19 or even end sooner like week 10 or 11. Just know that the pregnancy nausea WILL end and you’ll feel so much better when it does!
13 tips to ease symptoms of gagging during pregnancy
The most common symptoms of morning sickness are nausea and vomiting, but it can also include other symptoms such as fatigue, heartburn, extreme tiredness, etc. If you’re gagging out of nowhere when you brush your teeth, feel sick riding in the car, or you feel sick after eating, you may be experiencing morning sickness from pregnancy.
Here are some tips to make the gagging stop with homeopathic remedies, foods that help, and all natural ways to cut down on the symptoms of nausea during pregnancy.
1. Keep your stomach full
Getting up with a stomach full of gastric acid is a large reason for morning sickness. When you start the day feeling sick, you will probably feel nauseous for the rest of the day.
Get in the habit of drinking or eating something light before going to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, you shouldn’t feel as nauseous because your stomach is not completely empty.
This is a good practice that you can implement during the first trimester of pregnancy or until your symptoms subside.
- Give your stomach small amounts of food right before bed
- Take a light snack (crackers do the trick) to your room to nibble immediately when you wake up or during trips to the bathroom at night if you need to.
Sudden bouts of hunger can trigger nausea and gagging during pregnancy. The idea here is to keep something light in your stomach, instead of fasting for long periods of time.
2. Keep track of what triggers your nausea and avoid it
There are often certain foods that will trigger nausea, as well as foods that will help with nausea, and they can be different in all women. For some, gagging can be triggered by fatty foods, acidic foods, or creamy foods, where others may have trouble with certain smells.
If you notice there are certain types of foods that make you nauseous when you see, taste, or smell them, avoid it if you can. You can start a food journal to keep track of what you have been eating.
If you have a sudden case of gagging that isn’t an everyday thing, you may be able to look back in your journal and pinpoint a different food or ingredient that did the damage.
After a few weeks of living with the symptoms of morning sickness, you will probably develop a sense that will let you know when there is a smell or taste that is not to your liking.
The majority of women can recognize their hypersensitivity to some flavors or smells. There are always going to be things you can do to identify and remove triggers from your life.
In your journal, compare good days with bad days. Keep track of those days when you were sick all day long versus those days when you could eat and feel like yourself again.
3. Nibble on stomach-friendly foods during this time
Some foods are by nature more difficult to digest than others. During the first trimester, you must learn to distinguish between these foods. Here is a list of the foods that may help control the nausea and gagging.
- Foods filled with fruits and veggies: Foods such as smoothies or yogurts are a good example. These special drinks can be loaded with fruits and veggies, allowing you to achieve a nutritious drink that will also be digested easily and quickly by your stomach, is a win-win.
- Avoid difficult foods such as fatty, fried foods: French fries or fried chicken, etc.
- Add to your diet foods that are nutrient-dense: Foods such as avocados, kidney beans, cheese, fish, nut butter (peanut, cashew or almond butter, depends on your preference), whole grain bread or pasta, brown rice, tofu, etc. All these foods offer you great nutritional value, with low calories, and are gentle to your stomach as well.
- Stay hydrated: It is proven that dehydration causes nausea. Therefore drinking lots of water is important to prevent and improve morning sickness. If you usually don’t feel like drinking a lot of water.
- Most women will feel an excess of saliva during pregnancy. Avoid foods that stimulate the production of saliva such as extremely salty or dry foods. Most women report improvement when they eat peppermint candy or gum.
- Include in your diet foods that are rich in water: These foods are not only very easy to digest, but also help keep you hydrated, and also help improve constipation. Among these foods are Melons, grapes., frozen fruit bars, lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon, pears, apples, and celery.
- Eat high-energy foods: To relieve nausea, foods composed of complex carbohydrates, continue releasing energy into your bloodstream for a long period of time, avoiding your hunger or cravings. These foods are nutritious and help to keep your nausea under control. Among these foods are grains, specifically rice, corn, wheat, oats, and barley.
- If your prenatal pill gives you nausea, take it with the biggest meal of your day.
4. Seek some distraction
There are going to be days when you’re going to have little energy or days that you want to spend sitting on the couch.
When those days arrive, remember that breathing some fresh air, seeing friends or family, going to the movies, or just talking with other moms who are going through the same thing as you, are going to make you feel 10 times better. So get on your feet, and go out.
5. Delegate chores
During those hard days, where the energy is definitely not with you and your stomach makes you sick, delegate functions and routines to the people next to you who are willing to help if you need it.
On days like these, you deserve to wake up and be able to smell a clean kitchen, a breakfast freshly made for you, etc.
Let your husband know the things you need to feel better and those that make you feel sick. Accept the help and let him help you until you and your stomach gets back to normal.
6. Plan ahead
By now, knowing what sights, tastes, and smells can trigger your morning sickness, you can learn to plan ahead of time to save yourself from some discomfort.
For example, if you know that the smell of the food being cooked makes you nauseous, maybe you can try to cook some extra food and refrigerate it on the days you feel better, or those days that you feel more indisposed, you can try to buy ready-made food.
Also, get used to taking your snacks on-the-go. If you’re doing some work or errands you should always have something to nibble on. This helps to never have an empty stomach all day.
7. Reduce stress
It is proven that stress can negatively affect pregnant women, making morning sickness worse. A homeopathic remedy to reduce pregnancy nausea is to simply stop worrying about.
Although morning sickness is tied to hormones and not your mind, even so, the brain and stomach share nerves. This means that if your mind is upset, it is most likely that your stomach will be upset as well.
Exercises, a good and nutritious diet, enough rest and sleep, lots of water, are just some of the things you can do to give your mind a fresh start.
Incorporating activities such as meditation and prenatal yoga to your daily routine can also help you tremendously manage stress during this time.
8. Try acupuncture
Among all the nerve terminations found in the human body, there is one that is located 2 inches above the crease on the inner area of the wrist. This point specifically if pressed can cause an improvement in nausea and vomiting caused by morning sickness.
A study produced by the Obstetric and Gynecology Journal proved that those women who used an Acupuncture band during pregnancy reported an improvement in the symptoms of morning sickness.
The acupuncture bands can be used on one or both wrists and is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies for nausea during pregnancy.
9. Try over-the-counter nausea candies and supplements
There are a lot of items on the market now including candy or tea for nausea. It can help some women get through the gagging stage as long as you’re on a full stomach.
Preggie Pop drops are one of the most commonly used all natural nausea relief during pregnancy and for good reason! They contain some natural essential oils and flavors that can help relief gagging, as well as essential vitamins like B6 which additionally helps with nausea.
As a bonus, they taste like a sweet candy so you’ll want to try them!
Additionally, you can try Earth Mama Organics Morning Wellness Tea for nausea relief. Formulated for pregnancy (and beyond!) with settling ginger root, chamomile and lemon balm, a hint of mint and a twist of orange peel for a citrus pop of flavor. Especially comforting when every little smell is no bueno and “morning” sickness lasts all day long.
10. Your body position matters
As if nausea and gagging were not enough, during the first trimester one of the symptoms that is part of the morning sickness is heartburn.
This burning sensation is caused by gastric acid reflux coming from the stomach to the lower esophagus, which is caused by a relaxation of the stomach walls produced by the pregnancy hormones.
To relieve heartburn, gravity will be your best ally.
After eating, keep your upright position, and if you have to lie down, do it on your right side. If after eating you lie on your back the more likely you will experience heartburn.
11. Sleep it off
The more rested you are, the less stressed you will be, which translates into a substantial improvement in your symptoms of morning sickness.
Also, if you wake up nauseous and can hit the snooze button a few times, maybe the next time you get up, you won’t feel so sick.
12. Be positive
There are going to be days when you will feel good and energetic, but there are going to be days where you will not be able to keep anything down. For those bad days, staying focused on what is important is the best solution.
Keep your mind focused on your baby. This is the price we all have to pay for being a mother, if I have to do it all again, I would definitely do it for my kids.
If you’re experiencing gagging during pregnancy, I hope that one of these all natural remedies can you help you out. The morning sickness will eventually subside and you’ll get to meet you precious baby very soon!
A positive attitude and certain changes in your lifestyle can make a difference. Never lose focus on what is essential, and that is your health and your unborn baby.
I hope these tips help you overcome the discomforts of nausea and allow you to carry a calm and happy pregnancy.
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About the Author:
Hi, I am Zadi. Diagnostic medical sonographer for 16 years and mom of 2 boys, and the founder of www.Ultrasoundfeminsider.com. My mission on this blog is to share my knowledge and be able to help other mommies like me to navigate this roller coaster that is pregnancy and motherhood. I write about baby ultrasounds, pregnancy, women’s health, motherhood, and positive parenting. I hope this article helps you somehow while you are on your pregnancy journey.