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.
In this post, I will give you 13 ways to ease your morning sickness naturally to feel better in your first trimester and beyond.
What causes morning sickness?
First of all, you should know the cause of morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Morning sickness during 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.
Morning sickness occurs from the fifth or sixth week to approximately the thirteenth week of pregnancy.
13 tips to ease symptoms of morning sickness
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.
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. 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 that are different in all women. For some, it may be fatty foods, acidic foods, creamy foods, etc.
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 morning sickness 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.
You may think that keeping a food journal is silly because you should be able to remember what you ate, but trust me, you don’t always. It’s easier to look back and review it with your eyes than relying on your memory (remember pregnancy brain is a real thing).
During my first pregnancy, I had an irresistible desire to eat a shrimp pizza. The moment I saw the pizza, I noticed all the grease and fat. I ignored that and ate it all.
The consequences were not good. Nausea and vomiting were worse than the pleasure of eating that pizza. Since that day I tried to avoid everything that had a lot of fat or grease.
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 are much easier on your stomach.
- 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.
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.
It is a must to have some major lifestyle changes while being pregnant.
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 acupressure
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 Acupressure band during pregnancy reported an improvement in the symptoms of morning sickness.
The acupressure bands can be obtained in pharmacies or in marine stores and can be used on one or both wrists.
9. Dress like you are pregnant
During the first trimester, some women will still be able to use regular clothes, while others will not. If you are one of those who have nothing to wear, a trip to your favorite store will solve the problem.
Dress comfortably and wear loose clothing.
It has been proven that many pregnant women who experience some type of pressure in the abdomen, waist or neck, complain of an increase in their morning sickness.
10. Your body position matters
As if nausea and vomiting 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
Share your experience with other mothers who can understand what you’re going through.
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.
As you can see during pregnancy there will be good and bad days too.
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 morning sickness and allow you to carry a calm and happy pregnancy.
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. Let’s keep in touch! You can find me at