Food and Remedies to Help with Nausea

If you’re dealing with morning sickness, you’re not alone—about 70 percent of pregnant women suffer through nausea or vomiting early in their pregnancies. Unfortunately there’s no magic cure, but we can offer a few tips for managing your symptoms.

Change your eating habits

Eating may be the last thing you want to do, but an empty stomach can be your enemy when it comes to morning sickness.

  • Keep some crackers near your bed and eat them before you get up in the morning.
  • Avoid large, rich meals—instead, eat small meals more frequently and stick to blander foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (the “BRAT” diet).
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but not with your meal (either 30 minutes before or after a meal is best). Try them either piping hot or ice cold, as room-temperature liquids can cause nausea.

Avoid nausea triggers

It might be hard to find things that make your nausea go away, but it’s often all too easy to find triggers that make it worse.

  • Stay away from odors that bother you and ask family members not to cook smelly foods in the home.
  • Stay indoors, out of the heat.
  • Try to get plenty of rest, as being overtired can make you feel nauseous.
  • Don’t lie down after eating.
  • Don’t spend too much time in front of the computer and adjust your screen settings if you need to (the refresh rate or even your background color could make you feel worse).

Try vitamins and natural remedies

Certain nutrients and other homeopathic remedies have been shown to be both safe and effective for setting your stomach:

  • Ginger: Try ginger ale made with real ginger, add fresh grated ginger to tea or look for ginger capsules or candy
  • Vitamin B6: Either alone or as part of a multivitamin
  • Pleasant scents: Carry around a bottle of lemon extract or a spring of rosemary to sniff as needed

There are other over-the-counter remedies out there, but always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

When to talk to your doctor

While morning sickness is common, severe cases can be dangerous. Be sure and tell your doctor if you:

  • Are so sick that you can’t keep any food or water down
  • Are experiencing pain or fever
  • Are still sick well past the 12-week mark
  • Have symptoms of dehydration, like little to no urine or urine that’s dark in color
  • Notice a racing heartbeat

For more information on healthy pregnancy nutrition, listen to our featured podcast.