Fun fact: more than 90% of women experience nausea during pregnancy, so you’re definitely not alone. With symptoms including, feeling tired all the time and extreme nausea, morning sickness can feel very debilitating, especially if you have work and/or public transport to contend with.
To help get you feeling better, we’ve rounded up the best morning sickness remedies for you to try including the experiences of our panel of mums and what worked for them.
When you’re pregnant, your body starts producing a hormone called hCG in large quantities, which gives your baby all the nutrients it needs in those first early weeks. The side effects of the hormone can cause you to feel weak and poorly/ But be rest assured, once the placenta takes over, your hCG levels should drop and your morning sickness will ease off too.
The best morning sickness remedies:
Ginger has a long history as a cure for upset stomachs. One of its active compounds, 6-gingerol, is known to help relax gastrointestinal muscles, and research has shown that ginger supplements can ease morning sickness.
However, keep in mind that how effective they are will depend on how sensitive you are to certain smells and flavours. If you’re wincing at the smell, then ginger may make your symptoms worse or give you heartburn. In any case, check with your GP before taking any supplements during pregnancy. Ginger in other forms works too, such as fresh ginger tea or #mumtribe Mumma, Jill, mentioned ‘ginger biscuits were fave’ when suffering with morning sickness.
Taking a little extra vitamin B6, in the form of supplements, has been shown to reduce morning sickness symptoms in some mums-to-be. Doctors recommend 25 mg of vitamin B6, three times a day, in addition to your prenatal vitamins.
These are often called ‘sea bands’ or ‘morning sickness relief band’, you might remember being given them by your mum on long car journeys to help car sickness. But, guess what, they are equally effective for morning sickness, as it’s all about applying gentle pressure on the balls of your wrist, to hit certain nerve centres in the body. When you experience a wave of nausea, press on the button on each wrist 20 to 30 times at one-second intervals, the sensation should be relaxing and make you feel less sick.
What our #mumtribe mums say:
“I swear by the seasick travel bands, they helped me on both my pregnancies, I recommend them to everyone.” – Katie
“I used the travel sickness bands that go on your wrists, I found they made a big difference and helped settle that constant queasy feeling in my stomach!” – Lauren
Over-the-counter heartburn medication
Research has shown that most OTC heartburn medications are safe during pregnancy and can help ease morning sickness. For example, you can buy Omeprazole over-the-counter in 10mg doses. Always ask the pharmacist if what you’re buying is safe to take while pregnant, and avoid any medication that contains aspirin.
Do your own form of aromatherapy by having a relaxing bath with one of the following essential oils, that have been shown to ease nausea and calm your stomach:
Change your eating patterns
Eat plain foods, little and often. Anything fried, rich or spicy could trigger your nausea, so stick to potatoes, pasta, rice and dry crackers when your morning sickness is at its worst in the first trimester. Also, protein-rich foods such as nuts, that are rich in vitamin B, are great too. Sip plain water or lemon juice in between to stay hydrated. For more snacks and drinks that can help, read our detailed article here.
Some complementary therapies, such as reflexology, may help you to cope with morning sickness. Reflexology follows the principle that your feet represent a map of your body and certain pressure points are related to different bodily organs. The point located below the ball of the foot corresponds to the stomach and if massaged correctly, can considerably ease nausea for some women. If reflexology doesn’t work for you, it is certainly relaxing and an enjoyable treatment. Make sure you go to a qualified therapist, experienced in treating pregnant women.
Soothing music and pulsations app
There are certain phone apps, specially designed to ease morning sickness using sounds, pulsations and soothing music. One example is Nevasic, described as ‘a uniquely engineered audio program that eliminates the symptoms of sickness’. This app has proven to be a great success with a number of women. Play it around the house or in the car stereo while driving.
More morning sickness remedies recommended by real-mums
We asked our #mumtribe community of mums on Facebook what helped their morning sickness and here are some of our favourite answers:
Fiona Clewer: “I started with morning sickness at week 9 and was still being sick a couple of hours after having my baby boy and the only thing that ever made any difference (and only worked sometimes) was sipping ginger beer. Even water made me vomit.”
Patrice McDonald: “Dry cream crackers helped…plus crystallised ginger (easier to cope with than raw ginger). I later asked the GP for anti-sickness tablets, but in the end, they prescribed antacids which really helped (much better than just drinking Gaviscon by the bottle)!”
Rachel Train: “It’s trial and error. I had sickness with all my 3 pregnancies and I found eating plain food regularly helped me. Marmite sandwiches on white bread were my saviour from starvation, and plain baked potatoes, cream crackers and rich tea biscuits. Sucking on mints helped with nausea. And I found a tummy setting tea morning sickness tea that did actually help!”
Holly Ashton: “I was sick for months and nothing really helped. Even anti sickness tablets from the Drs! I tried all the tricks but the only thing that seemed to keep it at bay at all was eating a little and often. Including having biscuits and dry cornflakes by my bed so I could munch through the night too!”
Tanya Harrison: “I had morning sickness when we first moved into our house. Our first parcel to arrive was a giant box of 48 ham and mustard flavour crisps which my husband thought was a mistake! It was the only thing that would cure my morning sickness!”
Laura Davies: “Water from the fridge with chopped up lemons in it and those butterscotch sugar-free sweets you can get from Aldi. Lifesaving!”