I’m sorry, dear friend, that you have stumbled across this post, because it likely means that you have searched “morning sickness” on Pinterest, which means you are suffering right now!
Or, hopefully, you just found out you are pregnant, and you’re trying to be prepared! Yay!
Either way, you are probably reading this because you are pregnant, and that needs to be celebrated. Congratulations!
So, these are all the tips and tricks I learned while pregnant with my first baby to combat morning sickness (or, ya know, all-day-sickness). This is what I did to survive while working a full-time job and keeping my pregnancy a secret from everyone at work.
If you’re expecting, you may also like: 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Breastfeeding
1. Keep Food on your Nightstand
The key to fighting off morning sickness is to fight off hunger at all times. I know that may seem like an impossible task when everything makes you feel sick, but starting your day off right can make a huge difference in how sick you feel for the rest of the day.
I found that if I tried to follow my pre-pregnancy routine of waking up, showering, getting dressed, and eating breakfast while driving to work, it was a disaster. I threw up in the shower, was too sick to eat even a piece of bland toast in the car, and then the rest of the day was miserable.
If you keep some food on your nightstand, like a packet of crackers or a granola bar, you can eat as soon as you wake up. This doesn’t have to be a full breakfast, just something to fuel your body since it has been deprived all night.
2. Take Cooler Showers
So speaking of throwing up in the shower…
Have you ever noticed feeling nauseous when you sit in a hot tub for too long? I know this isn’t just me, I’ve even heard men mention it, and that’s why the signs posted near hot tubs warn you not to soak for more than 15 minutes at a time.
The same concept applies to really hot showers. While it may not be quite hot-tub temperature, you probably won’t feel very good if you take a really long hot shower.
The hot water and steam may actually make your morning sickness worse rather than better. I’d stick to lukewarm showers if you are struggling to shower without feeling nauseous.
3. Eat Ginger Candy
To help with morning sickness, I tried these ginger drops while pregnant. Ginger is a natural ingredient known to help with nausea.
Personally, these did not help me (and may have actually made my morning sickness worse at times), but they have great reviews from pregnant women and chemo patients alike on Amazon.
The ginger drops are also a bit more discrete, cheaper, and less gimmicky than something branded for pregnant women like Preggo Pops. Preggo Pops may work great, but probably aren’t the best if you work in a more visible position instead of a cubicle. You might raise some eyebrows if people see you pulling out Preggo Pops, just sayin.
4. Chew Peppermint Gum
If you’re like me and the ginger doesn’t work for you, try chewing gum!
Peppermint, like ginger, is also an anti-nausea ingredient. Luckily, our society loves mint gum, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.
What I like most about the peppermint gum hack is that it is extremely discrete. Lots of people chew gum anyway, so it won’t look weird for you to reach in your purse or your desk for a stick of gum.
5. Drink Lemon Water
Ah, lemons, yet another ingredient that can help with morning sickness!
Sadly, regular water sometimes made me feel sick (which is so fun when everyone on earth is reminding you to stay hydrated).
Adding lemon to your water can ease your morning sickness, as well as help you drink it faster. I’m sure there is a list of all the other wonderful benefits of lemon water out there somewhere!
5. Keep Food With You at All Times
One of the hardest things about morning sickness is that you are always hungry, yet it is so hard to get full because most foods are suddenly repulsive.
Try keeping some bland food around at all times that you can nibble on throughout the day. I remember walking around the classroom with a roll of crackers in my hand and eating them extremely slowly as I helped the students.
Eating in slow, small amounts all day helped fight away any extreme nausea. If your school/workplace has rules about eating with others around, my advice to you would be to confide in your manager. It isn’t ideal to have to tell someone you’re pregnant before you’re ready, but if that person knows you are pregnant, they’ll be more likely to relax the rules and let you eat for the sake of productivity.
6. Eat Small Meals with Small Bites
If possible at your job, try eating smaller meals over the course of the day. For some people, like teachers who barely get a lunch break, instead, try to stick to the strategy I mentioned above.
Not only should you try to eat small meals, but also take really small bites. Morning sickness can be made worse when your mouth is overstuffed.
I’m not sure why this is, but I know I am not the only pregnant woman to have experienced this. Many other women I know have said that they felt really sick when they had too much food in their mouth, or even too much foam from their toothpaste.
It will take longer to eat this way, but pace yourself, take tiny bites, and in the end, you’ll likely end up eating more.
7. Drink Smoothies
As we’ve discussed, when you’re struggling with morning sickness it can be difficult to get a sufficient amount of food in your body quickly enough. Especially because simply chewing and the textures of different foods may trigger your nausea.
To consume calories without chewing, try smoothies! They’re an easy, on-the-go alternative to meals, and they’re delicious most importantly. While you probably shouldn’t drink one for every meal, it can still be a very effective way of getting your calories for the morning or afternoon.
8. Time Your Prenatal Vitamin Correctly
Many women don’t realize that their prenatal vitamin might actually be making their morning sickness worse. This is because of the high iron content.
If you’re struggling with really terrible morning sickness, you might want to talk to your doctor about switching to a vitamin with a lower iron content that still provides the necessary nutrients to you both.
For others, a simple change in the time of day you take your vitamin might make all the difference. I found that taking my vitamin right before bed rather than first thing in the morning helped a lot. Definitely do not take your vitamin on an empty stomach.
If you’re looking for a prenatal gummy with a great taste, I’ve tried a ton of brands (VitaFusion, Nature Made, One a Day, Olly) and found the amazon brand to be the tastiest!
9. Do What You Gotta Do
I recall early on in my pregnancy, the app that I was using told me “It’s time to start eating healthy! Eat lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats!”
That’s a great idea and all, but if I could punch an app, I would punch the pregnancy app. (Side note: also ignore the app when it tells you morning sickness will go away ‘soon’ at eight weeks…)
The fact is, when you feel sick, sometimes healthy food just doesn’t cut it. I may desire mentally to eat a pile of brussel sprouts, but when it hits my mouth, I want to gag. That’s just pregnancy.
Instead of forcing healthy foods down your own throat and making yourself feel even worse, give yourself grace in the foods you eat during your first trimester.
Eat what you want to eat. If you are truly struggling with morning sickness, eat whatever you can get to stay down. Poptarts, easy mac, grilled cheese sandwiches…For me, it was a Classic Italian sub from Quickchek (a gas station in NJ…).
Your baby will be fine; it will still get all of the nutrients it needs. Our bodies are amazingly designed to grow these little humans, and there are a lot of fail-safes. In the first trimester, the goal is survival. Come the second trimester, when you are magically feeling better, then you can start your perfect nutrition plan.
This Too Shall Pass
If you are at the bottom of this post, and you’re thinking, “I’ve tried all of this Amy. I am still just so so sick”, I am truly sorry you are feeling so crummy!
The phrase I want you to remember is “This Too Shall Pass.”
Most morning sickness disappears by the second trimester. If it doesn’t due to an unfortunate condition called hyperemesis, it will definitely disappear after you have the baby.
No matter which negative symptoms you experience during this pregnancy (nausea, heartburn, constipation…), everything will be back to normal again soon, and you will have a sweet baby to show for all of your hard work!
If this was helpful to you, please comment or share with the other expecting mammas in your life!