Pregnancy Concerns

Nausea and Vomiting

Common during months:




























Why This Happens

Nausea and Vomiting in pregnancy, commonly called morning sickness, can actually occur at any time of day. Experts are unsure of the exact reasons for it, but believe that it may be due to the rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels, or a reaction to changing hormones. About half of all pregnant woman experience morning sickness.

Some Women Have Tried...

Dietary Cures

The most simple morning sickness cures are dietary, meaning you eat something specific. Most experts agree a good diet with plenty of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates helps prevent morning sickness. There is equal speculation that greasy or spicy foods may increase your risk of feeling queasy, however you should pay attention to how specific foods affect you.

Some women have success at warding off nausea by eating a specific food just before bed or immediately upon rising. If timing alone is not enough to cure your morning sickness, you might have success eating a peeled apple or peeled potato. Both are able to help counter the effects of excess stomach acid. Chamomile or peppermint tea can be sipped throughout the day to help keep your digestive system working well. You may also find adding a slice of lemon to your water improves your nausea.

Women have found a number of ways to adjust what they are eating to alleviate the nausea associated with pregnancy. You could try:

  • Eating small meals frequently
  • Eating more protein
  • Eating crackers before getting out of bed
  • Never letting your stomach get empty
  • Avoiding foods you develop aversions to
  • Eat more of foods you crave
  • Drink chamomile or peppermint tea
  • Eat ginger or drink ginger tea
  • Drink broth or thin soups
  • Sip sports drinks to keep your blood sugar up
  • Eat a small meal before you go to bed
  • Avoid greasy or spicy foods
  • Add brewer's or nutritional yeast to your diet.
  • Drink water with a lemon wedge squeezed into it.
  • Eliminate caffeine from the diet.

Lifestyle Cures

Some women find that adjusting their routine helps to lessen their symptoms. You could try:

  • Taking a 15 minute walk
  • Spending time in the fresh air
  • Open windows for fresh air
  • Allowing yourself to sleep longer
  • Relaxing the pace of your day
  • Avoiding perfumes or scented toiletries
  • Avoiding scented cleaning products
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Use convenience foods or let someone else cook
  • Adjust the time you take your prenatal vitamin
  • Adjusting the dose or type of vitamin you take
  • Practice deep breathing or deep relaxation

Massage Cures

When you are feeling queasy, the last thing you want to think about is being touched. However, you may find activating pressure points on the back of your head is helpful at curing the immediate effects of morning sickness. The pressure points are located where the head meets the neck. Place your thumb on the side so you feel a muscle when you tilt your head up. With your head leaning forward, press your thumbs into the pressure points for 60 seconds, then release.

  • Massage, especially of the head and back to help relieve stress and allow you to relax more fully
  • Acupressure or Sea Bands on your wrists to activate pressure points that help alleviate nausea
  • For immediate relief, work the area between the ball of your foot and your heel, which is linked to the digestive system in reflexology. Once or twice a week self-reflexology treatment for the digestive system may help.

Aromatherapy Cures

Aromatherapy works by stimulating the nerves in your nose, which trigger the production of neurotransmitters in your brain. These neurotransmitters then cause your body to release chemicals that have an effect on your whole body. The secret to an aromatherapy cure for morning sickness is using an oil that will trigger the desired response.

Aromatherapy for morning sickness can be done with a single oil, such as basil, ginger or lemon, or with a synergistic blend of oils. One blend to try is 2 drops sweet marjoram, 2 drops black pepper and 2 drops peppermint in 15 ml grape seed oil (some recommend against using marjoram in early pregnancy). Another blend to try is 2 drops coriander, 2 drops bitter orange and 2 drops ginger in 15 ml grape seed oil.

It make take trial and error to discover the best way to administer the oils. Some women find the easiest method is to use a diffuser that can be plugged in at night, or placing a few drops of oil in a dish of water that is set in a warm spot. Other women prefer to start the day by placing a drop of oil on a tissue and inhaling through the tissue. Placing a few drops of your oil into a small amount of shower gel will allow you to benefit from the aroma while preparing for your day.

  • Infusions of chamomile, peppermint or orange blossom help nausea type symptoms
  • lemon or peppermint infusions for heart-burn type symptoms
  • Add a few drops of basil, ginger or lemon oils to water in a vaporizer or humidifier. Place this near where you sleep to help prevent morning nausea.

Herbal Cures

Herbal tea infusions that are good for digestion can be useful at curing morning sickness. An herbal tea is made by steeping the herb in hot water for a few minutes, after which the herb can be strained out. Herbal tea bags make using herbal cures easy. Try drinking peppermint, chamomile, red raspberry, ginger or orange blossom tea first thing in the morning to prevent morning sickness. Sipping them throughout the day may help improve your digestion.

  • Teas of red raspberry, ginger, spearmint, peppermint, orange blossom or catnip may help settle your stomach. Other options are slippery elm, chamomile, hops, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Consult an herbalist for proper dosing of milk thistle or herbal ginger.

When to Call the Midwife

Remember, morning sickness is normal in pregnancy, but excessive vomiting is not. Be sure to contact your midwife if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Dehydration (your urine is dark in color and less frequent; your mouth, eyes and skin feel dry)
  • Increasing fatigue or decreased mental acuity
  • Increasing weakness or feeling faint
  • Inability to keep anything down (food or beverage) for 24 hours