What Is Morning Sickness?

How to Ease the Symptoms of Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

pregnant woman with morning sickness
Paul Viant/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Morning sickness is episodes of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Despite its name, morning sickness is not limited to the morning. In fact, it can happen any time during the day. If the episodes of morning sickness are mild, it has been known to end by the end of the second trimester of pregnancy. Some women, however, have been known to have morning sickness their entire pregnancy.

If you have severe symptoms of morning sickness where you cannot hold down food or liquids and you begin to lose weight, you should notify your doctor immediately.

This condition is hyperemesis gravidarum, the more severe version of morning sickness. If you have become dehydrated due to a loss of fluids, you may need to receive fluids intravenously (IV).

Causes of Morning Sickness

There is not exact cause of morning sickness but it is thought that fluctuations in hormone levels may play a significant part. Because of a woman’s enhanced sense of smell during pregnancy, it is thought that annoying smells and gastric reflux may play a part in morning sickness.

Easing the Symptoms of Morning Sickness

To ease and perhaps prevent symptoms of morning sickness, you can try one or more of the following solutions:

  • Make sure you get plenty of rest
  • Avoid annoying smells
  • Eat small meals several times a day instead of several large meals
  • Before you get out of bed, eat a few saltine crackers to settle your stomach
  • Combine small high-protein snacks mixed with carbohydrates during the day
  • Eat bland foods – gelatin, frozen desserts, broth
  • Avoid spicy, salty, or fatty foods
  • Eat before you become hungry
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Try to drink liquids between meals

For some women, ginger ale, ginger candy, or ginger tea made with real ginger, help to relieve nausea. Before taking any herbal medication or supplement, you should talk to your doctor first.

Other options include changing your method of taking prenatal vitamins.

  • Take them at night, instead of the morning, to prevent irritating your stomach
  • If you do take them during the day, take them with food and not on an empty stomach
  • Split the dosage of your vitamins so you take half in the morning and half at night

If you smoke, quit. Don’t frequent areas where people smoke. You may also try using acupressure wristbands that are used to relieve motion sickness during ocean voyages. They are available in drugstores, travel stores, and online. With your doctor’s approval, you may want to go to an acupuncturist to relieve your symptoms. You may also want to try stress-reduction techniques such as meditation or prenatal yoga. Make sure that after an episode of morning sickness that you brush your teeth or rinse your mouth well. This keeps your mouth clean and reduces the risk of damage to your teeth.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


Mayo Clinic

Continue Reading