Managing Morning Sickness With Nutrition

For many women morning sickness is a bit more like all-day sickness. For me, it began with diarrhea and vomiting and slowly turned into the feeling of being car sick all day long! Personally, I found relief through gentle nutrition and the occasional over-the-counter, Zofran! I tried to avoid Zofran until absolutely necessary because I did not like feeling exhausted and constipated all day.

OTC anti-nausea medications can cause many unwanted side effects including constipation, lethargy, and dry mouth. If you do end up using these remedies, add in 2 tbsp of chia or flax seeds to yogurt or smoothies daily to prevent severe constipation.

Nausea and vomiting experienced during pregnancy typically last during the first trimester and resolves, or at least improves, by the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

Here are a few tips for the management of nausea and vomiting through dietary interventions:

  • consume 6 small meals/snacks throughout the day
  • keep crackers/snacks by the bedside and eat a few bites before getting out of bed in the morning
  • drink small amounts of liquid in between and with meals,
  • avoid foods that are spicy
  • consume low-fat foods which are easier to digest (foods higher in fat may make nausea worse)
  • select foods that are tolerable,
  • and avoid foods with strong odors
  • try acupressure sea bands – Sea Band Mama from Amazon or Frida Mom Anti-Nausea Band (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
  • Try sucking on tart candies or mints – Preggy pops (Amazon)

Unfortunately, there is no cure for morning sickness. It is recommended to continue taking your prenatal vitamin daily and eat whatever sounds good to you at the time.

High-carbohydrate foods such as crackers, popcorn, toast, bananas, yogurt, and chips tend to be more tolerable for managing morning sickness.

Other foods that may be appetizing while nauseous include cold foods such as ice cream, popsicles, and smoothies; warm foods such as mashed potatoes, and soup; tart or sour food such as pickles, lemons/lemonade, limes/limeade, and tomato/tomato juice or soup.

Consuming ginger and vitamin B6 may help ease some of the morning sickness symptoms.

Begin with 1 g of ginger and 10-35mg of vitamin B6 daily. Try this brand of Ginger + Vitamin B6 by Pink Stork on Amazon!

If you are experiencing any degree of vomiting, it is especially important to stay hydrated. Try to take small sips of Gatorade or Propel so that you can replenish your electrolytes.

Other drinks that might be gentle on the stomach include light lemonade, sparkling water, sprite or ginger ale, and fruit-infused water.

If vomiting persists for more than a few days and you are unable to keep food down, contact your doctor.

Let the sickness, fatigue, GI distress, and all other unwanted pregnancy symptoms should reassure you that your body is responding appropriately to this pregnancy.

Wherever you are in your pregnancy journey, remember that it won’t last forever and you are about to receive the most beautiful miracle in the world.

You’ve got this, mama!

Written by Sheridan Glaske, MS, RDN, LD

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