During your first trimester of pregnancy, your hormones might seem like they’re out of control. Levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), estrogen, and progesterone are rising, which can sometimes lead to increased nausea and morning sickness. Morning sickness can range from mild to severe (a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum). While you might normally pop an anti-nausea pill, you’re now taking medications that can affect both you and the baby. Sometimes the baby’s growing immune system is not equipped to handle most medications. Fortunately, there are some natural remedies you can try to help reduce nausea.
Before starting any interventions, however, it’s important to keep your physician in the loop about your symptoms. He or she is most familiar with your medical history and can anticipate any potential issues while taking medication.
1. Keep plain crackers by your bed—Eating plain, salted crackers when you first wake up and lying in bed for 15-20 minutes can help settle your stomach and raise your blood sugar, reducing morning sickness symptoms before you get up in the morning. Because pregnancy nausea tends to be worse in the morning, keeping crackers on-hand can help. Trail mix and dry cereal can also help if you don’t like crackers.
2. Soothe with ginger-containing foods—Foods that contain natural ginger tend to have tummy-taming effects for expectant moms. This includes real ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger teas or ginger candies. Just make sure the ginger is the real thing, not artificial flavoring.
3. Try acupressure wristbands—Acupressurists find that pressing a point on the underside of the wrist can help to ward off nausea due to seasickness and/or morning sickness. These bands can be purchased at most drugstores and natural foods stores and are often labeled as “Sea Bands.” They’re inexpensive, so even if they don’t work for you, they’re worth a try.
4. Identify and avoid your nausea triggers—When you’re pregnant, foods, situations, and smells that never bothered you before can suddenly irritate you very much. This includes warm temperatures, certain perfumes, and the smells of spicy foods. Whenever possible, seek out fresh, cool air to minimize nausea and avoid anything that irritates your stomach.
5. Ask your doctor about B6—Taking 50 milligrams of vitamin B6 daily has been shown to reduce some symptoms of pregnancy-related nausea, according to the American Pregnancy Association. But always check with your doc first before starting any supplements.
6. Consider homeopathic treatments—Homeopathic herbs, such as asarum, ipecacuanha, lacticum acidum, and pulsatilla are all treatments used to help pregnant women find relief. They should not be used unless under the supervision of your physician and a homeopathic professional who can assess your symptoms and determine the appropriate treatment.
It is important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor as there may be other ailments that need to be addressed.
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, December 2018
- Pregnancy-induced nausea is typically related to hormone fluctuations and typically subsides after the first trimester.
- Eating small meals and eating a snack of salted crackers first thing in the morning can minimize symptoms.
- Always check with your physician before starting any natural remedies, such as homeopathic herbs or vitamin supplements.