Nausea is one of those pregnancy symptoms that can be a real downer for many women. It effects at least 70% of moms-to-be and is usually one of the first pregnancy symptoms to develop (you should notice the queasies popping up around week 6 of pregnancy – possibly sooner).
I began to experience mild nausea in my own pregnancy around week 8. I was very lucky and didn’t experience any actual vomiting until week 11. I have had friends who struggled with severe vomiting, or hyperemesis gravidarum, for all three trimesters of their pregnancies. Constant vomiting is thankfully uncommon. I’m grateful that my own nausea has been so mild.
Whether you are simply struggling with midnight queasiness or something more severe, this post is for you! These foods will help reduce your nauseous symptoms and help make the first trimester more comfortable.
1.) Stomach Fillers: Whole Wheat Crackers or Bread & Butter
When your stomach gets queasy it will produce excessive stomach acid. Eat small amounts of whole wheat crackers or bread with butter throughout the day to soak up excess acid and settle your stomach. These are both particularly great to eat before bed if you struggle with midnight nausea.
2.) Raw Ginger
Ginger is a wonderful stomach soother and it can be consumed in a variety of ways. If carbonation settles your stomach then a small 4oz glass of ginger ale will help settle your tummy without giving your baby too much sugar.
It’s important to avoid consuming too much sugar during pregnancy. Your body is not as effective at processing insulin while your pregnant and you could develop gestational diabetes on a sugary diet. Sugar can also aggravate heartburn and nausea.
To keep your baby healthy suck on raw ginger pieces instead of candied ginger. You can also steep ginger slices in hot water for 20 minutes to make soothing ginger tea. If ginger is too spicy for your sensitive stomach consider taking ginger pills once a day.
3.) Soup Packets
When I feel under the weather one of my favorite comfort foods is homemade chicken noodle soup. The rich, fatty chicken broth almost always speeds up my immune system and helps me recover faster from any illness. I learned the hard way that this fatty broth is not good for morning sickness. It’s far too rich and will probably cause your stomach to be even more upset.
Use soup packets as an alternative to chicken soup. They are bland and light, providing electrolytes and hydration for your body. I lived pretty much exclusively on soup packets for three weeks of my first trimester. It was all I could keep down.
Soup packets tend to have a high sodium content. A small amount of salt is beneficial when you’re throwing up. It helps to balance your body’s electrolytes and keep you hydrated. Choose a brand of soup packet with organic noodles that has less sodium than brands like Ramen. You don’t want to feed your baby with empty nutrients. If you cannot find a good brand of soup packet at your local grocery store try looking online.
4.) Hydration: Water or Ice Chips
Proper hydration is so important during pregnancy. It helps your baby receive nutrients and keeps your body healthy. Ideally pregnant women should drink 12 eight-ounce glasses every day. When you’re throwing up all your liquids this can be very difficult.
Nausea is a vicious cycle. The more you vomit, the more your body wants to continue to vomit. In extreme situations you risk dehydration, fainting and severe headaches. This is why women who are so nauseous that they can’t drink anything for days must go to the hospital for IV drips regularly.
The majority of women will be able to sip on water throughout their first trimester and keep it in their systems. If this is proving too much for you try sucking on ice cubes or ice chips.
5.) Raw Almonds
Raw almonds are very healthy during pregnancy. They contain many B vitamins that help to stabilize your mood, protein for energy, iron to enrich your blood and enzymes to reduce your body’s sensitivity to nausea. Grab a handful of them before you go to work. Eat some before bed. Consuming small amounts of almonds throughout the day will help keep your nausea at bay.
6.) Lemon Wedges
When I first got pregnant my mother told me to go out and buy lemon drops. Why? Lemons reduce our body’s sensitivity to nausea and help us feel less queasy. Lemon drops have a lot of sugar though. For instant relief from nausea try sniffing or sucking on a fresh lemon slice. You can even steep lemon slices in water to make fresh lemon tea.
7.) Calming Fruits: Banana, Watermelon, Honeydew
Many fruits like apples, oranges and kiwis have too much citric acid in them for women who are really nauseous. Even the smell of most fruits can cause pregnant women to throw up. If you want the vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit consider some calming varieties: banana, watermelon and honeydew are best.
Ripe bananas are full of potassium. They help your body stay hydrated and are very easy on your stomach.
Watermelons are 92% water. They help your body stay hydrated and are wonderful for soothing sensitive stomachs. A glass of cold, fresh watermelon juice is a delicious way to prevent morning sickness.
All melons have the ability to stop acid reflux and soothe heartburn. Eating honeydew will coat your throat and stomach, making it less sensitive.
8.) Soothing Herbal Teas: Chamomile, Ginger, Peppermint
Warm, herbal teas can help soothe your stomach. They are also particularly relaxing before bed. The best herbal teas for morning sickness are chamomile, ginger and peppermint.
Chamomile tea has mild nervine properties, meaning that it relaxes your nervous system. This tea calms mothers down and prevents nauseous sensations.
Ginger tea can either be bought at the store or brewed at home. To brew homemade ginger tea steep a few ginger slices in boiling water for 20 minutes, then drink. Ginger acts as a stomach soother for many women. In severe cases of nausea where a woman’s stomach is already very upset the mild spiciness of ginger can trigger additional vomiting.
Like melon, peppermint tea coats your throat and relaxes the muscles in your stomach. Peppermint is a wonderful stomach soother.
9.) Bland Foods: Brown Rice or Oatmeal
If you consume nothing but liquids for a week due to morning sickness your body will begin to feel weak and sluggish. Bland foods like brown rice and oatmeal can fill your stomach without aggravating your nausea. Eat small amounts throughout the day for the best effect.
10.) Cold Foods: Jello or Sorbet
Cold foods will help settle your upset stomach. Small amounts of jello and fresh lemon sorbet will help your body stay hydrated. They are also very easy to eat. Choose light flavors with very little citric acid for best results. Remember to avoid eating too much sugar.
What foods have helped you with your morning sickness? Share your story in the comments section below!