Everybody's got advice for pregnant ladies. When it comes to morning sickness relief, expectant mamas have heard it all.
Eat some crackers.
Hang in there – it's a normal part of pregnancy!
Don't suffer, take the drugs.
Enjoy it! The more sick you feel, the stronger your pregnancy is.
Deal with your resistance to the pregnancy and you'll feel better.
Eat some ginger.
In another post about morning sickness, I talk about why these first trimester symptoms occur and how to prevent them before you get pregnant. But I think it's only fair to suffering pregnant women everywhere that I also address how to help you feel a bit better NOW.
My top 3 tips for morning sickness relief
Let me just start off by saying – every pregnancy is a bit different and what works for some women will not work for others. During my first pregnancy it was green apples, lemonade, and toast. During my second pregnancy, one day Bubbie's sauerkraut was the only thing that would settle my stomach, and the next day it was Mrs. T's pierogies.
That said, as a mom and acupuncturist who has worked with hundreds of women through conception and pregnancy, I've found that there are certain things that help just about everyone with morning sickness symptoms. This is no guarantee that you're going to feel 100% super-duper, but these three tips for morning sickness relief will help take the intensity down at least a few notches.
#1 – Snack on fat and protein every two hours
Whether or not you're already having morning sickness, as soon as you find out you're pregnant, start eating a snack of protein and fat every two hours from the time that you wake up in the morning. If you need to, set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
It doesn’t have to be a lot; even a few bites will help to prevent and/or minimize blood sugar crashes throughout the day. Keep these snacks everywhere (purse, car, desk, fridge) so you’re never caught without something handy.
Good options are sliced almonds (less chewing than the whole ones) or other nuts, full fat yogurt, slices of cheese, hard-boiled eggs, jerky, or slices of cooked meat.
As a bonus, many of these fat and protein foods are also high in B vitamins, which can help to curb morning sickness too.
#2 – Sip broth (or…)
Bone broth delivers hydration along with calcium, gelatin, minerals, and lots of other healing goodies. Bone broth also contains magnesium, which is a nutrient that may play a big role in curbing morning sickness symptoms.
If you're already not feeling well, the idea of making broth from scratch may be a no-go. But if you can convince your spouse or a friend to help you out, I've seen bone broth make a big difference in the intensity of morning sickness.
Alternatively, you can buy broth and have it delivered. Here in Los Angeles, get broth delivered to your door from RealFoodDevotee or anywhere in the U.S. from these guys.
Strain the broth and season it with a bit of sea salt or my favorite fish sauce. Drink it like a tea or make a simple veggie puree soup: Simmer some onion, potato, carrot, and celery (or any mild veggies of your choosing), season it with a good quality sea salt, blend with a handheld immersion blender and drink it by the mugful.
Is broth a no go?
Some women find that sipping raw milk provides morning sickness relief, with the added benefit of essential fat, cholesterol, probiotics, and enzymes. Raw milk kefir made with a kefir starter is another option, as it supports healthy gut flora. Find raw milk here.
As an alternative, make yourself a homemade electrolyte drink. Try this recipe or simple mix filtered water, a big squeeze of fresh lemon, a generous pinch of sea salt, and lots of ice. While it won't provide the healing gelatin and other benefits of bone broth, it is a mineral-rich way to stay hydrated, and for some reason most pregnant women prefer their drinks extra cold.
You can also try taking a magnesium supplement like this one, which can be especially helpful if you have a tendency toward constipation. Magnesium is often better absorbed via the skin, so you can also soak in magnesium salt baths or try a magnesium oil spray.
#3 – Get acupuncture
Modern studies are starting to back the age-old knowledge that acupuncture can help to manage pregnancy symptoms, including morning sickness.
In my practice, I find that weekly acupuncture sessions through the first trimester (or until symptoms subside) can be quite effective in managing heartburn, taking the edge off of the nausea, providing a deep recharge needed from ongoing fatigue, and helping a newly pregnant mama process all of the new thoughts and emotions she may be experiencing along the way.
It's pretty likely that you're not going to be able to curb morning sickness completely. But these three things will do wonders to make the first trimester more bearable.
If you're not pregnant yet, check out this post on how to prevent morning sickness – or at least minimize it – with a few simple changes you can make leading up to pregnancy.
What tips and tricks helped you with morning sickness relief?
linda spiker says
Great ideas. I always feel so bad for girls that get morning sick. I never did. I will pass this along!
I have been doing real food for 6 years now and these things really do work. The other thing I would add to this list is iodine. It helps so much!
Hi, how do you take the iodine? In drops or added to food? Going through it at the moment and delighted to have found this article.
Jessica @ConveyAwareness says
When the time comes and should the morning sickness strike, I will see about adding some acupuncture treatments in. Great tip! =)
My mother and my wife have this same trouble in every morning. I would like to give them some tips following this article.
Great tips – especially the regular snacking. This is my third pregnancy and I don’t remember needing to eat quite so frequently before. At least I can try some ‘better’ snacking options now. Thanks!
lori @ thehealthminded.com says
How I wish there were blogs like this when I was pregnant as both my pregnancies the first three months were brutal. I was horribly nauseated the entire time. And, I mean the ENTIRE time. Not one second, even in my sleep, that I was not suffering from the worst nausea I had ever had. I was on IVs for hydration as I was horribly dehydrated. My veins were so small they needed specialists to find a vein. I lost weight instead of gained weight. And, literally one day it was gone at the three-month pregnancy mark. Completely gone. And, I felt great the rest of the pregnancy. I broke down in sobs when I just felt normal because it felt sooo good! I got so tired of people telling me I was just “nervous” or throw some saltines my way. Ug! The great part is I had two wonderful, loving, daughters that I cherish with all my soul. It was worth it — all that pain. But I sure could have used some of these tips and a few less crackers!
Exactly the same for me until 16 weeks