Vomiting and nausea during pregnancy are commonly referred to as “morning sickness.” It is a common occurrence during pregnancy, and despite its name, may occur either during the day or at night. More than 50% of women experience it during their pregnancies.
The condition usually starts by the 4th week and goes away by the 16th week. However, if it progressively intensifies into a severe issue, it is called hyperemesis gravidarum (1). You may be prescribed certain medicines or home remedies to cope with it.
Scroll through to know more about pregnancy, nausea, and vomiting.
How To Stop Nausea And Vomiting During Pregnancy?
It may not be possible to stop nausea or vomiting, but you may try to deal with it or control it with the help of some home remedies. However, note that there is a lack of substantial scientific evidence to support the use of most of these remedies. You may try them and continue if they work for you.
Keep sipping water frequently (2). It helps replace the lost fluids and reduce frequent bouts of nausea. When you feel thirsty after vomiting, take small sips and not more than half a cup of water at a time (3).
Ginger helps relieve nausea. You may have it in the form of whole ginger (crushed or juice), candies, chews, and drinks (4). A clinical study has found that the everyday intake of 1,000mg of ginger in capsule form can be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (5).
You may sniff a fresh lemon peel or inhale some lemon essential oil taken in a handkerchief, whenever you feel nauseous. A clinical study has shown the efficacy of lemon scent in reducing nausea and vomiting (6). Drinking lemon water may also help. You may add a bit of honey, sugar, or salt for taste and sip it.
6. Vitamin B6
A couple of studies have shown the effectiveness of vitamin B6 in reducing nausea and vomiting. Vitamin B6 supplements are prescribed as a first-line treatment for nausea (10). Eat foods rich in vitamin B6 such as whole grains, low-fat milk products, fat-free products, lean meat, seafood, poultry, nuts, and seeds (11).
7. Acupressure and acupuncture
Alternative therapies, such as acupressure and acupuncture, could help. Applying pressure on a specific point may help reduce nausea. Studies have reported that stimulation of the P6 (Nei Guan) point may reduce the severity and frequency of vomiting during pregnancy. This point is located at about three finger breadths under the wrist on the inner forearm between the tendons (12).
Having a snack before getting off your bed could help you avoid morning sickness. Consume low-fat, protein-rich, and dry snacks (13). You may take crackers (2), pretzels, nuts, cereal, or toast instead of spicy, high-fat, and excessively sweet foods.
The following are a few other recommendations based on anecdotal evidence and shared beliefs that may provide relief from vomiting and nausea.
Although there is limited research on this, some pregnant women have noticed relief from nausea by taking slow and deep breaths.
Chewing fennel or anise seeds is believed to provide relief from nausea. You may also make fennel tea by soaking fennel seeds in a cup of hot water. Add honey to taste and have it in the morning.
The folic acid content in Broccoli might help reduce nausea. Broccoli soup made with ginger, peppermint, and a pinch of red pepper might help.
Probiotic yogurt might help regulate your digestive system. The vitamin B12 in yogurt is likely to reduce the nauseous feeling during pregnancy. You may add fresh fruits to yogurt to ease nausea.
Kiwi might reduce nausea. You can have a smoothie made by blending kiwi, banana, and blueberries with a dash of honey.
The aroma of cloves is believed to soothe the queasy feeling in the stomach. You may chew a clove or roast a few and have them with honey. Clove tea might also work.
15. Vegetable broth
Sip on vegetable broth as this warm drink may ease nausea and. You may have it anytime, or whenever your stomach feels queasy.
The fiber in apple is believed to help in reducing morning sickness.
The protein and fat in nuts are likely to provide relief. They are also easy to digest and quickly replenish lost energy.
18. Raspberry leaf
Herbal tea made of dried raspberry leaves might work to relieve nausea. Add one teaspoon of dried leaves in one cup of hot water. Allow it to steep and strain. You may take it as you wake up in the morning.
19. Starchy vegetables
Starchy vegetables are likely to reduce nausea and alleviate morning sickness. You may consume boiled potato, turnips, or winter squash as a soup or baked.
Sucking on an ice popsicle could work. You may make green tea popsicles, ginger peach popsicles, watermelon popsicles, lime mint ginger popsicles, or cucumber popsicles.
Cinnamon has antiemetic properties and is known to lower the occurrence of nausea and soothe the stomach lining. You may have it in the form of cinnamon tea or cinnamon water.
Onion contains sulfur, and its juice might soothe the stomach, thereby reducing nausea. You may extract fresh onion juice and mix it with either ginger juice or carrot juice and take it in small sips.
23. Cumin seeds
Cumin seeds have antiemetic properties that may help to relieve nausea. They are also thought to ease digestion, which could help reduce nausea caused by indigestion or overeating. You may either chew some cumin seeds or take it in the form of tea.
Dissolve a teaspoon of wheat germ in warm milk and have it after an hour. It is believed to reduce morning sickness. However, it might pose a risk of allergic reactions.
25. Rice water
This is one of the oldest remedies for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Rice water has soothing properties and could help provide relief from morning sickness.
26.Apple cider vinegar
It is likely to neutralize stomach acids and maintain the body’s pH balance, which could help curb nausea and vomiting. You may consume it in the morning by mixing one teaspoon of it in warm water and honey.
27. Sports drinks
Electrolyte replacement sports drinks that restore depleted nutrients may help you feel better. You may have small sips when you feel nauseous, but do not over-drink them.
28. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
It involves the tensing and relaxing of muscles in a sequence, and is thought to reduce the severity of nausea (14).
If these remedies do not work, your doctor may prescribe medications. You may need active medical treatment only in the case of severe nausea and vomiting.
When To See A Doctor?
Seek medical advice if:
- You are unable to keep any food or liquid down for more than 12 hours.
- Nausea and vomiting turn severe.
- You experience infrequent urination or pass dark color urine.
- You feel dizzy when standing.
- Lose weight suddenly.
- You feel like your heart is racing or pounding.
- You have abdominal or pelvic pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do nausea and vomiting mean a healthy pregnancy?
A study noted that women who experienced nausea during pregnancy were less likely to have a miscarriage than those who did not experience nausea (15). Although the underlying mechanisms are not certain, and more research is needed, it can be noted that nausea and vomiting do occur in healthy pregnancies.
2. Should I vomit if I feel nauseous during pregnancy?
If nausea leads to vomiting effortlessly, it is okay to throw up. However, you must not induce or force vomiting at the slightest feeling of nausea.
3. What should I eat after vomiting during pregnancy?
It is recommended to drink plenty of water and eat small quantities of plain room temperature foods with little smell, such as white rice, fruits, and crackers, after vomiting during pregnancy (16).
4. What triggers nausea and vomiting during pregnancy?
Different women may have different triggers for nausea. A few examples include specific smells, spicy and greasy foods, excessive saliva, and heat. However, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy may also occur without specific triggers (17).
Symptoms of morning sickness such as vomiting and nausea during pregnancy are considered normal and not a threat to the baby unless severe. You may try some home remedies to ease the condition. These may include sipping water, ginger juice, sniffing lemon essential oil, and consuming herbal teas. In addition, some acupuncture or acupressure techniques can also help relieve discomfort. Try these and many other home remedies mentioned in the post. However, it is always advisable to check with your doctor before using home remedies and alternative treatments to relieve morning sickness symptoms.
2. Nausea, Heartburn, and Throwing Up during Pregnancy; UNM Hospitals
3. Instruction Sheet: Pregnancy-associated Vomiting (Hyperemesis Gravidarum Or Morning Sickness); University of North Carolina Wilmington Abrons Student Health Center
4. A Royal Pain: Morning Sickness in Pregnancy; University of Rochester Medical Center
5. Ozgoli G, Goli M, and SimbarM; Effects of ginger capsules on pregnancy, nausea, and vomiting; J Altern Complement Med. (2009).
6. Yavari Kia P, et al.; The effect of lemon inhalation aromatherapy on nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a double-blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trial; Iran Red Crescent Med J. (2014).
7. Neda Ebrahimi, Caroline Maltepe, and Adrienne Einarson; Optimal management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy; International Journal of Women’s Health (2010).
8. Joulaeerad N, et al.; Effect of Aromatherapy with Peppermint Oil on the Severity of Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy: A Single-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled trial; J Reprod Infertil. (2018).
9. Jalal Bayati Zadeh, Nasroallah Moradi Kor, and Zahra Moradi Kor; Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) As a Valuable Medicinal Plant; International Journal of Advanced Biological and Biomedical Research (2014).
10. Howard Ernest Herrell; Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy; American Academy of Family Physicians (2014).
11. Vitamin B6; NIH
12. Grigory V. Chernyak and Daniel I. Sessler; Perioperative Acupuncture and Related Techniques; Anesthesiology (2005).
13. Jednak MA, et al.; Protein meals reduce nausea and gastric slow wave dysrhythmic activity in first trimester pregnancy; Am J Physiol. (1999).
14. Karen M Mustian, et al.; Treatment of Nausea and Vomiting During Chemotherapy; US Oncol Hematol (2011).
15. Francis Collins; Morning Sickness Associated with Lower Miscarriage Risk; NIH
16. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy; Fraser Health Authority
17. Morning sickness remedies; American Pregnancy Association