If you read my previous posts you’ll know I started struggling with severe nausea already at week 5, and spent a lot of time researching and trying everything the internet suggested to find a way to feel better. I’m happy to tell you I came across a bunch of stuff that actually worked! I’ll include everything in this post. Every body is different so what worked for me might be the last thing to work for you, but it’s worth giving everything a try. So – here are my top 10 tips to fight morning sickness that lasts all day long.
1. Eat something before you get out of bed
This was a huge one for me, and the number one reason I could start my day off on the right foot (i.e. not queasy and miserable). My husband would get up before me and bring me cut up grapefruit, a glass of grapefruit juice and a packet of plain, bland crackers every single morning. Grapefruit was one of the few things I could eat that didn’t make me nauseous, so that’s what we focused on, and we kept it the same every single day. I’d eat the grapefruit still half-lying down. For some reason it felt like even the slightest movement on an empty stomach was like rocking the nausea-boat, and once I started feeling queasy there was no getting out of it. Eating grapefruit lying down helped, and then I’d take my time drinking the juice and eating some crackers sitting up. Give it a try! Choose a fruit that works for you. The crackers I added just to have something a little more substantial in my tummy – I never craved them (actually plain crackers are the devil and I hate them but you gotta do what you gotta do).
2. Get your fruit on. Fruit is your friend!
Fruit will not hurt you! I stocked up on green apples and grapefruit because for two straight weeks, they were everything I could eat. Also, sour, slightly unripe fruits of any kind. Firm kiwis, solid mangoes, green grapes. I sent Dennis to the supermarket with the most detailed grocery lists you’ve ever seen: “4 kiwis – FIRM (they do NOT dent when you press your thumb into them!), “2 mangoes – UNRIPE (so unripe you wouldn’t even think of wanting to eat them!!), “sparkling water – THE RIGHT KIND” etc etc. Pretty amusing. He returned one day with mangoes that so clearly were not unripe, but juicy and soft but still not quite considered ready by my Caribbean husband, and I gagged as I took them out of the bag. Ugh. So. Eat fruits but do it on your terms! You can’t overeat on fruits, they have high water content and there is so much to choose from. Go organic if you can!
3. Sparkling water
This kept me alive people. Sparkling water over ice. It was the only way I could ingest fluids. Something about the bubbles made the taste sharper, less flat, easier on the taste buds. You can always flavor it lemon, mint or a dash of cranberry juice if you’re feeling brave. Over ice. Over ICE! Ice saves lives.
4. Eat every 90 minutes.
Or every 2 hours. It sounds insane but it works. Having something in your stomach at all times is key. If I’d eat every 90 minutes, all day long, the nausea would just sort of go away. What I was able to eat varied from day to day, but tiny portions of carefully selected foods. Fruits, mostly. I’ve eaten so much grapefruit I’m surprised I haven’t turned into one. Cold food worked the best for me, nothing heated or anything with too much flavor. Fruits and crackers always worked, vegan yogurt with plain cornflakes was a big hit for a while, and cornflakes with almond milk and raisins. I’ve never liked cornflakes before but hail the yellow gold! Doesn’t taste like much but fills you up a bit. Rice with soy sauce and boiled broccoli. Weird little meals. Dried fruits, sometimes. I would just go for what my cravings wanted every 90-minutes, which meant my kitchen needed to be stocked for every imaginable possibility, and that my husband was sent out for impromptu grocery shopping every other day. Thank god for Dennis.
5. Don’t overeat.
This is a big one! I had it happen a few times (evenings in front of Netflix, mostly, when I wasn’t paying enough attention to my body) when I’d felt almost normal, and then dug in a little too deep to whatever was in front of me, thinking I could eat like normal. DO. NOT. DO. THIS. Not if your pregnancy nausea is bad. It resulted with me regretting every bite and almost throwing up, every time. Don’t overfill your stomach but go for many small meals throughout the day instead.
Yes, every pregnancy site you pull up will talk about ginger and it’s magical healing nausea powers but let’s take a moment and get real people: who the hell wants to eat ginger when they’re about to throw up?? NO ONE, that’s who. Ginger in foods does not work for me, crystallized ginger is the worst, and I wasn’t able to find ginger candy that was edible. Give it a try for yourself – for many people chewing on ginger stuff works! However, I found that infusing my sparkling water (OVER ICE) with cut-up, fresh ginger, and some lemon, worked. But not too much. A little ginger goes a long way.
7. Essential oils
Ok so this one will sound very hippie and like it absolutely wont work but it does. I have a small essential oil diffuser and using a few drops of eucalyptus oil makes my house smell less like dogs and dirty yoga mats and more like, well, eucalyptus. This is more about covering up smells your newly sensitive nose might be sensitive to than it is about the actual power of the essential oil, but I made it a habit to carry a small bottle of peppermint or eucalyptus oil with me so that I could take a whiff whenever I came across something unpleasant (like getting stuck behind a garbage truck or picking up Dennis from soccer practice). Lol.
Yay! A fun tip! During my first week of really bad nausea I was completely unable to drink water, even sparkling (over ice) which resulted in me getting dehydrated which led to really bad headaches – not a fun addition to wanting to throw up round the clock. I found this tip online and while it sounded silly, it actually worked! You can buy natural popsicles in many stores these days – go for ones made with real fruits and without a ton of sugar. Or you can get popsicle molds and make your own! Some orange juice, passion fruit and fresh strawberries thrown in a blender makes for a delicious way to drink OJ. Or try using natural sodas/juices in the molds – delicious! Anything that helps you keep fluids down.
9. Bring snacks with you everywhere you go.
This is one of the most important tips I can give you. You don’t want to get stuck somewhere feeling a wave of nausea coming up with nothing for you to snack on but French fries (ugh) or chocolate bars (kill me now). For some reason, I haven’t been able to eat chocolate since I got pregnant. I pack a grapefruit, a green apple, dried fruits and crackers in my bag every time I leave the house.
It’s important to keep a positive outlook and this is very challenging when you’re overcome by nausea all day long. After you’ve had your first mini-meal of the day (lying down perhaps), take at least five minutes to sit in silence and focus on your breath. Visualize deep, cleansing inhales filling you with peace and calm. Everything you have been holding onto from the previous day that you want to release, let it go with your exhale. Place a hand on your belly and feel the magic your are creating in this moment! Feeling pregnancy symptoms is a good thing. Your nausea means hormones are rushing like crazy through your body because it’s busy growing a baby! Remind yourself every day of the miracle this is. All-day morning sickness and all.