11 Ways to Survive Morning Sickness

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Confession: I secretly despise pregnant women who don’t get morning sickness. I know, I know. It’s insane and unreasonable but y’all…I get morning sickness SO BAD that when I hear a woman say cheerily, “I feel amazing when I’m pregnant! I never feel nauseous for a minute!” it takes all the willpower I have not to slap her perky little face.

During my first pregnancy I threw up every day (usually twice) for 5 months and I still had 24/7 nausea until month 7. My second pregnancy was much easier but I still had the nausea well into the second trimester. So, that makes me some sort of expert on feeling terrible. I am not, however, any sort of medical professional so keep that in mind as you read my advice for coping with morning sickness. And please call your midwife or doctor if you think you are experiencing symptoms beyond the limits of normal pregnancy morning sickness.

OK, here’s my tips:

1. Snack, snack, snack. Eat little snacks all the time. ALL THE FREAKING TIME. If it’s been an hour since you ate a bite, it’s been too long.

2. Get lots and lots of protein. I know that dry toast is all that sounds good but TRY to sneak in protein wherever you can. It will keep your blood sugar more regulated. Protein is your friend. Make sure you get some to start out the day and have some right before going to bed. Otherwise you’ll wake up feeling like a truck ran over you.

3. Sugar is your enemy. I get such a sweet tooth during pregnancy but DON’T GIVE IN. Sugary foods will make your blood sugar spike and crash and you will feel miserable. If your morning sickness is really dreadful, even cutting out fruit might be necessary for a time.

4. Don’t even think about getting out of bed before eating. Set a high protein snack on your bedside table before going to sleep so that you can grab your bag of almonds or peanut butter crackers or whatever seems to help rather than exacerbate your nausea. Munch for awhile before lifting your head off the pillow. Hopefully, this will help you not vomit immediately after your feet touch the floor.

5. Try to get plenty of sleep. If you’ve got young children in the house, this might just be wishful thinking but do TRY. Anytime I skimp on sleep during the first few weeks of pregnancy I spend the entire next day puking.

6. Beans. I don’t know why but I always crave beans (esp. tacos) when I’m pregnant and ill. I looked it up and apparently there’s some sort of scientific mumbo jumbo about beans helping remove toxins from your system that might be contributing to the nausea. I don’t know if that’s true. All I know is beans.

7. Frozen snacks. Sometimes by eating frozen blueberries or ice chips I can pull some sort of Jedi mind trick on my body so that it forgets that it was about to throw up. I’m just awesome like that.

8. Change your prenatal vitamin. During my second pregnancy I took a small Folic Acid and B vitamin and several other vitamins that are important for pregnancy through out the day instead of taking them all together in one big prenatal multivitamin. I think this helped a lot. Every time I try to swallow one of the giant prenatal horse pill vitamins, it comes right back up. Sometimes prenatal vitamins with lots of iron can be especially difficult to keep down during morning sickness. Your midwife or doctor might be able to recommend a different vitamin until the morning sickness improves.

9. Call a Fellow Sufferer. Sometimes when nothing physical helps keeps the nausea at bay, the best thing to do is call a friend who is part of the same Puking-all-the-time Club or has been there before who can sympathize and listen to you rant and rave about your misery. They can also reassure you that you won’t be a pregnant-forever medical anomaly and that this too shall pass.

10. Ease your mind: talk to your Health Care Provider. Get reassured by your midwife or doctor that baby is still thriving even though you can’t keep anything down. Like many other women, I wasn’t able to gain anything in the first trimester (and some women even lose a few pounds) due to morning sickness. It always helps to hear your midwife assure you all your puking isn’t hurting baby.

11. Keep Your Eye on the Prize: A fellow pregnancy puker and dear friend keeps her baby’s ultrasound picture on the bathroom mirror so that she’s reminded of her precious one every time she experiences another bout of vomiting misery for his sake. I promise your baby will be worth it no matter how many times you throw up. I promise that when you feast your eyes on your new baby you will think to yourself, “I would have gone through much worse for you, little one. I would do it again, a thousand times over.”

Do you experience morning sickness during pregnancy? What helps you cope?

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh my goodness my morning sickness is the only reason I will likely not have any more children. Even though they are WORTH it, so, so so worth it . . . I just can’t do anything, can’t take care of my kids, can’t stop throwing up, blah blah blah . . . I think your list about covers all that you can do . .. I didn’t learn until after my 3rd pregnancy the tip about beans . . . eat tons and tons of beans I read, all day long . .. maybe it would have worked, but I’ll probably never find out??

    • Haley says

      It is soooo hard. I feel like I spend most of the first trimester and part of the second lying on a cold floor and willing myself not to throw up. So hard to take care of other kids, too, when morning sickness puts you out of commission. I didn’t find out the stuff about beans until after my most recent pregnancy, too. I knew that I craved them all the time but next time (God willing) I’m going on an all beans all the time diet :)

  2. Elizabeth Joy says

    YES YES to PROTEIN! real protein- like eggs, meat, tree nuts (pecans, walnuts- NOT peanuts). NO NO to SUGAR! totally agree!

    It also helped me to change vitamins- i changed to a water soluble food based one and that was much better.

    Great post!

    • Haley says

      Thanks! Eggs are my best friend during pregnancy. And usually I can stomach almonds pretty well during the morning sickness weeks. I keep them on my bedside table and munch of them before falling asleep and right when I wake up. I even grab a handful and eat them in the middle of the night when I inevitable have to get up to pee. Seems to help?

  3. Mandy says

    I can relate to many of these although i didn’t know about the beans. When i brushed my teeth (particularly in the morning) i would immediately throw up. Then i learned to brush for a second and spit, brush for a second and spit. It seems the toothepaste would trigger the gag reflex (that and everything else). And the smell of, well ANYTHING, would also trigger it so keeping some peppermint oil or a baggie of lemon slices with me to smell helped (sometimes). I especially agree with your advice to eat constantly!

    • Haley says

      That’s really good advice about teeth brushin’. I haven’t tried the brush, spit, and pause trick, but I will if I suffer from morning sickness again because that’s always a vomiting trigger for me. And yes to lemon slices! That helped me a few times!

  4. Sarah O says

    Ugh, I got such horrible morning sickness with both my boys. My 2nd pregnancy, I started getting sick in the 3rd trimester, too. Brushing teeth was the *worst*! I didn’t know several of these tips, so thanks for sharing. I will definitely keep them in mind for my next pregnancy!
    I tried lollipops or sour suckers my 1st pregnancy, which often helped when I was trying to get through the last lectures of college without puking on a fellow student.

    • Haley says

      Sour candy did the trick for me a few times, too! A really strong, tart flavor makes me forget I’m nauseous or something.

  5. says

    all I good advice – don’t forget good ol’ ginger ale (the real stuff) and motion sickness bands. I got to point where I had to take ondansetron ODT’s at least twice a week so that I could keep enough food and water down to keep myself out of the hospital – i think I was almost to three months before I relented and admitted to the doctor that I needed help (this coming from the woman who doesn’t use pain killers, cough syrups, and antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, etc. was a big deal).

    I found that later on once it got manageable that small hard candies seemed to help ease me into eating for the day.

    Also, find any trigger foods and avoid them like the plague – mine were milk and fried foods.

    And it does help to remember that while pregnant the baby gets first dibs on any and all nutrients that enter the body, so focus on eating well whenever you can even if most of it comes back up later. =D

    • Haley says

      Can’t believe I forgot about real ginger ale! Yes to that! Sounds like you had a super rough time. Poor baby! My trigger foods always seem to change suddenly through out pregnancy. So frustrating. Great advice, Molly! I have such a hard time choking down veggies and eating well when I’m nauseous.

  6. says

    I totally know the feeling about wanting to slap the perky girl…I also have that feeing when women tell me they had a baby in under 10 hours!

    I’ve never found a solution to my morning sickness, but it has got better every pregnancy, my fourth I was only sick a month! Woot?

    • Haley says

      It improved each pregnancy!? You give me hope! My second pregnancy was definitely easier morning sickness-wise. If each one gets better that would be amazing.

  7. says

    Hi, I just came over from a comment on Sorta Crunchy’s post (one of the ones about the twins). I am 8 weeks in, and so far I haven’t vomited very much, but oh the misery! I lie down almost all day to keep it away as much as possible (I only have one little one, but the house is falling apart already).

    So, I have been using protein powder in smoothies 1-2 times a day and I think that may be contributing to my not-actually-vomiting streak. I just talked to a dietitian and she said to make sure the brand I bought has complete proteins in it (apparently not all protein powders do) OR to combine soy protein with tofu because those two make a complete protein (silken tofu for smoothies).

    What is this about beans? I like beans. I often eat rice and beans (another complete protein). Does it matter how you eat the beans?

    Note to self: Call husband. Have him bring home ginger ale, lemons, and sour candy.

    THANK YOU!!!

    • Haley says

      Thanks for stopping by, Ryann! And sorry to hear of your morning sickness misery. For me, 8 weeks to 11 weeks is the hardest, so maybe you’re at the very worst and in a couple weeks it will start improving.

      As for beans, I read somewhere that beans help remove toxins from your body that might be contributing to the nausea. If you eat a bunch, the nausea will be relieved a bit. Or something like that. I can’t recall where I read that. But I noticed that I would crave beans during the morning sickness months and that they did seem to give me a little bit of relief.

      I hope you feel better soon! And congratulations on your pregnancy! :)

  8. Michele says

    Haley can I just say that knowing how bad your morning sickness is and yet knowing how open you are to children is such an encouragement for me! My husband and I both want a large family, even though pregnancy is so difficult for me…and you make me feel not crazy for saying that! I’m pregnant with our second and with both of them I’ve suffered from hyperemis gravidarum, lost 10 pounds or more in the first trimester and I even had to make two trips to the ER for dehydration this time again. For me it’s less about actually throwing up (although I do do that) but more about nausea and dry heaving that’s so severe I

  9. Michele says

    Whoops! Didn’t finish…
    …I struggle getting food down. My life saver both times has been a compounded medicine that’s basically B6 and a unisom. After being on it for a while I still feel sick but I can eat a bit more and sometimes even have brief windows a day when nausea subsides.
    And AMEN to keeping your eye on the prize!!! That’s all that keeps me going some days.

    • Haley says

      Thank you for saying that, Michele! It means a lot to me that other mamas are still choosing large families after struggling through their pregnancies. Makes me feel less alone! It sounds like your morning sickness is even worse than mine. Zofran is the only thing that helped this time around.

  10. Jean says

    An idea – ever make peppermint pops? Add some peppermint extract to water and freeze into ice pops… a little Altoid-y, but the peppermint soothes my stomach wonderfully and the cold chills out the stomach spasms (pun intended). Seem to work for me when ginger fails.

  11. Lisa Bushey says

    So encouraging to read all these comments! I am 11 weeks pregnant with our third and luckily it has gotten easier each pregnancy but spending whole weekends on the couch while the Husband plays with the girls is getting old fast. We keep trying to remember that this is temporary and how much we desire that big family and it is all worth it! Zofran, sleep, eating throughout the night and keeping our social schedule to a minimum is helping immensely this time around. God bless everyone in their pregnancies!

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