70-80% of all women experience morning sickness during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are a number of tried-and-true natural morning sickness remedies that can help reduce nausea and get you feeling like yourself again!
Please note: this post is sponsored by Earth Mama Organics though all thoughts and opinions are of course my own. I ONLY work with companies whose products I genuinely trust and believe in. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to continue offering free content to Body Unburdened readers!
While awaiting the arrival of your newest family member is an exciting time, there’s no doubt about it: morning sickness sucks.
If you’re here, you don’t need anyone telling you that. You’re already well aware.
Sure, it’s all worth it — to bring a bouncing little baby into this world, and with her/him so much joy!
Heck, maybe even one day you’ll look back and giggle while you say to your partner, “Hey, remember when I was pregnant and puked all over [insert name of person, place, or thing here]. HA!” Maybe…
But you’re not there yet. You’re here, you’re nauseas, and you’d really like for that plastic bag in your purse to please not have to constantly be on-call and ready for action.
So why is it that some women experience morning sickness while others don’t?
And some experience it more severely than others?
I know, you probably ask this every time you run to the bathroom or say a silent prayer that your breakfast stay put in your stomach where it belongs. Why me?
Unfortunately, there’s no crystal clear answer.
There are a number of theories, though, that include your body protecting the baby from foodborne illness while your immune system is suppressed (this is actually really fascinating and you can read more about it here), nutrient deficiencies, low blood sugar, lack of protein, genetics, and the presence of certain strains of bacteria in the gut.
And hormones likely have a something do with it.
Needless to say, there are a lot of hormones swirling around your body during pregnancy. One new hormone your body produces during this time: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is the specific hormone that pregnancy tests are looking for. hCG peaks between 9 and 12 weeks after becoming pregnant. This is also the most common time women experience morning sickness. Coincidence? Progesterone also increases at this time. This increase not only relaxes the muscles of uterus to prevent early contractions, but also the muscles the stomach and intestines. This may impair digestion, and be why so many pregnant women experience heartburn, acid reflux, burping, and gas, as well as possibly morning sickness.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce morning sickness naturally.
I myself don’t yet have firsthand experience with the misery of morning sickness. But I’ve lived through it vicariously via my sister, who experienced extreme nausea during her first two pregnancies. She eventually went on a prescription medication after loosing quite a bit of weight. It was scary. She was worried for her own health, but especially that of her babies, and of course everyone in the family was worried too. Honestly, it felt like 3 months of her life (times two!) were totally consumed by morning sickness.
But now with her third pregnancy, things have changed. And no, it’s not because of the prescription — she hasn’t needed to take it. She found a few natural morning sickness remedies that have been working wonders for her (below!).
My hope is that they will bring you the same relief!
4 Tried-and-True Natural Morning Sickness Remedies
1) Vitamin B6
You’re likely familiar with the B-vitamins since vitamin B9 (folate) is so, SO critical to a healthy pregnancy. But when it comes to relieving morning sickness, look to vitamin B6.
Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin B6 can significantly reduce morning sickness symtoms. And there’s a TON of anecdotal evidence to support this as well.
My sister experienced incredible relief with this one remedy alone. Her functional medicine doctor suggested taking 50 mg of vitamin B6 with each meal — and she says that if she misses a single dose, she notices the nausea rearing its ugly head again.
It’s not exactly clear why vitamin B6 helps ease morning sickness, but it may have something to do with its ability to help regulate and balance hormones.
2) Herbs: Peppermint & Ginger
Never doubt the power of herbs! Both peppermint and ginger have been used as natural remedies for nausea for hundreds of years.
How do they work? The menthol in peppermint is a natural numbing and cooling agent, which helps to calm an upset digestive system, while the gingerol and shogaol in ginger similarly help relax the GI tract.
Both herbs are considered safe for pregnancy. When it comes to ginger, though, you’ll want to stick to the food-based form rather than an isolated supplement since large doses can cause uterine cramping.
Teas are a great way to add these herbs to your diet, plus give you some added hydration (especially important if you’re sick to the point of vomiting). In fact, it may be easier for you to keep these teas down rather than plain ol’ water since they do help to settle the stomach.
Earth Mama Organics’ organic Morning Wellness Tea combines peppermint and ginger as well as chamomile, orange, and lemon to help naturally settle the stomach. It’s gained a serious cult-following among pregnant ladies — just take a look at the rave reviews!
You can also try adding some fresh peppermint or ginger to your smoothies. Plus, smoothies are a lot easier on the digestive system and so may be easier to keep down than a regular meal.
Earth Mama Organics also has a whole “Morning Wellness” line of products that extend into personal care:
- Morning Wellness Aromatherapy Spray
- Morning Wellness Body Wash
- Gingeraid Deodorant
- Orange Gingeraid Lip Balm
They’re formulated with these nausea-busting herbs to help settle the stomach, rather than upset it as so many other scents can!
3) Acupuncture & Acupressure
Both acupuncture and acupressure stimulate various points on the body to improve energetic function. They’re ancient practices that continue today and are often even covered by insurance.
Studies have shown that stimulating the P6 acupressure point can help ease nausea and specifically morning sickness. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center even recommends it for their chemotherapy patients because it can be so helpful.
So where is this miraculous little P6 point and do you need to make a trip to the acupuncturist to activate it? To find the P6 point:
- Place 3 fingers across the underside of your opposite wrist — as I’m demonstrating in the picture below! — with your ring finger touching where your wrist meets your hand.
- The P6 point is just beyond your pointer finger. If you gently push the point, you’ll feel two tendons (you may also be able to see these tendons when flexing your wrist back).
Research has shown that stimulating this point for just 5 minutes every 2 hours greatly helps reduce nausea.
Sea Bands make this as easy as possible for you and stimulate the P6 all day long — these elastic wristbands have a little plastic ball to put pressure on the P6.
Not only is over 80% of the population deficient in magnesium, but this mineral plays a key role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body. It impacts everything from normal nerve and muscle function to energy metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Yes, it even plays a role in hormonal balance, and low magnesium levels can cause… nausea!
It’s not clear how or why exactly magnesium works to help remedy morning sickness, but many women swear by it.
I wouldn’t recommend supplementing with a magnesium tablet or capsule since it could very well just come right back up — a powdered magnesium like this one would be the better option.
You can also rub some magnesium oil or magnesium lotion on your arms and legs, or soak your feet in some warm water with a couple of tablespoons of epsom salts. This is actually my preferred way to supplement with magnesium! It’s much more easily absorbed when applied topically, and this is especially important during pregnancy since digestion is weaker (as we talked about before).
BONUS: Magnesium can also help to keep you regular and so prevent constipation, which is common during pregnancy and can cause hemorrhoids. No fun!
Also be sure to keep these basics in mind when dealing with morning sickness:
Eat small meals frequently throughout the day
Nausea is certainly worse on an empty stomach. So eating small meals or snacking frequently throughout the day can be a big help.
Focus on easy-to-digest foods
Easy-to-digest foods will have a better chance at not only staying down, but also helping to settle your stomach so you can find relief.
Some go-to options:
- Toast (choose an organic and/or gluten-free bread if possible)
- Crackers (again, choose organic and/or gluten-free crackers if possible)
- White rice
Smoothies are incredibly easy to digest since everything in them is already all blended up — so your stomach has less work to do! I suggest adding a banana to your smoothie as well as some fresh or powdered ginger, a pinch of sea salt or coconut water for electrolytes, and some gluten-free oats. You can try adding some protein and healthy fats — such as from avocado, nut butter, collagen, or protein powder — though these will be more difficult to digest than carbohydrates.
If you’re sick to the point of vomiting, your body can definitely use some help rehydrating. And electrolytes are key for proper hydration and replenishing the body after being sick.
While I don’t recommend Gatorade (hello, sketchy ingredients!) some natural options include:
- A pinch of mineral-rich sea salt (like pink Himalayan sea salt) in your water
- Coconut water
There is no better panacea than a good night’s sleep! This is a time of rest and repair for the body. It’s also when the liver is most active doing its detox duties — including the detoxification of excess and used hormones, especially important during pregnancy.
What to do when nothing seems to help?
Be sure to ask your doctor or medical professional about hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness that affects just around 2% of all pregnant women. Symtoms include (according to the American Pregnancy Association):
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Food aversions
- Weight loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy weight
- Decrease in urination
- Extreme fatigue
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Secondary anxiety/depression
Have you had luck with any of these or other natural morning sickness remedies?
Any tips or tricks to share with mamas-to-be?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!