Feeling nauseous in pregnancy is very common as there are lots of changes, especially hormonal changes, occurring in your body.
Morning sickness and nausea are common in early pregnancy. It usually eases off after the first 12 -16 weeks but everyone’s experience is different and it can carry on into later pregnancy. It is often referred to as ‘morning sickness’ but it can happen at any time of day or night. Whilst uncommon, 1-2% of women can experience a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum which can lead to severe dehydration and hospitalisation.
When you have morning sickness, it’s important not to feel guilty if you are unable to complete everyday tasks or if you are too tired to do much exercise. You are not alone. At least 30% of women will need some time off work during their pregnancy due to nausea and vomiting.
What Helps With Morning Sickness?
While there is no quick-fix cure for morning sickness, there are certain things that help relieve feelings of nausea. Here are some things you can try to help with morning sickness:
Use a morning sickness spray
Carry a handy morning sickness spray in your handbag to help ease feelings of nausea while you’re on the go. Our Sick Of It! Spritz can be sprayed whenever you feel nauseous and includes peppermint, lemon and grapefruit whose properties are known to help feelings of sickness.
Eat little and often
An empty stomach can make morning sickness worse, so try eating and drinking little and often to keep up your fluid and energy levels. If you can predict the times that you may feel nauseous, try to eat something small, like a biscuit or rice cake just before. It can help stave off feelings of nausea. Equally grazing through the day can really help keep symptoms at bay.
Try morning sickness supplements
Morning sickness supplements, such as our Soothing Ginger Melts, contain ingredients that can help manage feelings of nausea during pregnancy. Our melts include ginger, which is known to be an effective natural nausea reliever and can be taken up to 3 times a day.
Avoid heavy carbs
Steer clear of heavy carbs, such as white pasta and white bread, as these can increase bloating and constipation and trigger nausea. Instead, try healthier alternatives such as rye bread and nuts.
Drink peppermint tea
Swap out your breakfast tea for peppermint tea. It can have a soothing effect, relaxing gastric muscles and reducing cramps.
Inhale anti-nausea essential oils
Certain essential oils have anti-sickness properties that can be helpful to inhale, such as peppermint, lemon or ginger. Carry a ready-to-go rollerball around with you, such as our Sick Of It! Rollerball, to help alleviate waves of nausea throughout the day. It contains ginger, lemon, cardamom and spearmint, all known to help relieve nausea or settle the stomach.
Try to rest and listen to your body. A lack of sleep and tiredness can make nausea feel worse so try to include some planned relaxation time as an important part of your day.
Eat and drink ginger
As ginger has natural anti-nausea properties, try drinking hot water with fresh chopped ginger, snack on ginger biscuits, nibble or suck on crystallised ginger, sip on ginger ale or inhale ginger essential oil.
Wear a motion sickness bracelet
These can be bought from most chemists. Some women find they work well, as they act upon acupressure points on your wrist to prevent you from feeling nauseous.
Drink lemon water
Lemon is not only a refreshing and welcome taste but it is known to help soothe upset stomachs. Try a slice or a squeeze of lemon in some hot water.
Avoid rich, creamy or spicy foods
These foods can take longer to digest and irritate your stomach, causing increased stomach acid and heartburn. Instead, eat lighter, blander foods in smaller portions, rather than large meals.
How To Survive Severe Morning Sickness - When To Seek Medical Help
Hyperemesis gravidarum is severe morning sickness and is diagnosed when you are experiencing continuous sickness and your health and ability to have a normal lifestyle is compromised. You should contact your midwife or GP for medical advice if:
- You have tried self-help remedies and nothing has eased your symptoms
- If you are unable to keep down any food or fluids for 24-48 hours
- You are not passing any or very little urine and it is dark in colour
- You feel weak or faint and not able to stand up for any length of time
- For more information and advice visit the NHS website
If you are admitted to hospital for treatment, a doctor will assess you and a plan of care will be made for your needs. Although treatments can temporarily relieve your symptoms, it is common for them to return.
You can expect to be offered antiemetic (anti-sickness) medication via an injection until you can tolerate this in tablet form. There are several different ones available and there is usually one that will work for you.
You may also be offered intravenous (IV) fluids if you are unable to keep food and water down. This involves inserting a needle (cannula) into your hand to deliver replacement fluid into your body. This will temporarily rehydrate you and make you feel much better, whilst the right medication is found to help ease your sickness.
Your Questions About Morning Sickness Answered
What does morning sickness feel like?
Simply put, morning sickness symptoms can include feeling queasy, extremely nauseated and sometimes vomiting. Some people liken it to feeling motion sick. You may also feel fatigued.
When does morning sickness start and end?
Morning sickness can start in the early stages of pregnancy and usually eases off by week 12 - 16. However, everyone is different and some find it carries on into later pregnancy, too.
When is morning sickness the worst? Is there a specific week?
Sickness and nausea can start as early as 4 weeks of pregnancy and for some people last the whole 9 months. However, women experience it in their own ways and each experience for each woman and even each pregnancy can be different. Therefore it is unpredictable as to which weeks could be worse than others.
Is morning sickness a good sign?
Feelings of nausea are linked to hormonal changes, therefore feeling nauseous could be linked to still having pregnancy hormones circulating in the body. It is not necessarily a sign of a healthy or a live pregnancy though.
Why is it called morning sickness?
Sickness and nausea in pregnancy were named morning sickness as it was most commonly experienced in the morning by women when waking up. It can, however, strike at any time of the day or night and it can also be triggered by certain smells.
How do you know if nausea is morning sickness?
You will only know if your nausea is pregnancy-related by taking a pregnancy test to check this.
Although no one likes to experience sickness and nausea, there are self-help remedies you can try, and your symptoms will more than likely ease off once you are beyond 12 weeks pregnant. Very few women will experience severe sickness and nausea but, if you do, medical help can enable you to manage those symptoms. Check out our morning sickness product range here.