8 Doctor-Loved Tricks to Help With Morning Sickness

8 Doctor-Loved Tricks to Help With Morning Sickness

Photo Credit: martynaszalacka

If the first trimester has you feeling queasy, you’re not alone. Morning sickness is, unfortunately, one of the most universal symptoms of early pregnancy: Around 70 percent of women experience nausea in the first trimester.1

When morning sickness hits, it can make it hard to stomach much of anything—including your prenatal vitamins, which are essential to get all of the vital nutrients your body and baby need at this time.

So what exactly is morning sickness, and is there anything you can do to stave off the unpleasant symptoms? And how do we get around pill aversion? We're breaking down exactly what you need to know to survive the first trimester when plagued by nausea. Read on for our complete guide.

What is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is the common term for nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy. But if you’re already in the throes of it, you know “morning sickness” is actually a bit of a misnomer: Research suggests less than two percent of women experience nausea and vomiting exclusively in the morning. For most women, pregnancy sickness can strike at any time of the day or night. Needless to say, this can interfere with your day-to-day life. 

What Causes Morning Sickness?

The exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, but the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) may play a key role. Our hCG levels spike during early pregnancy, and research suggests an association between higher hCG levels and worse morning sickness symptoms. 

Hormone changes during pregnancy may also heighten your sense of smell, making you more sensitive to strong odors. And some pregnant women experience dysgeusia, a condition that distorts the sense of taste.2

If you’re already dealing with nausea, these sensory changes may make you feel even worse. You might find that a favorite food suddenly tastes sour or metallic—or you’re craving a food you usually hate. You may also find that certain triggers—like eating a greasy meal or walking past a perfume shop—can cause your stomach to flip unexpectedly.

The good news? These symptoms should start to subside in the second trimester, when your placenta fully forms and “takes over” the production of your pregnancy hormones.

When Can I Expect to Feel the Worst—and When Will I Feel Better?

Morning sickness symptoms typically start around the sixth week of pregnancy, tend to peak in the 9th week, and taper off in the second trimester. However, for some women, morning sickness may persist throughout their entire pregnancy.

Up to three percent of pregnant women experience a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). This condition is characterized by extreme nausea and severe vomiting, which can lead to dehydration, dizziness, weight loss, and electrolyte imbalance. Some women with HG require hospital care to replenish fluids. If you’re experiencing severe morning sickness, be sure to let your doctor know.3

ginger for morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy

8 Tips for Managing Morning Sickness

While it’s hard to predict how long your morning sickness will linger or how icky you’ll feel, there are a few simple steps you can take to help lessen your symptoms. 

1. Take a supplement for natural nausea relief.

“A higher dose of B6 along with appropriate ginger intake and adequate folate and vitamin B12 may help with morning sickness,” notes Dr. Banafesheh Bayati, board-certified OB/GYN and our medical co-founder. That’s why you’ll find both ginger and vitamin B6 in our Anti-Nausea Support* blend, which is included in our 1st Trimester Prenatal Pack.

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2. Drink your vitamins instead.

Prenatal vitamins are important for every pregnancy, and certain nutrients like folate are particularly crucial to support the early development of your baby. If nausea is making it difficult keep your nutrients down or swallow pills, look for alternatives to cover your baseline nutritional needs.

Our team of doctors formulated our 1st Trimester Prenatal Vitamin Powder with those rough days in mind: This prenatal vitamin drink mix has a refreshing pomegranate-ginger flavor and provides 20 key vitamins and minerals, along with antioxidant support, added folate, electrolytes, and added B6 and ginger to combat nausea.*

Our 1st Trimester Powder was formulated to mix well with water, but here's a pro tip—blend it up in a smoothie on those days when your stomach is feeling extra iffy. Here's a recipe we love:

3. Take notes.

Keep a journal and write down what you eat and how you feel throughout the day. You can also make note of any strong smells or food aversions that make your stomach turn. This can help you pinpoint potential triggers, so you can take steps to avoid them until you’re feeling better.

4. Eat small, frequent meals.

You may not feel like eating much of anything, but an empty stomach can actually make nausea worse. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends eating dry toast or crackers first thing in the morning to help stave off nausea, and aiming for five or six small meals throughout the day so you don’t feel too hungry or too full.

5. Opt for kinder, gentler foods.

If you’re having trouble keeping food down, ACOG suggests starting with the “BRATT diet”—bananas, rice, applesauce, toast and tea. Try to incorporate some protein into each meal to help support your baby’s growth. Yogurt, almond butter, peanut butter, and protein shakes are a few options that are easy on a queasy palate. Ginger is easy on the stomach, so some women find that ginger candies or ginger ale are helpful.

6. Hydrate.

Morning sickness may lead to dehydration, and dehydration may make your nausea worse—so it’s very important to make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids. According to ACOG, pregnant women should aim to drink 8 to 12 cups of water per day. Need some help? Try our Hydration and Anti-Nausea Mocktail for some extra electrolytes throughout your day.

7. Try acupressure.

Acupressure wristbands are a go-to remedy for seasickness, and research suggests they may also help to alleviate nausea during pregnancy. These bands apply pressure on a specific point on the inner wrist, which is believed to help promote relaxation and relieve nausea. In need of some immediate relief? Follow our guide to give yourself acupressure at home. You may also find some relief from acupuncture, but you should clear any of these treatments with your healthcare provider first.

8. Get some rest.

Sleep is crucial during pregnancy, so make it a priority to get a good night’s sleep. Allow yourself a little extra time in the morning to wake up gradually, and carve out some time to take breaks throughout the day. Morning sickness isn’t easy, so be sure to give your body the R&R it needs right now.

Read next: It's okay to be both fearful and excited—read an expert’s mental health tips for the first trimester of pregnancy.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel. 


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  2. Sipiora ML, Murtaugh MA, Gregoire MB, Duffy VB. Bitter taste perception and severe vomiting in pregnancy. Physiol Behav. 2000 May;69(3):259-67. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(00)00223-7. PMID: 10869591.
  3. Jennings LK, Mahdy H. Hyperemesis Gravidarum. 2023 Jul 31. In: StatPearls . Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 30422512.
  4. Morning sickness: Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. ACOG. (n.d.). 

  5. Tara F, Bahrami-Taghanaki H, Amini Ghalandarabad M, Zand-Kargar Z, Azizi H, Esmaily H, Azizi H. The Effect of Acupressure on the Severity of Nausea, Vomiting, and Retching in Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Complement Med Res. 2020;27(4):252-259. English. doi: 10.1159/000505637. Epub 2020 Feb 4. PMID: 32018274.