For the majority (80%) of pregnant people, some form of pregnancy nausea aka morning sickness is bound to rear its ugly head over the course of those 40-odd weeks of gestation. And for the unlucky few (hi!) it shows up in even more hellish form: as hyperemesis gravidarum. And while HG is much more serious and requires medical intervention, regular-old morning sickness can often be tackled — or at least eased — by a few tried-and-true home remedies.
“Morning sickness may be treated with natural remedies such as avoiding ‘trigger’ foods (the foods whose smell causes nausea and vomiting), eating smaller, more frequent meals, supplementing with ginger (teas or chews), and using bands that put pressure on the inner wrist (acupressure point for motion sickness),” Dr. Renee Wellenstein, double board-certified physician in Obstetrics/Gynecology and Functional Medicine, tells SheKnows.
And while you’ve likely heard about many of these standby remedies — these and the old “keep Saltines by your bed” preggo-snack trick — there are a whole slew of (sometimes strange) morning sickness “cures” that real moms swear worked for them. From candy to Zantac and the ever-present (in pregnancy, at least) pickle, read on to find out the weird but wonderful ways pregnant people have found to relieve that damn nausea.
Candy — and pickle juice
I, personally, subsisted on gummy bears and black tea alone for many weeks, no joke. And I’m not alone in leaning on sugar to stay alive mid-puke-process: “I fell in love with Preggie Pop Candies and Ginger Hard Candies. Even just holding one in my mouth helped to calm down my uneasy stomach. I still love them to this day! [They] helped to calm my stomach while also helping to distract myself by having something to snack on,” Monika Bloch of Monika Boch Blog tells SheKnows.
Writer Jennifer Stavros agrees that candies were a huge aid for her, particularly peppermint, which she also consumed in tea form and wore as an essential oil. “Peppermint helped quite a bit,” Stavros tells SheKnows. “I don’t know why but it did!”
Another candy fan is writer Lauren Wellbank, who tells SheKnows her best morning sickness treatment was “pickle juice and sour candies (not in the same bite).” I mean, sounds pretty perfect to me.
Bagels & crackers & carbs, oh my!
Writer Stephanie Sylverne may live in Chicago, but she sure sounds like a native New Yorker gal after my own heart; Sylverne swears that bagels alone could help her battle morning sickness. “I could only keep down plain bagels (in small bites) for three months,” she tells SheKnows. That, “and good ginger ale made with real ginger, but not sure how much the ginger ale helped or not.”
Carbs are a common “cure” for pregnancy nausea. Houston mom blogger Marquis Clarke of Simply Clarke swears by peanut butter crackers: “If I ate two peanut butter crackers before bed, it seemed to help me,” she tells SheKnows. “Coating my stomach with a good base before I went to sleep did wonders for me the next morning!”
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Clarke Family Update 💕 I'm still battling a cold/sinus infection which has me coughing every 5 minutes. Kevin is still battling a horrible stomach bug that won't leave him alone & Brooke is on her second day of medicine so hopefully we see progress in her sinus infection in the morning. &&&… great news on Baby KC, our fetal fibronectin test from yesterday came back negative so there is only a 4% chance I would deliver in 7-10 days. Praise Jesus. 🙌🏻 We are more hopeful than ever that he will keep cooking until 33-35 weeks!! Thank you so much for all your prayers!! #simplyclarke #clarkelittles #preggo
Also in the carb department, “baked potatoes, rice, and dry toast are often suitable options” to help with morning sickness, reports Medical News Today. Mom Colleen Francioli of FODMAPLife tells SheKnows she found breakfast potatoes in particular to be a good fix.
Francioli’s other cure? It’s right there in your local shopping mall:
“During my second pregnancy I was sick almost every day,” Francioli adds. “I was nauseous, dizzy, vomiting and had migraines if I tried to exercise. I read up on remedies and tried MANY things. The things that helped me the most were: Preggie pops, motion sickness wristbands, and Jamba Juice smoothies — especially made with mixed berries.”
Sometimes, you just need the pills
Mom Juana Espinoza tells SheKnows she only got through morning sickness thanks to the heartburn medication Zantac: “Zantac every single day. Couldn’t function otherwise, with the second pregnancy.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rates prescription Zantac a “category B” drug for pregnancy, which means research shows it’s not harmful to the fetus.
But you don’t need a prescription to get some morning sickness relief; OTC sleep aid and antihistamine Unisom was super helpful for me and for Katie Marie of From My Vanity. “I always get VERY sick for the entire pregnancy and the only thing I found to take the edge off of nausea and prevent me from throwing up multiple times a day was to take some B6 vitamins with Unisom at night before going to bed,” Katie tells SheKnows. “Not only did it help me sleep, but I didn’t throw up the whole morning anymore!”
And you don’t have to pop the pills to get the vitamin benefits, either (pills can be pretty gaggy if you’re already feeling nauseous): “My favorite trick for morning sickness was drinking propel water all day. It has B6 in it which is an amazing morning sickness cure,” Ad Da of MomConfessions tells SheKnows.
And remember: It’s not forever
As much as those 40ish (41 for me, ughhhh don’t remind me) weeks can truly feel like a lifetime, take courage in the fact that this, too, shall pass. You won’t be pregnant forever; hell, we humans are even lucky that we don’t have the two-year gestation period that elephants do (yikes).
Because after all, the true cure for morning sickness is best put in the words of writer Kira Martin. I asked her: What was your personal secret fix for morning sickness? “Giving birth,” she responded.
Welp, she’s got me there.
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For help with the rest of the preggo process, here are the only pregnancy books you actually need to read.