Coping with Morning Sickness: 3 Big Questions Answered

Mom laying down, feeling sick, morning sickness

If you recently found out you were pregnant, you might be receiving that oh-so-wonderful first-trimester gift: 





Morning sickness is not for the weak. But it sure does make you feel weak. 

There are so many things happening in your life-giving, miracle-producing body. And with that may come this unpleasant side-effect. 

What are the Physical Causes and Symptoms of Morning Sickness? 

Unfortunately, morning sickness can happen at any time… despite the name “morning” sickness. 

I know, what a tease! 

They call it “morning sickness” because your nausea symptoms may be more likely to happen at that time.

But, morning sickness can happen whenever, wherever.

Here are a few possible reasons for morning sickness: 

  • Increased hormone levels
  • Reduced blood sugar 
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Changes in carbohydrate metabolism 

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a singular underlying cause of morning sickness found.

Morning sickness symptoms and severity varies greatly from person to person. It can also vary between pregnancies. Some women have no morning sickness at all while others have it their whole pregnancy.  

It’s the luck of the draw for the most part.

But no matter the reason… 

It is unpleasant and I’m sure you want it to resolve as quickly as possible. 

Nausea at any time of day is inconvenient to deal with. Because of it, you feel drained, uneasy, and unsure what to eat. 

Here are a few symptoms you may notice while enduring morning sickness:  

  • Nausea (not always in the morning) 
  • Motion sickness
  • Heartburn or reflux 
  • Aversion to certain foods 
  • Strong distaste for some smells 
  • Occasional vomiting

You may be thinking it will be difficult to do everyday tasks while coping with this.

But don’t lose heart. This is just a step in pregnancy that many must face, and that many have overcome! 

This fact alone means that you can overcome it too. 

How Will I Get Relief From Morning Sickness? 

While dealing with morning sickness, there are a few things that can worsen it: 

  • Increased stress or anxiety 
  • Eating or smelling certain foods (varies from person to person) 
  • Motion sickness 
  • Warm weather or heat 
  • Overtiredness 

Sometimes you can’t control these factors.

Sometimes people bring around those pickles or even a certain smelly soap you just can’t tolerate right now. Or maybe you happen to be pregnant in the middle of summer so there is no avoiding the heat. 

But, if you learn that one of these things makes your morning sickness worse, try your best to not be around it. 

Sit somewhere air-conditioned. 

Tell your partner to stop buying those pickles or that soap. 

Listen to your body when you know you’re overdoing it. 

Now, there are a few things you can eat to make your morning sickness more tolerable. Let’s dive into a few options. 

To Eat… Or Not To Eat

Morning sickness often has you wondering what you can eat. Sometimes morning sickness is also paired with weird food cravings or aversions. 

This can be different for each person, but there are a few foods that tend to be safe for most people feeling nauseous. 

Here are a few food ideas: 

  • Chicken broth or plain broth 
  • Dry toast 
  • Baked potato
  • Bananas
  • Ginger
  • Crackers
  • Popsicles 
  • Peppermint tea
  • Jell-O
  • Plain chicken or turkey
  • Plain cereal without milk 
  • Apples or applesauce 
  • Plain rice or noodles
  • Plenty of water

There are also several treatments and supplements you can try to alleviate symptoms. As always, speak with your care provider first before taking any supplements. 

Here are a few: 

  • Prenatal vitamins 
  • Vitamin B-6 supplements
  • Ginger lemon drops 
  • Acupressure wristband 
  • Aromatherapy 
  • Acupuncture therapy 

Since there are many options it can be difficult to know what will work for you.

Here’s a quick tip to help: 

Create an easy routine for yourself. 

It’s true that morning sickness tends to run on its own schedule. But setting up a routine to cope with morning sickness will help you feel far less miserable. 

Here’s a sample routine: 

In the morning… 

Firstly, be patient with yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to rise from bed. If you don’t need to be somewhere, allow yourself to rest for as long as needed before getting up. 

Try eating a cracker or two when you first wake up before moving around. Eating some starchy food helps to absorb the acid in your stomach which contributes to nausea. This can curb some of your morning sickness symptoms before they get worse. 

During the day…

As you move about your day, make sure you have plenty of fluids and snacks with you. It helps to have something to put in your stomach throughout the day. Eat small, frequent meals. Drink water after eating. 

Also, avoid taking naps right after eating. This can cause stomach acid to rise, and make nausea worse. 

In the evening…

While planning meals, avoid spicy, greasy food. As much as you may want to eat them, it’s likely to make your nausea worse. Avoid food with a strong odor, stick with bland food for now. 

Try to go to bed early. Your body will need a lot of rest to both endure morning sickness and support the growth of your precious baby. 

Remember, you can always adjust this routine to fit your schedule. You might react to morning sickness differently than your mom or your friend. Many women travel the same road, but it can look different depending on who’s traveling it. 

Be patient with yourself.

When Does Morning Sickness End? 

Typically, morning sickness lasts throughout the first trimester. Usually, from weeks 6 to 12, the worst bit being between 8 and 10 weeks. However for some it can continue even longer.

A 2000 study found that 90% of women resolve morning sickness by 22 weeks. 

If it lasts longer, your symptoms are more severe, and you can’t seem to keep anything down… 

You may be experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum

This type of morning sickness is rare and found in only 2% of pregnancies.  

With this, you may experience…

  • Frequent vomiting (3 to 4 times a day) 
  • Dehydration 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches 
  • Weight loss 
  • Jaundice 

This is not normal. 

If you experience symptoms like these, see your doctor. 

Read more about hyperemesis gravidarum treatment here

We’re Here For You 

Say hello to your new pregnancy ally! 

At Buddha Belly Doulas, we care deeply about your journey from pregnancy to birth and postpartum.

If any questions or concerns arise with your pregnancy, we want to help guide you through it. 

Each pregnancy is different. 

That’s why, whether this is your first baby or your tenth, it helps to have a trustworthy ear to listen. 

When you hire a doula… 

  • Your birth wishes will be heard
  • Your pregnancy questions will be answered
  • You will learn comfort techniques 
  • You will have a supportive, calming person at your birth 

We can’t wait to support you. Set up a time to talk with us here

Also check out: First Trimester Checklist: What To Do in the First Trimester of Pregnancy and Understanding the Hormones of Early Pregnancy

About Christie Collbran

Christie believes in helping women recognize their own inner wisdom, strength and power. Having served as President of the Tampa Bay Birth Network for six years and with ten years serving families as a birth doula, she has a reputation for leadership, dedication and compassion. A childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor as well as a certified doula, she makes a point of ensuring mothers and their partners understand all their birthing options and what to expect on their journey.> keep reading