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Morning Sickness – bleh!

By Kay on Thu, Mar 29, 2007

General, Memoirs, Pregnancy

First of all, whoever decided to name this phenomenon “morning sickness” should be shot. It sets moms up for a rude awakening when the sickness that started in the morning continues into the afternoon, evening, and night time. I mean, if it’s called “morning sickness”, shouldn’t I be feeling better by lunch time? Not necessarily. :(

After having three children with pretty bad morning sickness in all three of those pregnancies, I’ve tried just about every remedy out there. The bad news? There’s not a cure-all. The good news? There’s lots of different things to try. Sometimes one thing will work and then the next time something else works better. So, just because you’ve tried one remedy and it didn’t work, don’t necessarily rule it out completely. There were a few things that worked more successfully than others for me, so I thought I’d at least add a blog about it to hopefully help someone else out there suffering from this nasty cocktail of hormones.

  1. Sleep. About the only thing that worked with a 95% rate of effectiveness for me was going to sleep. When I was asleep, I was rarely awakened by the waves of nauseau unless it was REALLY bad. Of course, when you are at work, or trying to watch other little ones at home, this remedy is not always available. Too bad, since I think that if I could have hibernated for the first trimester of each of my pregnancies, I probably would have felt MUCH better!
  2. Candy. You know how almost every restaurant has a basket of peppermints by the door as you leave? Well, they actually do help soothe a sick tummy. I bought a big bag of them and carried a bunch in my purse all the time. Something about sucking on that candy always seemed to help, even if it only eased the pain instead of obliterating it completely. Of course, the candies that you want should have real peppermint oils listed in the ingredients to get the best reaction.
    I’ve recently run into ‘Preggy Pops” – lollipops meant to help with morning sickness, but I’ve heard conflicting reports on those. Some people love them and some people don’t. Also, my mom just found a candy/lozenge made from ginger that’s been helpful for nausea for her. Makes sense since ginger is supposed to be an herb that helps with that – whether it’s nausea from morning sickness or from a stomach bug.
  3. Eating Something. Most advice out there about combatting morning sickness is to eat. While I was a VERY bad about actually following this advice, it’s still some of the best out there. Somewhere I read that eating every couple of hours really helps – something about not letting your stomach empty completely allows for the excess stomach acids to work on something instead of your actual stomach.
    The best foods to eat? First of all, whatever your body is craving. Usually whatever sounds good to you is because it’s something that your body is lacking or needing. So, even if it sounds weird, go for it. (Of course, I don’t recommend eating dirt or any other non-food items…) Some books say to eat carbs – these seemed to work best for me. Others suggest some protein – this also worked, but was harder for me to convince myself to do. I also found that eating a graham cracker first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, seemed to alleviate some the rush of hormonal yuckies. I know some people swear by saltines, but I found those too hard to eat. Graham crackers will actually dissolve in your mouth without much effort – that was always a plus for me.
    One last piece of advice about eating. I found that if a particular food that I wanted was not already fixed or cooked, by the time it was done I no longer wanted it, or was too nauseas to eat it. So, either get your significant other to fix things for you, or fix things ahead of time for yourself. For instance, I did well with jello, macaroni-n-cheese, and protein shakes. But, if I had to wait long enough for the water to boil for the first two, I’d find myself in the bathroom for sure. So, I tried to make some of both ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator for when I wanted it.

  4. Teas. I tried every herbal tea out there for nausea. Peppermint tea. Ginger tea. Sick tummy cocktail tea. Pregnancy tea. Granted, if I liked hot tea a little more, this remedy may have been further up my list… Although each of these teas worked to a greater or lesser degree, the best advice I have here is to drink it slightly warm. Not too hot, and definitely not cold. Something about ice-cold drinks does NOT help a bubbly tummy.
  5. Sea Bands.Sea BandsThese little elastic “bracelets” are meant to be worn on the wrists so that the plastic piece aligns with the acupressure point associated with alleviating nausea. They are most often used for sea-sickness (thus the name), but also work for morning sickness. These worked okay, but eventually got on my nerves and most times I decided they weren’t all that great for me.
  6. Vitamins. I only tried B-complex vitamins a couple of times. While they probably would have worked well, I have a thing about pills, and it didn’t help at all that I threw up after taking it the first time. I also have heard that it helps to take your pre-natal pills at a different time of day, instead of in the morning (like before going to bed, or with a meal). I always tried to take mine with lunch since that seemed to be my best time of day.
  7. Meds. With my last pregnancy, I finally got to point where I had been throwing up for 3 days straight and couldn’t handle it anymore. My midwife prescribed Zofran, but after realizing how INCREDIBLY expensive those pills are ($450 for a bottle of 20 pills), she switched me to Phenergan. While this actually worked pretty well, it’s side effect is drowsiness. So, while I was feeling slightly better, I was so sleepy I could hardly keep my eyes open. After taking it for about a week, I weaned myself off of it so that I could be a better mommy to my 2 toddlers!
  8. Overall, the best advice I have is just to try everything at least twice. That way you give yourself a chance to find out if something might work the second time that didn’t work on the first.

    Last tid bits… If you’re experiencing morning sickness at work, keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse to use after visiting the porcelain throne. Mint-flavored gum can also help with that. And, when you are brushing your teeth, if you’ll watch yourself in the mirror, you have less chance of actually gagging yourself and making yourself throw up. It actually works! Try it!

    So, what have your experiences been? What’s worked for you? Add to the comments field below and let us know your thoughts!


    The Mommy Journal is a collection of product reviews, articles and advice from the experiences of real-life Mommies. Our goal is to bring you funny stories, practical advice, baby gear reviews, and answers to questions about motherhood, maternity, babies, and parenting. If you have any pregnancy questions, baby questions or just general feedback, comments, and thoughts on motherhood, please email us!! Also, please feel free to send us any product reviews, articles and advice from your own experiences.

13 Comments For This Post

  1. Sara Das Says:

    Graham crackers helped me too (thanks, sis! ) but I also kept a bottle of ginger ale by my bed so I could have it first thing in the morning. During the day (as I was one of those lucky ones that just felt blah all day) I would have a bag of honey nut cheerios on stand by to snack on. It was true for me that snacking constantly helped keep it at bay. As you can tell, sweets worked better for me than salty! :)

  2. Kendra Hunt Says:

    Ahhh! Morning sickness! How did you know? I am 11 weeks and feeling the effects. Get this, we went on a cruise and I felt better. I need to move to the boat for a few months. I agree sleep is by far the best, but my little man doesn’t think resting all day is too fun. Oh well!!! I am counting down to trimester number 2.

  3. Kay Says:

    Just an addendum here… NO, I am not currently (nor do I want to ever again) experiencing morning sickness!! This is NOT my way of telling everyone that we’re pregnant again… although, I have to admit that would be a pretty clever way of doing it. Too bad we’re done having babies. :)

  4. Myra Says:

    I just found out i’m pregnant and I got really really bad morning sickness. This is my first pregnancy. I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried crackers. I’ve tried the “preggie pops” that only makes things worse. i’ve been told to drink alot of water but that only makes things worse. I can’t stand saltine crackers anymore. I try to eat normal but i can’t seem to keep it down, unless i go to sleep after I eat. I’m worried that I’m not giving my baby the nourishment that it needs. : (

  5. Tiffany Says:

    I just read also, that B-6 100mg or less (not so much B-complex) OR Lecithin both work for PMS pains, AND for morning sickness. I have thankfully, never expericienced morning sickness, but if I did, I would try these vitamins for sure.

  6. Kay Says:

    Thanks for mentioning that, Tiff! I had forgotten that I actually tried B-6 for a day or two. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep anything down at all at that time, so I stopped taking it. Which means, I can’t say if it would have worked or not for me. But I have heard it works for other women and my midwife was actually the one that recommended it.

  7. Kay Says:

    Myra,
    I’m so sorry to hear how yucky it’s going for you! Believe me, I understand!! I couldn’t stand water during my first trimester – especially COLD water. I never got tired of saltines, but I did tire quickly of other foods. That’s why it was better for me to trade things around and try new stuff all the time. What worked one day didn’t work the next, but worked again the day after that. Weird, huh?

    Also, don’t worry so much about baby getting nourishment. Your baby is the first one getting nourishment. Before your body gets anything, your baby is getting it. That means that even if the baby has to get it from stored fat cells, etc…, it will do that. So, the baby should be fine. Of course, YOU need nourishment, too, so definitely keep trying different things AND be sure to take your pre-natal vitamins!

    Hang in there! It doesn’t last forever. Eventually your hormones should settle down a little and give you a reprieve. :)

  8. Ashlee Says:

    I have been researching alot about pregnancy and morning sickness, mostly because I’m terrified of nausea and vomiting. I haven’t actually gotten sick in about 8 years but the fear of it makes me not want to ever go through it!! I remember my mom saying something about never actually throwing up during her pregnancy with me or my sister, until the day I finally popped out. I think I could probably handle one single day of getting sick… Just not two months straight.

    I found somewhere that birth control pills can actually make you feel as though you’re experiencing morning sickness. I was on the generic brand for ortho tricycline from February to July, and 5 out of those 6 months I had a week to a week and a half of severe nausea but no vomiting :) The pills in my packet were divided up into three colors (the amount of estrogen changed with each color) and the very first color I took each month would leave me feeling so sick. I didn’t eat because I felt sick after everything. My head hurt, and I was sleepy alot because I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking I was about to be sick. I caught myself thinking a few times “Gosh this feels like what morning sickness might feel like!” and after doing alot of reading I discovered that the pill can actually make you have those symptoms. Does anyone know how my symptoms with the pill would compare/contrast to actual morning sickness? Would the fact that my mom didn’t experience it horribly have an effect on my symptoms?

    I don’t plan on having children for a LONG time, but it would be nice to know!

  9. Kay Says:

    Ashlee, Great questions! I can tell you what my experiences have been and maybe that will help…

    1) I was on Ortho-Tricycline when my husband and I were first married and it most definitely made me nauseous every month. once I finally figured out that it was the birth control that was making me sick, I called my doctor. 2 different prescriptions later, he finally got me on a low enough dosage to not make me sick. It definitely makes sense that the hormones in birth control pills would mimic the symptoms of the hormonal surge at the beginning of pregnancy that causes morning sickness. You might talk with your doctor about changing your birth control pill to a dosage that’s more manageable for your body.

    2) While your mom’s experience with pregnancy and child birth may give you some clues as to how your own body will respond, it’s most definitely NOT the tell-all that we all wish it would be. My mother also experienced little to no morning sickness with my sister or myself and I had TERRIBLE morning sickness with all three of my kiddos. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you might have morning sickness even if your mom didn’t. :(

    3) One of the keys for me (and for a friend of mine, too) was not to fear the nausea and vomiting so much. If you just kind of wrote it off as something your body needed to do to get through this time, it made it much more manageable and easier to get through the day. The minute you start obsessing about it and how you shouldn’t be feeling this way and trying 50 different things to make you feel better, you’ll ultimately make yourself feel even more sick. Probably the best piece of advice I could give you about it now is to just relax and go with the flow – and that’s true of child birth and motherhood in general, too. The more you fight it, the more stressed it will make you, and the worse the symptoms will be. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you don’t do the common sense things that you know help make things better, it just means you shouldn’t focus on them so much.

    Hope this helps – and whenever you do wind up getting pregnant, I hope that you DON’T have to experience morning sickness!! :)

  10. Pat Says:

    I had terrible day long morning sickness for weeks while I was carrying little Stevie. Then I found Mommy’s Bliss Morning Sickness Magic…and it worked wonders, in less than 2 days!
    You can find this wonderful natural product at http://www.blissbymom.com – you can order it online or use their store locator to find a store in your neighborhood that carries it….good luck!

  11. Tasha Says:

    This is my seccondbaby, my first i had morning sickness with however it was strictly morning, im about 7 weeks now and i am having 24 hour morning sickness, its disgusting, water isn’t even settling in my tummy, i went to the dr’s got the morning sickness vit B pills and those seemed to make it worse… im so worried the baby isn;t getting what it needs and im so drained i can’t barley do anything i can barley open my eyes without getting sick, im goin out for sum fresh air right now which does seem to help a bit but man oh man this is horrible and I CAN’T wait until it pases

  12. Kay Says:

    Tasha,
    Believe me when I say that I totally understand and relate to your misery. With each of my babies, the morning sickness seemed to get a little worse, for some reason, and it was never over at week 12. All three of them took me well into my second trimester before letting my stomach settle.

    With baby #3, I actually took a medication (can’t remember the name of it off the top of my head, since my baby is now 5!) and that seemed to help, although it did make me sleep a lot. If your stomach doesn’t settle down, you might talk with your caregiver about that.

    Good luck to you – and here’s hoping that the sickness gets milder and you start to feel better SOON!

  13. Alvanna Says:

    This is my first pregnancy and I am super excited although the morning sickness is ._. you know… but so far I’m handling it very well I mainly feel it in the late mornings, afternoons, and at nights I just drink water and walk around for a while but the peppermint candies and snacking in between on pears and cantaloupe has helped out a lot it’s an experience to treasure for ever glad I saw this , any other tips anyone can give this first timer is appreciated thanks God bless!! :)

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