Nausea-busting beverages: Soothing morning sickness during pregnancy

Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available for morning sickness.
Written by
Molly McLaughlin
Reviewed by
Last updated on
July 7, 2023
min read
What Drinks Help Relieve Morning Sickness? | Kin Fertility
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Navigating the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy can be a wild ride for many mums-to-be. Along the way, around two-thirds of pregnant people experience some form of nausea or vomiting during the first trimester [1], commonly known as morning sickness.

Vomiting and nausea are unpleasant at the best of times, but especially if they become a daily occurrence while your body is working to grow a brand-new tiny human. In serious cases, morning sickness can cause dehydration and contribute to unwanted stress during the pregnancy, requiring medical intervention.

Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available for morning sickness, ranging from lifestyle changes to herbal remedies and prescription medication.

Every person's experience with morning sickness is different, and it may require some trial and error to figure out what works for you. It's important to listen to your body and eat what you can to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but make sure to consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

In this guide, we'll outline some common triggers and explore your options to help relieve morning sickness.

What is morning sickness?

For those who suffer from morning sickness, nausea and vomiting typically commence around week 8 of pregnancy and become less frequent after 12 weeks. However, in a small proportion of pregnancies, morning sickness may continue right up until birth [2]. For a lucky few, nausea may also commence earlier than 8 weeks.

Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night and can impact the pregnant person's appetite and diet. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and may include nausea, vomiting, and a general feeling of unwellness. Some people compare the symptoms to those experienced during car sickness, sea sickness or even a hangover.

Severe morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), affects around 1 in 100 pregnant people [3]. High-risk groups for HG include young women, non-smokers, non-Caucasians and women carrying multiple foetuses.

There is also some evidence that indicates HG may be linked to blood glucose levels [4]. Mild morning sickness can usually be managed at home. However, without medical treatment, HG can be dangerous because it leads to severe dehydration.

HG can also impact the patient's mental health, contributing to secondary depression in up to 60% of cases [5]. That's why it's essential for anyone experiencing morning sickness to consult a doctor, especially if the symptoms are severe, persistent, or affecting your ability to eat or drink.

What causes nausea during pregnancy?

Hormonal changes, particularly the dramatic increase in pregnancy hormones like human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and oestrogen, are thought to be the main cause of nausea during pregnancy because symptoms often peak at the time these hormones reach their highest levels.

The higher levels of oestrogen produced by a female foetus have also led to an association between baby girls and morning sickness. For sufferers, these hormonal fluctuations then affect the gastrointestinal tract and lead to feelings of nausea.

Pregnancy can also heighten your sense of smell, making pregnant people more sensitive to odours that previously weren't an issue.

Of course, the increased pressure from the uterus on the stomach and other organs doesn't help much either. Emotional factors such as stress or anxiety during pregnancy may also play a role in upsetting the digestive system.

While the name might seem pretty self-explanatory, the exact cause of morning sickness is not fully understood. Researchers have hypothesised that morning sickness developed as a mechanism to protect women from foods that could be dangerous to themselves or their babies throughout history.

Animal products are usually the main culprit, maybe due to the fact that prior to widespread refrigeration they were more likely than other foods to carry bacteria or fungi that could result in severe food poisoning.

These days though, morning sickness is an unpleasant but usually safe side effect of pregnancy. While it can be distressing to experience for the mother, morning sickness is not harmful to the baby.

What are the best foods for morning sickness?

For most people, plain and bland foods and drinks are the least likely to trigger morning sickness. Eating a few plain crackers or dry toast before getting out of bed in the morning can help settle an empty stomach and prevent nausea.

Foods like rice, boiled potatoes, chicken broth, or plain pasta throughout the day can also be more tolerable for those experiencing morning sickness. Sandwiches, jelly, salads and raw vegetables (properly washed, of course) are worth a try, too.

Some pregnant people find salty foods like pretzels help to relieve morning sickness, as well as sucking on a barley sugar or boiled lolly. Protein-rich foods, including nuts, seeds, hard-boiled eggs, or Greek yoghurt, will help stabilise blood sugar levels and provide sustained energy for both mum and bub without too much effort involved.

What are the best drinks to help soothe nausea during pregnancy?

Staying hydrated is essential if you are vomiting frequently, so try to drink fluids that you can tolerate as often as possible. (Sometimes carbonated drinks, fruit juice or tea are easier to keep down than water).

In the short term, maintaining hydration is more important than nutrition when it comes to extreme cases of morning sickness [6]. Once you've got your hydration levels under control, there are a bunch of drinks that help with nausea during pregnancy.

The scent of lemon or sipping on lemon water can help, as can anything that includes ginger such as ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger capsules or grated fresh ginger.

Kin’s Morning Sickness Tea, for example, contains organic ginger to relieve pregnancy nausea and vomiting, peppermint to aid digestion and relax the stomach muscles and subtle aromatics to ease tension. It is generally considered safe to drink up to 3 cups of herbal tea per day during pregnancy.

Other ways to help manage pregnancy nausea

Some pregnant people find that eating small, regular meals throughout the day rather than large ones can minimise feelings of nausea by reducing levels of stomach acid. When it comes to morning sickness, an empty stomach is to be avoided wherever possible.

Staying hydrated also helps, especially drinking cold or fizzy beverages. Some people find that acupressure can provide relief in the severity and duration of morning sickness symptoms [7].

Similar to acupuncture without needles, acupressure involves using the fingers or hands to press on specific points around the body to target nausea.

Overall, it's best to try to eat well when you can and whenever you are hungry without worrying too much about your diet. If the smell of food is triggering, cold food may help to minimise this issue. If possible, ask friends and family to help with cooking which will allow you to avoid food smells and rest up.

In persistent cases, healthcare providers may recommend medications to treat morning sickness so be sure to speak to your doctor about it. What to avoid to stop triggering morning sickness

Identifying and avoiding foods, smells, or situations that make nausea worse can help to relieve morning sickness. Common triggers include strong odours, spicy, fatty or greasy foods, and certain textures that can vary from person to person. Onions, garlic and coffee are commonly cited as nausea triggers. Taking your prenatal vitamins at night with a snack can also help avoid upsetting your stomach.

Morning sickness is a common and often challenging aspect of pregnancy, but there are ways to make it a little bit easier. Thankfully, it is a temporary condition that rarely lasts past the end of the first trimester.

Lifestyle changes like eating small, frequent meals, avoiding triggers, staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest can significantly affect the severity of symptoms, along with medications that can be prescribed if needed.

Your well-being, and that of your baby, are the priority, so don't hesitate to ask for support to deal with the distressing symptoms that can come with early pregnancy.

Tummy Tea - 1 Pack

An all-natural remedy for morning sickness and nausea
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