Facts about Treating Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
Many women suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy. Learn the newest and most effective ways to treat morning sickness.
The majority of mothers suffer from some degree of morning sickness. Treating this common pregnancy ailment in the first trimester is complex. What is known about morning sickness is that it is seen as a good sign that the pregnancy is on track. However, that knowledge is not very reassuring for the mother who is desperate to find help for her symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP). If that describes you, then you will be interested to learn the best and most effective remedies for morning sickness.
Acupuncture is More Effective than Herbs or Medication for Morning Sickness
Studies show that acupuncture is one of the best forms of treatment for morning sickness. In fact, one study showed that it was 97% effective in treating the most severe form of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
If you are interested in exploring acupuncture as a remedy for morning sickness, be sure to ask prior to making an appointment if the acupuncturist is knowledgeable about specific ways to use acupuncture as treatment for morning sickness.
Motion Sickness/Relief Wrist Bands Effectively Treat Morning Sickness
Another way to get continuous acupressure on some of the most common points used to relieve nausea is by using motion sickness bands. Wrist bands have been known to be an effective remedy for even the mothers with severe nausea or hyperemesis. Many of these bands are battery-operated and provide stimulation throughout the day on the same pressure points to help reduce nausea and vomiting. Wrist bands generally cost about $130 and can be purchased online.
It is important to seek out the advice of a care provider or acupuncturist for instructions on the use of electronic wrist bands to provide relief for NVP for proper use.
Discontinuing Use of Prenatal Vitamins with Iron Reduces Morning Sickness
While prenatal vitamins are an important part of any pregnancy diet, some of the brands containing iron are often problematic in causing, or contributing to, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Mothers suffering from NVP in their first trimester should discuss other alternatives for prenatal vitamins with iron with their care provider.
One study showed that when mothers stopped taking their prenatal vitamins with iron, two thirds of them experienced some relief from nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Some alternatives for traditional oral prenatal vitamins include liquid prenatal vitamins, adult multivitamins or even children’s chewable vitamins.
Vitamin B6 May Not be an Effective Remedy for Severe Morning Sickness
There has been a long-held belief that adding a vitamin B6 supplement to the pregnancy diet or eating foods rich in vitamin B6 is effective to reduce morning sickness. However, one small study has found that taking a vitamin B6 supplement did not make any difference for mothers with hyperemesis gravidarum in terms of how much nausea or vomiting they were experiencing or in how often they were re-admitted to the hospital.
While vitamin B6 might be a help for mothers with mild nausea symptoms, the jury is still out if it is remedy that works for mothers with severe NVP.
Reglan is Safe as a Remedy for Morning Sickness but is it Effective?
A new medication on the horizon to treat morning sickness is known as metoclopramide. Metoclopramide is used in many parts of the world as a treatment for heartburn, reflux and gastrointestinal problems and is known more commonly by its brand name Reglan,
Reglan has been found to be a safe morning sickness remedy to use in the first trimester of pregnancy. While researchers in Israel have discovered that Reglan is safe to use in pregnancy, it is not known if it is as effective as other treatments for morning sickness.
Do Prenatal Vitamins Cause Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness affects the majority of expectant mothers today. While scientists are experimenting with new anti-nausea medications that are safe for pregnancy, some women are turning to a little-known remedy for help with their morning sickness – prenatal vitamins.
One of the common side effects of taking traditional brands of prenatal vitamins is stomach discomforts such as nausea and vomiting. The potency of these vitamins can cause stomach upsets for many women during pregnancy, especially when taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
In fact, studies have shown that when expectant moms stop taking their prenatal vitamins with iron, often times the stomach upsets are greatly diminished. However, mothers who do not take prenatal vitamins run the risk of restricting important nutrients during pregnancy, which ultimately affects the growing baby.
Prenatal Vitamins May Help with Morning Sickness
One of the latest treatments for morning sickness is to add herbs to the prenatal vitamin that are known to have a calming effect on the stomach. One brand, known as bebe-O prenatal vitamins, includes a host of these natural ingredients that are known to combat morning sickness.
Bebe-O prenatals includes a blend of powerful antioxidants and digestive enzymes made exclusively from natural, plant-based whole foods. One of the herbs included in the bebe-O vitamin mixture is ginger root which is known to reduce nausea associated with morning sickness. For this reason, natural prenatal vitamins such as bebe-O may actually reduce, rather than worsen, symptoms of morning sickness.
Other Remedies for Morning Sickness
One thing we know about morning sickness is that not every method of treatment works for every woman. In fact, there are some mothers who need to combine several treatment methods in order to get relief from their morning sickness. Women who suffer from severe morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, may need to turn to acupuncture or the use of motion sickness bands in addition to taking natural prenatal vitamins.
What to Eat if You Have Pregnancy-Related Nausea
From a few days of queasiness to nine months of nausea, mothers experience various levels of morning sickness during pregnancy. Finding relief from morning sickness seems like a priority to most mothers in their first trimester. Even more challenging can be finding foods that you can tolerate or keep down. Here is a list of foods that are gentle on your stomach and known to help with pregnancy-related nausea.
Lemons are Known to Relieve Morning Sickness
Although they might not seem like a logical food choice, lemons can be one of the most effective foods to curb pregnancy-related nausea. Many moms enjoy sucking on a slice of lemon or adding a slice of lemon to a glass of warm or cool water can also be soothing. Why not try sipping on home-made lemonade? There are tons of great recipes online for making fresh lemonade that can help to quell nausea.
Bananas Can Help Curb Morning Sickness
Because of their high vitamin B6 content, bananas are one of the favorite foods to beat morning sickness. (Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce symptoms of morning sickness.) They are easy on the stomach and are known to be acid fighters to help protect against stomach ulcers. Bananas are also jam-packed with other healthy nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium and they even contain about 10% of your dietary intake of fiber.
Crackers are a Tried-and True Method for Morning Sickness
Perhaps it is just due to the fact that crackers, (especially saltines) can help to absorb some of the stomach acid and they are easy to digest that they have become a favorite morning sickness food. You might find that eating a few crackers before you get out of bed in the morning can help curb some of your pregnancy-related nausea symptoms. Some mothers take along a few in their handbag or purse to snack on throughout the day since having a completely empty stomach worsens morning sickness.
Baked or Mashed Potatoes are Easy on Digestion
Another easy to digest food that is a favorite for mothers with morning sickness is a baked or mashed potato. Potatoes are always a big comfort food for many Americans and are easy to boil, bake or microwave. They are loaded with vitamin B6 and if you avoid all of the butter, cheese and sour cream, one potato only contains about 132 calories.
Finding Foods That Ease Your Morning Sickness
If you are struggling with finding your own best foods to beat morning sickness, you might experiment with a variety of foods just to see what agrees with you or not. Sometimes you might find that fresh vegetables or a salad make your symptoms worse, while cooked vegetables are fine. Some mothers find that carbs tend to work better for pregnancy-related nausea than harder to digest proteins such as beef or pork. Feel free to explore with many foods in your pregnancy diet so that you can find what works best for you until your morning sickness symptoms subside.
Some mothers find that keeping a food journal helps them keep track of the foods that help morning sickness. Moms may find that certain foods such as crackers or potatoes are easier to digest or stay down more readily versus those foods that do not. It is important for mothers who are experiencing symptoms of morning sickness continue to pursue treatments to find those that work for them.
One thing is known about morning sickness: It is complex. What works for one woman may not be an effective remedy for another. Fortunately, research is telling expectant mothers more all the time about effective and safe ways to treat morning sickness.
Mao, ZN., “Observation on therapeutic effect of acupuncture on hyperemesis gravidarum,” Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion,
Gill., SK., “The effectiveness of discontinuing iron-containing prenatal multivitamins on reducing the severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy,” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
Tan, PC., “A placebo-controlled trial of oral pyridoxine in hyperemesis gravidarum,” Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, Vol 67,
Matok, I., “The Safety of Metoclopramide Use in the First Trimester of Pregnancy,” New England Journal of Medicine,