Morning sickness (or for some women, all-day sickness) is just one of those unwanted rites of passage during pregnancy, falling somewhere between losing sight of your toes and saying sayonara to sleeping through the night. Luckily, it won’t last forever.
“A lot of women feel better by the 12th or 14th week as estrogen levels start to go up. That boost can drastically reduce morning sickness. By the second trimester, most women feel better,” says Tori Kropp, RN, author of The Joy of Pregnancy. If you’re actually vomiting, even just a few times a day, Kropp says to check in with your doc to see if you need a prescription medication (or, in severe cases, temporary hospitalization to combat dehydration). But, if you’re merely queasy, here are some funny fixes from real moms.
When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I had horrible morning sickness. Actually, I had morning, noon and night sickness! I’d sometimes wake up from a sound sleep just to throw up. I lost 12 pounds between the time I got pregnant and the day of my first checkup at 10 weeks. My midwife suggested setting an alarm for 2 or 3 in the morning and waking for a small carbohydrate-rich snack like cheese and crackers. She said that nausea is worse on an empty stomach, so nibbling throughout the day rather than having three meals several hours apart can help. She pointed out that if I had dinner at 6 p.m., it could be 13 hours before I ate again, and my empty stomach could really exacerbate my nausea. I thought getting up to eat in the middle of the night was crazy, but it really did help. It didn’t completely cure the problem, but I vomited much less often. And I never did have to set an alarm—I just made sure to have a small snack during one of the many times I got up throughout the night to use the bathroom. (Isn’t pregnancy fun?) The “morning” sickness finally ended in my fifth month, and I no longer needed a midnight snack.
—Stephanie B., mom of two, Portland, Oregon
Salt and vinegar chips
With my son, I suffered from morning sickness for five months straight, day and night. The only thing that helped me get through it was salt and vinegar potato chips. Salt has long been a home remedy for nausea (hence the age-old saltine crackers recommendation), and so has apple cider vinegar, so the combination of both in the chips makes it doubly beneficial for curing upset tummies. I kept a snack-size bag in my purse at all times and made certain there was always a backup bag nearby. A few chips every half hour kept the nausea at bay.
—Christy C., mom of one, Toronto, Canada
I would eat at least two grapefruit right before I went to bed at night and then snack on a few more throughout the day. In fact, I kept them by my bed so that I could grab one without getting up in the middle of the night.I’d just leave them in the mesh bag they came in and put a garbage pail and pack of napkins next to my bed so that I could peel and eat them right there. I think it worked because I needed the water and sugar.The sourness also seemed to counteract the acid buildup in my stomach. I did it with all five of my kids—it was my lifesaver!
—Laura W., mom of five, Ridgewood, New Jersey
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had 24-hour morning sickness. I watched baseball, which I loathed, and somehow the slow pace calmed my body down and made me think about something other than how sick I felt. My husband loved patting me on the shoulder while I lay on his lap—until a McDonald’s or Burger King commercial came on and I had to run to the bathroom to throw up.
—Jane T., mom of two, Seattle, Washington
Full-fat cottage cheese
I ate a cup of full-fat (not low-fat or fat-free) cottage cheese every morning when I was pregnant with my first child. It was the only thing that made the early morning queasiness go away. Before I started eating cottage cheese, I felt really nauseated and queasy. I never threw up, but I always felt like I needed to, and I also felt really weak and light-headed. So I ate one cup around 8 a.m. every single morning, and if the queasiness came back, I’d grab a spoonful or two later in the day—though usually a cup first thing in the morning did the trick. It was such a relief not to feel like I was going to vomit all over my colleagues.
—Kristen S., mom of two, Richardson, Texas