Pregnancy nausea of all kinds whether it’s morning sickness or any-other-time-of-the-day sickness can really take the shine off our unbelievable joy in the first trimester but luckily there are simple remedies for pregnancy nausea that really can bring relief for many of us.
The first obvious place to look for pregnancy nausea remedies is in what we eat. Some food seems like it triggers sickness but other food can bring relief. So I have got a whole bunch of meal and dinner ideas for you that can help.
But pregnancy nausea isn’t just about food. It’s actually triggered – strangely – both by:
- our sense of smell
- and our balance.
And both of these can go off kilter in our first trimester, so I’ll also share some other remedies for pregnancy nausea that can give relief if this is a problem for you.
I really do hope the simple remedies below bring some relief for your nausea and help you enjoy that wonderful first trimester even more.
However, sadly, some of us – like Kate Middleton – do experience pregnancy nausea at a whole other level. Hyperemisis gravidarum isn’t just morning sickness or vague nausea it’s all-day-long sickness, and these simple pregnancy nausea remedies, won’t unfortunately help. So if you’re frequently being sick and can’t keep food down please do see a doctor.
Pregnancy Nausea & Morning Sickness Remedies
1. Food That Relieves Pregnancy Nausea
A few simple foods can really help relieve pregnancy nausea so it makes sense to work these into our diet once we know we’re pregnant:
- Lemon juice
- Very plain, cooled or cold unprocessed starchy carbohydrates, e.g. potato, sweet potato, oats, whole grains
- B6 (pyridoxine) rich food e.g. chicken, turkey, pork chops, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, pistachio nuts, steak, salmon.
Some of the easiest pregnancy nausea remedies are very simple lemon or ginger drinks and snacks e.g.:
- Sip fizzy water with lemon slices in it
- Drink lemon or ginger tea – you can obviously it buy you can also just pour water over lemon slices or cut ginger & leave to steep for a little
- Sip ginger beer (the non-alcoholic sort obviously!!)
- Make your own lemonade or bitter lemon drink
- Very plain ginger or lemon cookies
- Ginger or lemon boiled sweets
- Literally just sniff a lemon!!
But we can’t live on ginger and lemon for the whole first trimester, can we?!! So in section three I’ve got snack, meal and dinner ideas for you based on those plain, unprocessed carbs and B6 rich food.
But first let’s look at whether there is some food we should avoid in pregnancy – especially in the first trimester – to avoid nausea.
2. Do Some Foods Trigger Nausea?
Some people claim that acidic and spicy food can trigger pregnancy nausea and should be avoided. The thing is we’ve already seen that acidic lemon and spicy ginger are our best easy pregnancy nausea remedies!!
As ever, lots of pregnancy advice is totally contradictory.
So what on earth should we do? What helps?
Well, the thing is – for many of us – it is NOT actually the food itself that makes us nauseous but the smell of the food.
Nature has given us a massively heightened sense of smell during the first trimester so we avoid food that might be dangerous for our baby. These days with so much food around, our nose is overwhelmed!!
So of course it makes sense to avoid whatever food makes us nauseous but one of the best pregnancy nausea remedies is simply to avoid the smell of food cooking by:
- Getting someone else to cook if you possibly, possibly can
- Eat outside
- Open windows if you are cooking
- Cook food in the oven rather than on the stove or in the grill
- Let food cool before you eat it as a lot of the smell is in the steam
- Buy ready cooked cold meats such as chicken or turkey
3. Meal & Dinner Ideas When You Have Pregnancy Nausea
When we are feeling sick or being sick in the first trimester it can be hard to eat enough and eat healthily but it it a vicious circle as iron and magnesium deficiency can make us feel more nauseous, as can low blood sugar.
So here are super simple meal and dinner ideas to combat pregnancy nausea based on plain, unprocessed starchy carbs and B6 rich food.
They are not going to win prizes for gastronomical glory but they take very little effort and most of us can keep them down. I’ve also combined them with some crazily, weird tips about how to serve the food that unbelievably can make a massive difference to our nausea. Do try them.
Very Simple Carbs For Pregnancy Nausea
The easiest way to combat pregnancy nausea at meal time is to base very small meals on these simple unprocessed carbs. It can also help to eat the carbs slightly cooled i.e. not steaming hot or even cold:
- Jacket potatoes
- Mashed potato
- Sweet potato mash.
- Sweet potato oven baked chips.
- DIY oven baked chips (oven-fries in the USA) – get someone to peel and cut them for the freezer for you, if even this is too much and then all you have to do is put them in the oven.
- Celeriac chips or mash – celeriac is that funny veg that looks a bit like a brain!! It’s a really useful low GI alternative to potatoes if you’re worried about your sugar levels.
- Butternut squash mash or soup – you’re not going to want much, so see if someone will make a batch for you and freeze in small portions.
- Parsnip mash – again good to freeze in small portions.
- Wholegrain toast sandwiches – toast can be less nausea inducing than bread and some people find skipping butter helps.
- Wholegrain toast soldiers for dipping – often easier cold.
- Dry toasted English muffin – am not sure why these are manageable when other bread isn’t, but they can be.
- Granola – don’t keep it for breakfast, little bowls of granola with a few things added from the second list below can keep you going when you can’t face a whole meal.
- Oatmeal – ditto.
- Dry puy lentils – just cook a small plain portion for 20 minutes and have as a side with some of the ideas below. The canned ones can be a bit gloopy so some people are more sensitive to them.
- Very plain brown rice – the kind of rice you would usually think of as dry and dull is going to be your best friend.
- Plain bulgar wheat – if you can stomach butter, just cook for 5 or 6 minutes in a little water until absorbed, then turn the heat off and add some knobs of butter and leave for another 5 minutes with pan lid on. Then eat with just some almonds and / or frozen peas or cold chicken or turkey. It is very, very simple and calming.
It can massively help to revert to childhood eating habits in the first trimester and have your plain carbs on one side of the plate and everything else separate. It makes sense, as it is easier for our nose and stomach to evaluate “the safety” of individual foods rather than everything mixed up together.
B6 Rich Food For Pregnancy Nausea
Along with your plain carbs try some of these, again cooked in the oven and cooled and prepared very simply with minimal additional flavouring or just a very little mint, cinnamon or cumin all of which can help with nausea:
- Mashed avocado or plain guacamole
- Plain well done, oven cooked salmon fillets
- Plain oven cooked cod
- Pork chop
- A very small well done steak – its a wonderful boost of iron and all sorts of other minerals, so get someone else to cook for you with the windows open.
- A small tuna teak – as above.
- Cold chicken slices
- Cold turkey slices
- Chickpeas – dried may be better than canned. It sounds duller than a dull thing but put a small plain helping on your plate and a small plain helping of brown rice. Give your nose a chance to give them a whiff and then mix them together before eating.
- Black beans – as with the chickpeas combine with rice. Dull I know, but nutritious for us and our baby and money saving!!
- Very fresh hard boiled eggs – our noses are so sensitive they are going to pick up any hint that the egg isn’t fresh.
- Very dry scrambled egg – some people can’t do egg at all, but if you have very fresh eggs and get someone else to really thoroughly cook scrambled egg, without milk, until its really quite dry, it can be good. Put it separately on your plate with some rice and peas and then combine for sort-of-egg-fried-rice when your nose says its OK.
- Small helpings of hummus
- Small helpings of cottage cheese – curiously, having a tiny helping and then getting more can make us feel less nauseous than the same amount on our plate from the start. Weird but true.
- Frozen peas – just have along side some salmon and plain mash or mixed with plain lentils or rice and a little mint
- Strips of red pepper – get someone to fill a jar for you in the fridge if you struggle with cutting food up, so you can grab as you want them.
- Strips of green pepper – ditto
- Carrot sticks – ditto
- Small florets of raw or very lightly cooked broccoli
- French green beans – cook them ever so lightly or even raw if they are very fine and dip in hummus or cottage cheese
- Runner beans – lightly cooked from frozen. Usually I would opt for fresh over frozen but when you’re pregnant you want someone else to have done all the faffing and fussing and checking for funny or tough or stringy bits, so frozen veg are a god send!!
- Small florets of frozen cauliflower
- Thin strips of cheese
- A small cup of just opened milk – as with the eggs, our nose will go into overdrive if there’s any hint it’s not fresh.
- Peanuts – you don’t want to go overboard on salt as it can raise blood pressure but if you’re struggling to eat enough or keep food down, getting enough is really important, so salted nuts could help.
- Almonds – combine a small handful of nuts with rice or bulgar wheat. Any other time it would be horribly dry but can pack a real punch of minerals and energy in a small manageable helping.
- Sunflower seeds
- Plain yoghurt
- Grapefruit – cut into quarters and just have one in front of you first rather than a half. Picking it up and smelling it may actually help.
- Water melon
Not surprisingly, loads of things on this list are the very things we give to children when starting solids : the plainness, small helpings and ready cut strips kept separate on our plate all tell our bodies the food is safe.
You may also find eating with your hands helps!!!
It seems bonkers but some of us are affected by the smell and taste of our metal cutlery. Seems crazy but remember our body is doing everything it can to protect our baby from bad stuff.
(While we’re on the subject of metals – it may also help to get slow release iron pills if you’re taking an iron supplement, as the single hit can be a trigger for pregnancy nausea.)
Hopefully, these lists will give you loads of simple meal and dinner ideas you will be able to eat when struggling with pregnancy nausea. You’ll find loads more ideas on this massive list of healthy pregnancy snacks.
4. Other Pregnancy Nausea Remedies
OK, so we’ve talked lots about how food and smell impact pregnancy nausea but as mentioned at the beginning, the other big trigger for nausea is our sense of balance.
In our first trimester our blood pressure, blood sugar and hormones are all realigning themselves for pregnancy and they can put our balance out of kilter so some pregnancy nausea can be very like travel sickness.
Which means some of these remedies for travel sickness can also give relief for morning and pregnancy sickness:
- Acupressure travel sickness bands – you can buy ones specially designed for pregnancy but some people swear by the travel ones.
- Sucking on a sweet – which could be a hard boiled ginger or lemon sweet but even better frozen berries, grapes or even peas, or if you can stand it frozen half slices of lemon.
- A small snack before you get up – a plain cracker or oat cake or ginger cookie 30 minutes before you get up can rest your blood sugar so you feel less dizzy when you do get out of bed.
- Relaxation exercises focused on centering your balance.
- Breathing exercises – there’s been some fascinating research on breathing and travel sickness which may help bizarrely with pregnancy nausea. The idea is that you try breathe out of step with yourself, if that makes sense.
- Short naps – it seems like short naps can help stabilise blood pressure fluctuations that may contribute to pregnancy dizziness and nausea. Learning the art of the cat nap may help a little with pregnancy nausea and when baby arrives will help you enormously with sleep deprivation and breastfeeding so it’s definitely worth giving it a go.
And there we are, loads of simple remedies for pregnancy nausea and morning sickness that can bring real relief in the first trimester including lots of healthy meal and dinner ideas when you’re struggling to face food.
I really hope they help. Let me know how you get on.
And for more simple pregnancy and baby tips do have a read of these posts :
- 50 Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
- First Trimester Pregnancy Checklist
- Simple Birth Plan Checklist
- How To Save Money On Baby Stuff
- Unique & Unusual Baby Names
- Simple Baby Sleep Tips
- Newborn Breastfeeding Tips For Beginners
- Natural Remedies For Babies
And for even more support follow my Simple Baby Tips board on Pinterest. It’s cram full of essential pregnancy and baby tips.
Original image sources : Raw Pixel & Phalinn Ooi Collage images: lemon, banana & blueberries, carrots, grapefruit, cashews, pistachios, peas, olives, sweetcorn, red pepper, hummus, white eggs, avocado, homemade muesli by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0