It has been said time and time again, but once more for those in the back: morning sickness is not just in the morning, and “sickness” can be a huge understatement. When I was pregnant, my entire first trimester was about navigating nausea and arming myself with the tools to survive. After throwing up for two hours straight one day, stuck in Chicago traffic, I decided I couldn’t go another moment without trying something new.
After a lot of trial and error, here are some of the tips that helped me the most:
1. Take prenatal vitamins in the evening
I was so used to my routine of waking up and taking my pills with my breakfast. Turns out, the intensity of the vitamin was increasing the morning nausea. If I took it right before bed with a snack, I was sleeping through the worst of it.
2. Keep a snack right by your bedside table
I’m a person who usually wakes up hungry. When I was pregnant, the hunger would end up triggering intense nausea as soon as I started moving around the house, before I could get the chance to get anything down. I started keeping saltines on my nightstand so that right after I opened my eyes, I’d open my mouth and start with one little cracker.
My stomach would handle moving around so much better once there were a few crackers in there. I was so hesitant about trying this because I hate food in the bedroom, but it was a game-changer! My only regret is I wish I had done it sooner.
3. Eat small snacks throughout the day
Before getting pregnant, I always pushed myself way past hunger. I would start a project, get lost in it, and completely forget to listen to my body. After getting pregnant, my body essentially laughed at my habits, and nausea came full force any time I delayed eating. I learned to keep granola bars nearby and cut up fruit ahead of time so that when I felt any hunger pangs, the snacks were ready to go (string cheese sticks for the win!).
4. Add B-6 vitamins to your routine
Real talk: I was throwing up 24/7, unable to work regularly, unable to keep anything in my stomach for more than 30 minutes. I finally called my doctor for a prescription for anti-nausea medication, hoping for a miracle cure. Imagine my surprise when, even with insurance, the copay was over $200. I was on the verge of tears, debating if I could pick up the pills that month or pay my car loan when the pharmacist extended me some compassion. They let me know that the anti-nausea medication was essentially B-6 vitamins combined with a few other things. Taking B-6 with the rest of my vitamins helped me get back to work with fewer side trips to the bathroom.
5. Drink good, old-fashioned, ginger-ale
I learned a few years ago that raw ginger and I do not get along (RIP my weekly sushi habit). But being South Asian, we are friends when the ginger has been cooked or processed. Sipping on ginger-ale really kept my puking at bay. Pro-tip: make sure it’s the kind of beverage with real ginger in it, not just artificial ginger flavoring.
6. Stop chugging, learn to sip
I have a tendency to look at a glass of water and think, “I should down you in one gulp.” While pregnant though, I found that chugging a beverage down was the easiest way to ensure everything came rushing back up. Instead, I took small sips, slowly and with patience—perhaps a good metaphor for motherhood.
I tried a lot of morning sickness solves through my early pregnancy, but I found these tips worked the best in keeping my nausea at bay. The rest of my pregnancy journey was far from smooth, but at least my nausea faded into the background and truly did become “morning only” sickness.