4 Tricks to Curb Morning Sickness

By Brenna Thompson, MS, RD, LD
April 21, 2016


Forget that idea of “eating for two” that your best friend enjoyed, some expectant mothers can barely eat for themselves due to morning (or afternoon/evening/all day long) sickness.

Are you one of them? If so you’re not alone, approximately 50 percent of women experience nausea, vomiting, and food aversions associated with morning sickness. Luckily, most of these symptoms pass after the first trimester…usually. While the exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, here are some tricks that I’ve recommended to pregnant clients/friends/sisters, to help alleviate this uncomfortable part of pregnancy.

1. If mamma’s blood sugar ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy

We’ll keep this simple, when your blood sugar crashes, you do too. Keep it balanced by eating small snacks or meals every 1-3 hours. This even means having a snack even before you roll out of bed in the morning. Keep some nuts on your night stand, or some rice crackers and a jar of natural peanut butter. During the day try eating a few bites of yogurt or half an avocado sprinkled with sea salt between meals. Foods with protein and/or fat will help keep your blood sugar better balanced than just eating carbohydrates such as fruit, pretzels or toast.

2. Cool down

Try to eat cold or room temperature foods. When foods are hot, their flavors and scents (this explains your aversion to the smell of your partners coffee) are enhanced, which can be overwhelming. Instead, focus on having foods that taste best when eaten chilled or at room temperature. Try a crunchy broccoli salad mixed with bacon, grapes and high quality mayonnaise or cottage cheese topped with berries and sunflower seeds. You get the idea. One more easy idea is a balanced protein shake made with whey protein powder, coconut milk, and a small banana—another great way to have a meal without much fuss.

3. Cook when you’re well

If you consistently feel terrible at night, don’t wait until then to think about cooking. Prep your meals and snacks in the morning or on the weekend when you are hungry. Store leftovers in the freezer so you can easily thaw something out without too much effort. Or, scratch all of that and enlist the help of others. Maybe your partner prepares a small breakfast of sausage and a baked sweet potato topped with butter or coconut oil to eat in bed or later in the morning when you are feeling hungrier.

4. Ice, ice baby

Above all, try to stay hydrated. Dehydration will only make nausea worse and is dangerous for both mom and baby. A big glass of water may not sound very appetizing when your stomach is in knots; instead, suck on ice chips. For a little extra nutrition, combine pomegranate or blueberry juice with canned coconut milk then freeze for a refreshing treat on a hot afternoon. This has nothing to do with ice, but ginger is also known to help calm a queasy stomach, so try sipping on ginger tea when feeling nauseous.

For more pregnancy and nutrition information, listen to our podcast: Nutrition for Pregnancy with Laurel Riedel.

About the author

Brenna loves nutrition and its life-changing effects. With an active lifestyle, she knows firsthand how to use the power of good nutrition to stay energized. She is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian through the Minnesota Board of Dietetics and Nutrition. She received her B.S. in dietetics from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and completed her dietetic internship at West Virginia University Hospital, Morgantown. Brenna also received a M.S. in applied nutrition, with an emphasis on education, from Northeastern University. She worked as a clinical and wellness dietitian for the Phoebe Putney Memorial Health System in Albany, Georgia.

View all posts by Brenna Thompson, MS, RD, LD

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