There’s no debate – morning sickness stinks. It doesn’t affect all pregnant women (statistics say about half of expecting mothers experience morning sickness to some degree), and experts aren’t exactly sure what causes these sudden feelings of queasiness or nausea.
This not-so-fun pregnancy symptom often wanes around the beginning of the second trimester, and it’s not limited to mornings like its name suggests.
Some say lemons help; others swear by bubbly soda water. So, we did some research and asked moms to recall what foods helped them through these weeks of feeling downright awful. Here are the foods that came in at the top of the list.
Maybe it’s the strong fragrance that lemons give off, or maybe it’s the intense, sour flavor, but either way, lemons top the list of foods to help morning sickness.
“I commuted on public transportation throughout my pregnancy and often felt a bit woozy from the motion of the train and strong fragrances emanating from food, passengers and the environment,” says Aubrey, a mom from Massachusetts who traveled into the city each day. “To combat this I would carry a cut half lemon wrapped in cheesecloth. I could discreetly hold the lemon up to my nose and breathe in the fresh scent to clear my airways of odors that were bothering me.”
So, sniff them, squeeze them in your glass of water, or carry lemon drop candies in your pocket — the smell and the taste is likely to help calm your stomach.
Ginger is a well-known remedy for colds, aches and pains, and nausea, so it’s no surprise that it also tops the list for morning sickness remedies. Look for ginger ale, tea, or lozenges. It’s recommended to look for products made with real ginger instead of artificial ginger flavoring.
Crackers & Pretzels
Perhaps it’s the blandness of some crackers or the saltiness of others, but whatever the reason, expecting moms in their early weeks of pregnancy will often stash a sleeve of Saltines in their bags on the go. It’s the go-to for regular stomach illnesses, so it makes sense that it might also help with morning sickness.
Pediatricians would often recommend the BRAT diet for little ones suffering from stomach illnesses – that’s bananas, rice, apples, and toast. While it may not be so highly recommended anymore because some pediatricians grew concerned with a child’s overall nutrition, bananas are still easy on the stomach and may help with feelings of queasiness or nausea associated with pregnancy. It’s a mild food, easy on the stomach, and high in nutrients and potassium.
“For me, it was the chocolate chip banana bread they served at a local coffee shop in my neighborhood,” says Kate, a mom of 4 from Pennsylvania. “It was amazing anyway, but it was truly the only thing I could eat for weeks during my pregnancies.”
Also stemming from the once highly recommended BRAT diet for children, toast is a welcome food for women suffering from morning sickness. Along these lines, bagels, rice, and potatoes might also do well because they’re bland and easier on the stomach than other foods. Starchy foods may also absorb stomach acids and make morning sickness more manageable.
Well, we know this one leaves the door wide open, but some pregnant women admit to feeling better eating cold foods such as smoothies and yogurt, or even just ice cubes to curb those feelings of nausea.
According to Aubrey, “When my stomach was unsettled, but I knew having food in my belly would ultimately make me feel better, I always gravitated towards yogurt with granola sprinkled on top. Something about the tangy, creamy yogurt with the crunch and slight sweetness of the granola, made for a palatable combination that put my nausea at ease.”
Peppermint tea is often used for the relief of indigestion and nausea, so many women experiencing morning sickness also find relief also find relief with this sweet-tasting and sweet-smelling drink. Peppermint candies may also help, too.
Of course, it's always important to talk to your doctor if you're experiencing symptoms of morning sickness during your pregnancy.
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