Morning sickness is a common, but not-so-pleasant symptom of early pregnancy. Although for some it’s short lived, others feel nauseous from day to night. It’s normal to want instant relief when you’re not feeling well, and while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, certain foods can help curb nausea and morning sickness. Here are some of the best first trimester foods for nausea.
First Trimester Nausea: 4 Things to Know
Nausea, often referred to as morning sickness, is a common symptom during the first trimester of pregnancy. It can happen any time of the day or night, and typically starts between the first four to six weeks of pregnancy. It’s very common and does not hurt the baby in any way.
The exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, however, it may be caused by hormone changes or lower blood sugar early in pregnancy. Emotional stress, traveling, and some foods can also trigger nausea. Not all women experience morning sickness the same way. While some feel queasy occasionally, others feel sick all day long. Here are some important things to know about first trimester nausea.
1. Hormone Changes
The pregnancy hormone hCG peaks around the time morning sickness is the worst. Estrogen and progesterone levels also rise during pregnancy, which relax the digestive tract muscles and make digestion less efficient. If your body hasn’t gone through a pregnancy before, the surge of hormones and other changes in your body can make nausea more likely.
2. Avoid Trigger Foods
Identify and avoid foods that trigger your nausea. These can vary from person to person but may include strong-smelling or greasy foods. Avoid them as best as possible to keep from trigger nausea or feeling even more nauseous.
3. Eat Small, Frequent Meals
Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day instead of three large meals may help keep your stomach from becoming too empty, which can contribute to nausea.
4. Keep Hydrated
It’s essential to stay hydrated during pregnancy. Sip on water, herbal teas, or electrolyte-rich beverages throughout the day to stave off dehydration. When your stomach is empty or you’re dehydrated, is when you’ll feel nausea the most.
10 Best First Trimester Foods for Nausea
Ginger has amazing natural, anti-nausea properties, and is one of the best foods to eat when you’re feeling nauseated. You can try ginger tea, crystallized ginger candies, or ginger capsules. Some women find relief from nausea by nibbling on ginger-flavoured snacks. Even better, add some fresh ginger to your recipes.
2. Salty Crackers
Simple, bland (salty) carbohydrates like crackers can be easy on the stomach and may help alleviate nausea. Stash some salty crackers beside your bed and eat a few before you get up in the morning. The saltier the better! Eating early in the day can help prevent morning sickness and an empty stomach, which can lead to nausea.
Toast, as well as other dry foods, like bagels, rice, cereal, and potatoes are a saving grace for a lot of pregnant people. They’re carb-heavy and don’t have a lot of flavour (or smell), so they’re less likely to trigger nausea. The starch can also absorb stomach acids to relieve an upset stomach.
Fresh fruits, particularly those with high water content, can be refreshing and may be easier on the stomach. Apples, watermelon, and citrus fruits are often well-tolerated by those with first trimester nausea. Bananas are another fruit that’s great for morning sickness. This is thanks to all the vitamin B6 they contain. Bananas also provide nutrients and potassium to refuel your body.
5. Protein-Rich Foods
Lean proteins like poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes may be easier on the stomach and provide sustained energy. Protein may help reduce morning sickness by increasing a hormone called gastrin. By upping your protein intake, you can help curb unwanted nausea. Nuts and seeds are also good sources of protein, as are tofu, beans, and Greek yogurt.
6. Cold Foods and Beverages
Reach for cold food or drink when you feel the nausea kick in. Since they have milder smells, cold foods are typically better tolerated than hot foods. Foods that are heated are more likely to have an aroma that triggers your gag reflex. By sipping on cold beverages (like sparkling water and smoothies) and snacking on cold foods, you can help steer clear of scents that may upset your stomach.
Some women find relief from nausea by smelling or tasting lemon. Squeeze them into your water or even try licking the slices. The refreshing taste and smell can help soothe your stomach. Lemon drops are also helpful too and are easy to stash in your bag if you’re leaving your house.
8. Bland Soups
Broth-based soups, such as chicken or vegetable soup, can be soothing and are super healthy. They contain electrolytes to prevent dehydration and nausea. Electrolytes are key to hydration since they contain sodium and potassium. It’s important to replace electrolytes especially if you’ve been losing fluid from throwing up.
9. Foods with Vitamin B6
Some studies suggest that vitamin B6 can help alleviate nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The vitamin is found in pork, chicken, some fish, fortified cereals, nuts, chickpeas, fortified tofu, turkey, bananas, plenty of vegetables, potatoes, and more. Consult with your healthcare provider before taking any B6 supplements.
10. Potato Chips and Pretzels
Plain potato chips and pretzels are bland, salty, non-acidic, and easy to digest. They also require minimal effort on the gastrointestinal system. Both of these snacks can be a great way to settle your stomach between meals.
First trimester nausea is no fun, but these foods and tips can help you curb waves of morning sickness as best as possible.
This post contains affiliate links.
Did you enjoy this roundup of first trimester food for nausea? We’d love it if you shared this post on Pinterest!
Looking for more parenting advice? Make sure to follow our Parenting board on Pinterest!