Pregnancy guide > Your baby in pregnancy > Pregnancy health > How to beat morning sickness

How to beat morning sickness

All you need to know about the morning sickness, from when morning sickness starts, to cures and remedies that could work for you.
What is morning sickness?

Morning sickness is a completely normal (although not particularly enjoyable) part of pregnancy and is a symptom that up to 80% of women experience, so if you're feeling wretched you're not alone!

While there is no one definite explanation as to why this common pregnancy symptom occurs it's generally accepted that the sudden rise of pregnancy hormones, hCG and oestrogen, during the first trimester are largely responsible. An increased sensitivity to smell (potentially due to a leftover evolutionary mechanism that protected our ancestors from eating toxic food while they were expecting) coupled with an excess of stomach acid (thanks to pregnancy hormones causing your digestive muscles to relax) are also thought to play a role.

Nausea, vomiting, headaches, tiredness and light headedness are all symptoms associated with morning sickness and while the name rather misleadingly suggests it's an 'AM' only condition, unfortunately it can strike any time of the day or night.

When does morning sickness start?

Many women start to experience morning sickness approximately 6 weeks after their last period as it is during these very early weeks that the levels of hCG, oestrogen and other related hormones rise rapidly to help the pregnancy become established and baby to develop.

How long does morning sickness last?

For most women the constant feeling of nausea associated with morning sickness usually subsides towards the end of the first trimester (typically around weeks 12 - 14) as by then your early pregnancy hormones have peaked, your baby's major internal organs are formed and he or she has started to grow rapidly. However, some women do experience nausea and sickness throughout their pregnancy while others are set off by certain smells or foods beyond this.

Will morning sickness harm my baby?

As long as you're able to keep enough food and fluid down to gain (or at least maintain) your weight you shouldn't be worried at all. In fact, some studies have actually shown that morning sickness is associated with lower miscarriage rates. Having said that, some (fortunate!) women experience no morning sickness at all and go on to have perfectly healthy pregnancies. However, if you are vomiting frequently and severely, are unable to manage any food at all and are losing weight because of this you should see your doctor as soon as possible. They will either prescribe you with an anti-emetic or anti-histamine to help relieve the sickness or, in more severe cases (known as hyperemesis gravidarum) hospital treatment may be necessary to prevent dehydration and a drip will be used to help fulfil your body's nutritional needs.

Morning sickness 'cures' and remedies

As symptoms of morning sickness differ between women, with some experiencing mild nausea and others severe vomiting, there is unfortunately no ' one works for all' cure however, if you're suffering there are a number of remedies that can help.

  • You may find that it helps to change your eating habits slightly so that instead of eating three 'main' meals a day, you have a smaller snack every few hours. This will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, avoiding the 'sugar related' highs and lows that can make your nausea worse and will also help to keep indigestion and heartburn to a minimum. In general, it's better to go for plainer, low fat, carbohydrate rich foods than anything too rich, spicy or flavoured. However, if you are struggling to face food you should focus on eating whatever you can even if it's not 'by the book' healthy. Biscuits, crackers, dried fruit and nuts always make a handy morning sickness beating snack as they tend to be quite inoffensive to the stomach.

  • You'll tend to find that morning sickness is often triggered or made worse by certain smells and certain foods (potentially even those you loved before you became pregnant) so wherever possible it's best to avoid these. Keeping a hanky with a few drops of your favourite essential oil dotted on to hand can be good for a little relieve if you're in a situation where you can't escape a 'nauseating' smell.

  • If your sickness is particularly bad in the morning you may find that it helps to keep a couple of crackers or biscuits by your bed to snack on if you wake in the night or first thing in the morning before you get up as this can help to raise your blood sugar levels before you start moving around.

  • Make sure to keep your fluid intake up by drinking plenty of water and other soft drinks, this is especially important if you are actually being sick. While you should try and avoid caffeinated or sugary drinks you may find that fizzy beverages do a better job of settling your stomach, so it's worth giving it a go.

  • Morning sickness is generally accepted to get worse if you are tired, anxious or stressed so while it's easier said than done it really is important to take it easy and get plenty of rest and relaxation. Even though it may not help your sickness directly, you can often feel much better after talking about what you're going through so whether it's to a partner or friends, offloading whatever is bothering you can really help you to feel better.

  • A number of studies have suggested that vitamin B6 can help to relieve the feeling of nausea experienced in pregnancy and while supplements are favoured by some (although you should check with your doctor before taking them) you can boost your B6 intake by eating whole grains, bananas, corn , nuts, avocado, lean meat and fish. Vitamin B12 is said by some to relieve sickness and can be found in eggs, dairy products and meat.

  • Many women find that alternative therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and aromatherapy help them get through the morning sickness phase. However, if this is of interest to you it's important to seek treatment from a qualified practitioner who has sufficient experience in treating women through pregnancy.

  • Travel sickness 'acupressure' bands are used by a number of women to treat morning sickness with great success. These are worn on the wrists, are readily available from supermarkets and chemists and can be a cheaper alternative to 'alternative therapies'. If you're going to try this out do take the time to follow the instructions and position the bands correctly so that you get the full benefit.

  • The taste or smell of peppermint or spearmint can help to relieve nausea for some women. Try sucking on sugar free mints, drinking mint tea, swilling mouthwash or keeping a hanky soaked with a few drops of mint essential oil to hand for a breath of 'fresh air' when you need it.

  • Ginger is renowned for its sickness relieving properties (although it doesn't work for everybody) so it's well worth a try. Ginger tea (made with ginger teabags or grated fresh ginger), ginger capsules or even ginger biscuits can help to settle your stomach.

  • Citrus fruits are another sickness relieving remedy to try as the fresh smell of lemon, lime or grapefruit can help to refresh you when you are feeling under the weather. Try dripping citrus essential oils onto a hanky or adding slices of lemon or lime to chilled or boiling water for a refreshing drink.
While it's very easy to let morning sickness get you down, especially if you're trying to pretend that you're fine in front of those you haven't shared your news with, remember that for most women it will subside quickly towards the end of the first trimester. By making sure you don't overdo it and focusing on looking after yourself you'll soon be out the other side and looking forward to your baby's ever closer arrival.

Is morning sickness taking over your life or is this rather unpleasant pregnancy side effect a now distant memory? Wherever you are in your pregnancy, why not visit the AskBaby forums and share your questions, advice and experiences with other parents-to-be.

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Why i have not be able to come and share my testimony about my unable to get pregnant in the past years was because last year i ordered a spell from and after the casting of the spell ekaka told me that i was going to get pregnant after one month but although i did all that i was ask to do but i was not sure that it was going to work and after 3 month i started seeing changes in me and i wanted to testify as i promise to do but i have to make sure that i see the result fully before i can do that which i am doing right now before i will be putting to bed by next week and i am very happy that i meet this man in my life.
by lessie 20th Jun 2013, 3:19pm
Morning sickness is a general cause during the pregnancy and you only need for take rest and relax.. and don't afraid about it.Thanks
by hannahthompson 20th Jun 2013, 2:48pm
I had a dreadful morning sickness. My weight was simply falling and there was a time when we were quite scared of losing our baby. However I will thank my friend Amanda, who introduce preggie drop to us. We were quite sceptical about using these herbal sweets but on finding about them in 'pregnancy & birth- ‘magazine (september 2011’) we thought of giving a try. It was a lifesaving remedy for me. worked well for me all through my sickness! I bought 2 different flavours from Amazon; however the company selling preggie drops was Mothersbliss.
by suzy2011 26th Sep 2011, 12:26pm
I'm 8 1/2 weeks pregnant and the all day sickness is really getting me down. I'm off my food as well which makes me feel a bit weak and dizzy. Eating smaller meals more often has helped a little, also I eat plenty of fruit. I know this is a temporary thing but I can't wait till it's over.
by sdbaby 13th Jul 2011, 10:03am
some people morning sickness seems to be really bad... im lucky that mine is okay... but i never know when its comes and goes... i found it really annoying, anytime we were going out, and i had just got ready it would start! i used lillipops to help control it... i had decided not to use anything, however lillipops are all natural so i gave them a shot, and they worked for those times when nothing else worked!
by superolive 28th Apr 2011, 4:27pm
I'm abou7 7 weeks pregnant with my second baby and I have only just found out. I had been taking Starflower oil and Evening primrose as my cycles were all over the place. I stopped taking these about 5 days ago when i found out I was pregnant and then 2 days later the morning sickness started. Last time it did not start until after 9 weeks and lasted until about week 12. I am very tempted to start taking the EP and SFO as I am sure they were keeping the sickness at bay. I really don't remember the sickness being this bad last time. I have spend the last 3 days on the sofa and everytime I try and do even the tinyest bit of housework or anything I get really dizzy and feel very sick. I seem to sleep all the time which isn't helping with my toddler running around.
Has anyone else had experience with EP and SF oil?
by Katie913 11th Apr 2011, 9:46am
7 weeks and the morning sickness just hit. It's one thing to be at the brink of throwing up all day, but the dizziness is awful, especially since I have to look after a 14 month old... Anyone got any tips how to combat the dizziness?
by Miriam84 22nd Feb 2011, 5:27pm
I am just over 7 weeks pregnant with my first baby - I started to feel nauseous at about 6 weeks and over the last few days have felt like death - unable to function at all. I went to the doctors and she was fab - she prescribed me Avomine (travel sickness) tablets which I have to take 1 of before I go to bed and today I feel like a totally different person. I really advise ladies to head to the doctors early on and try to get something to make you feel better. I also have to go for an early scan as my doctor says that such awful sickness could be a sign of twins! Sympathies to all those suffering with the dreaded sickness.
by bupscastle60 15th Feb 2011, 5:19pm
First few weeks of my pregnancy I was sick all day, every day. Then it calmed down to just mornings, now its gone but I sometimes have mornings where I can be sick.
by Raych1994 19th Jan 2011, 9:21am
I am 7 weeks pregnant with my first and feel sick all day everyday, nothing seems to work and eating is a real struggle. I am 18 and a dancer, does this effect it as my body is changing so much?
by carrieb1993 17th Jan 2011, 2:52pm
Im 7 weeks and suffering badly with morning sickness (all day & night) I brought some sea bands from our local chemist and they do seem to take the edge off.. also polos are good or sucking on any mint sweets seems to help too! although I find the best cure is laying down and snoozing! good luck :)
by emieloo 17th Jan 2011, 2:51pm
Has anyone tried Lillipops? I don't know whether to buy them or not...
by littlemissbaba 22nd Nov 2010, 3:32pm
Ginger biscuits are the only thing i have found to work. i am also 7 weeks ish with my 1st and morning sickness is a real pain.
by yumymum2be 4th Oct 2010, 11:15am
hi everyone

well this is my second pregnancy and with my first i was extremely ill at 10 weeks i was in hospital for 2 days on a drip i was ill every day till i was 6 mths then i had the odd off day ... im now 6 weeks pregnant again after 7 yrs and i feel sick most of the day but have only been sick once i find blackcurrent drinks help and im craving sweets... i dont have a sweet tooth lol i guess im waiting for it to turn out to be the same as it was last time fingers crossed it wont be
by nessba 21st Sep 2010, 12:48pm
I'm just into my tenth week and it seems to have disappeared. From someone at work offering to follow me around with a bucket on thursday afternoon to not having any at all. Its a little bit worrying. Its my third pregnancy and I didn't have it anywhere near so bad with the other 2 (one of each). Only difference is its 7 years since the last time. Still have the belly and the sore boobs so I'm sure everything is ok and its jsut burnt itself out. I've had it since 4 weeks.
by ggmarch 6th Sep 2010, 10:13am
Hi im 7 weeks pregnant with my 1st & I wish I was as lucky as you Sprella as i cant stop throwing up. So Unfair!!! haha x
by EmmaVic1990 24th Aug 2010, 5:51pm
Hi, im about 7 weeks pregnant with my first baby, When do you think my morning sickness will start?
by Sprella 12th Aug 2010, 10:30am
hey. im 7 weeks pregnant with my first and my morning sickness started 2 weeks ago and today is the first day i have felt ok. i tried ginger biscuits which worked slightly i tried the allowing my self to be sick and that didnt work , i felt sick again 10 mins later. i have found that crushed ice helps such as a slush puppy drink and also dispite it being so difficult try and keep active i found its takes my mind off it and i dont feel as sick. also eatting at times u know u wont feel sick and eating slowly i found helps.
my only problem dispite everything i do is if i smell smoke i instantly feel sick so going into crowded places is difficult cause theres always someone smoking. however it has helped me quit that's for sure.
by abalin 12th Aug 2010, 9:53am
hi im about 9weeks pregnant an im getting really bad morning sickness, this is my second child an i had it really bad with my first it wasnt just morning sickness it morning noon and night, but i just delt with it i have heard tht you can get some remeidie tablets from your gp to help with sickness and nausesa. i have heard about the lillipops i was just wondering if anyone knows if they are any good? i just sit and eat dired bisciuts (which is not enjoyable) but it seems to cure it abit but not much. has anyone got any other suggestions? x
by stace03 11th Jun 2010, 5:36pm
In my 9th week and the morning sickness has started. Have found ginger biscuits help a little. At night my best remedy is to sleep as propped up as possible. It's gotten me through the night so far.
by ljbc 11th Jun 2010, 5:15pm
Same here HayFox!! I'm nearly 20 weeks now and had to leave work last week as I couldn't keep anything down at all!! It seems to have eased up a bit now, but I still get caught offguard at times if I smell something or see something offensive!! I haven't found anything in particular to help, just as it says, eat little and often, and whatever you fancy, forget the diet! I have found that I can't eat much at night, I tend to get worse around night time! Good luck!!
by witchgirl 11th Jun 2010, 5:13pm
I'm in my 16th week now and I still suffer from morning sickness all day long. In fact, if anything, it has got worse in the last few weeks. I'm never sick but have a constant watery taste in my mouth. I try to eat little and often to keep my blood sugar levels up but its getting to the point where I'm wondering if and when it will ever subside. My mum had it all the way through with my brother. I wear sickness bands all the time but they don't seem to be stopping it, just curbbing it a little! Has anyone got any other suggestions so that I can really begin to enjoy my pregnancy?? Thank you x
by HayFox 14th May 2010, 5:32pm
Hello girls, i'm 7 weeks pregnant and the last 2 weeks have been the worst. Feel sick all day long, dizzy and extremely tired. Although i haven't trowed up i feel awful 24/7. Have just asked my husband to buy me a homeopathic remedie that everyone says works wonders called Pulsatilla. Still haven't tried it but i hope it helps. Perharps its good to give it a try ok. Hope it helps!!! Love to you all. xx
by Nivia 14th May 2010, 5:24pm
i'd suggest fruit???? something fresh........melon or pineapple
by georgedoors 14th May 2010, 4:17pm
I used a product called Lillipops they helped me with my morning sickness and whats more made me feel much better girls give them a go x

PS just had a look on there website and you can now get them from Pharmacies

Since my last comment i have been three boxes from lloyds pharmacy
by justine1979 14th May 2010, 1:13pm
hello! I'm about 5 weeks pregnant - feel gross all day!!! its horrible! can anyone suggest anything that could help?? I've tried ginger nut biscuits - they work a little ! lauren from dumfries x
by laurens 8th Feb 2010, 9:28am
Well ladies im about 7weeks with my 2nd and once again am experiencing extreme nausea. Was never sick with my 1st but had the nausea the whole way through in evenings. This time its all day although again,i have not actually been sick. Sometimes i think it may be better if i could just to relieve it 4 a while! Ginger helped last time but iv just read about the sea bands (sickness bands usually used for travel sickness) and as i use them for travelling to great effect im now going to give those a bash as its something iv never thought of 4 this &knowing how good they are am now quietly confident!
by mummalaar 15th Jan 2010, 4:27pm
hi everyone im maz and im 5 weeks pregnant today i have expierienced my first day of morning sickness and have not been able to keep any thing down all day although i have foung that fruit and mints such as polo's softmints and tic tacs do help. my boyfriend has also been very supportive and is decorating the bathroom as we speak =) xx
by mummymaz21 13th Jan 2010, 11:48am
I was doing great up until last week and then the sickness hit me out of the blue. I'm in my 10th week. It is keeping me awake at night and is pretty constant. I feel shattered and emotional and am hoping that this is going to be my "bad" week and I'll recover pretty quick. Any tips?
by Eljay 13th Jan 2010, 11:41am
Hi, i am 9 weeks preganant with my first and have suffered really bad morning sickness from the start. I have been prescribed some tablets which seem to be helping at the moment but not completly stopped. IMy husband has been a godsend and done everything round the house as everytime i moved i was sick, people are saying that because the sickness has been so bad maybe we are having twins. None of us have this running in the family but is this possible?
by sam2010 5th Jan 2010, 3:51pm
Hi! I'm new and the mother of a school age terror. I suffered a lot from sickness when I was pregnant and do feel for expectant Mums who are suffering. If anyone wants any advice or sympathy about that dreaded 'morning' sickness, I would like to help, though I can't say that I found a cure-all, but I always swore that if I lived through those sessions in the bathroom I would help any other sufferer!
by Eiluned 14th Dec 2009, 9:55am
Well girls I spoke to my mother in law yesterday as I have morning sickness 24 7 she told me 1 teaspoon of andrews liver salts. Have to say was desperate so gave it a bash and although not completely gone I no longer live in the loo and have even managed to start eating again. Who knows it might help you and my tea stayed put for the first time in 3 weeks
by lilduckie 24th Aug 2009, 9:21am
This may sound a little silly but me and my fiance are trying for a baby, only been about 6months so although its dissappointing that we haven't succeeded yet know it takes time so not too worried. Thing is i'm a severe emetophobic, have only been sick a handful of times in my life and the idea of actually throwing up makes me panic, so am really terrified of the dreaded morning sickness. My mum had it really severely through all of her 4 pregnancies, could this mean i will experience the same?
by AimeeBar 23rd Jul 2009, 9:12am
Came across this site while seaching for a cure. I am in the early weeks and finding the sickness and dizziness very over whelming think im going to have to leave work already. Ive tried everything possible but its still so bad it wakes me up in the night. The only thing that dont make me feel sick is marmite on toast. ANYTHING else including water sets me off. So will keep trying all the suspected cures but dont think anything is going to keep them coming :)
by laura175 29th Jun 2009, 10:11am
I am approaching 9 weeks pregnant for the first time and in the past week have been really suffering from nausea. Am finding it helps to always have something with you to nibble every couple of hours (plain crackers etc) and lucozade and squash also help (especially at peak times, for me the mornings currently). Don't eat big meals, as they will lay on your stomach, eat smaller portions more often. Also have a small drink of warm milk and a biscuit before bed. Slow release foods are also meant to be good e .g oats (porridge, flapjacks etc), jacket potatoes, baked beans etc. It does not stop me feeling sick completely but makes it much better and more manageable. Also, rest when you can. Feeling tired makes it ten times worse. Don't know if this will help anyone but worth a try.
by 2010BABY 29th May 2009, 9:32am
i havebeen suffering with nausia for a few weeks now, so bad i struggle to function properly. this afternoon i made some burnt bacon an old favourite and suprisingly felt marvalous again. apparantly burnt foods can relieve sickness and nausia. hope this helps anyone feeling the way i do at the mo
by stephanie1988 6th May 2009, 9:20am
I found that I felt most sickly in the evenings, and found that eating 3 ginger biscuits with a drink of lemon and lime flavoured water, helped stop my sickness. I don't know if this only worked for me, but if you've having trouble with sickness at night, I would seriously recommend it :) x
by emdete 27th Apr 2009, 9:39am
I am at the tail end of 3 months pregnant now, and am still experiencing strong nausea daily. I am getting quite depressed. Crying has become a part of my daily routine. I have tried eating the saltines, acupuncture, ginger, and all the little tricks that are supposed to assist with decreasing the symptoms but nothing helps. Any advice?
by cashlady 9th Apr 2009, 9:31am
im 7 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child, i had really bad morning sickness with both my daughters, but this time i havent had any i dont even feel the least bit sick, is this normal or is something wrong ?..tanya
by tanyamichelle27 3rd Apr 2009, 9:10am
Hi everyone. This is my third baby. I am eight weeks and suffering from morning sickness. I have found that keeping a little something in your stomach works, which may seem impossible to get anything past your lips. I have found sipping on coke from a straw that has lots of ice helps settle the stomach enough to get some crackers down. I have also found that carbs always make me feel better, such as pasta or potatoes. I usually eat pasta with a little butter and lots of salt. I usually feel a lot better. Meats make me sick and so does anything too sweet. That is why I have a hard time with gingerale. It is too sweet. I hope this helps.
by wampmom 23rd Feb 2009, 2:45pm
I'm now 26 weeks and have had the dreaded 'morning sickness' all the way through, though it's all day for me! Nothing seems to work, not even the tablets from the doctors, the only relief is when I'm actually sick, I feel slightly better til I eat again. The good thing is, I'm not putting on lots of weight that I don't need and the baby is still growing steadily and healthily, so I'm not worried about it.
by alisonogram 27th Jan 2009, 9:16am
Hi guys!! I wish I had an answer. I'm still searching for one at 25 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tried everything known to man throughout the first 5 months - Nothing worked for me I'm afraid. Even the drugs given to me in hospital and at home. It did ease a bit at 21 weeks but now its back with a vengeange!! If anyone has a new answer I'm ready to hear it.
by alias99 24th Jun 2008, 8:44am