If you're pregnant and experiencing feelings of nausea, you're not alone. It's estimated that about three quarters of pregnant women get morning sickness.


It tends to start in the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy and can last throughout the whole pregnancy, although for many of us it will start improving at the end of the first trimester, and stop by about 16 to 20 weeks.

As most of us quickly discover, morning sickness it's not actually confined to the mornings, despite its name, but can strike up at pretty much any time of the day.

We're afraid there's no magic cure that will make your morning sickness disappear altogether (sorry) but there are some things that can help to ease the symptoms of nausea. We asked our MadeForMums community to share some of the things that really worked for them...

1. Eat smaller meals

For loads of us, eating the same-sized meals we ate before we got pregnant doesn't work out once we're expecting, and that once-satisfying full feeling ends up making us feel nauseous.

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Community member Maisie says, "Eat little and often, bland food – nothing too rich!"

Amy agrees, saying, "I found eating little and often helped rather than eating big meals."

2. Go for anything with ginger in it

Ginger came up time and time again with members of our community as a good soother of morning sickness. Charlene suggests eating ginger biscuits, and Vicky agrees, saying "Ginger nut biscuits were a godsend!"

Melissa told us that sipping on (non-alcoholic) ginger beer helped her. Paula even suggested "sucking on raw ginger."

However, Phillipa also issued an important warning: "I really recommend avoiding ginger biscuits if you're actually being sick because the spice is horrible to throw up!"


3. Avoid strong smells

It might not be the sight of a plate of food that gets you feeling a bit off, but the strong smell of something – perhaps a particularly pungent fish or even alcohol – that gets you feeling queasy. "Avoiding smells that set me off" was important for community member Rebecca.

However, while you might be able to monitor this a bit more easily what smells come into your home, that's easier said than done when you're out and about. Some of us may struggle even at home, as Caitlin pointed out: "I took to just sitting really still and avoiding any strong smells, but that's not so easy with a toddler!"

If you do find yourself feeling sick and there's nothing you can do, at least know that you're not alone and that it's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

4. Suck on an ice cube or sip a very cold drink

Simona told us "eating ice helped me with acidic taste in my mouth." Dimple also found relief this way, saying, "Nothing helped this time outside of cold drinks and ice lollies." Keeping hydrated is really important, especially if you're actually being sick and losing fluids, and a lot of the mums we spoke to opted for very cold drinks.

"Sipping cold drinks constantly helped me," Abby agreed, as did Andrea, whose go-to was iced water.


5. Eat plainer food

As well as going for the little-and-often approach, a fair few of our mums have suggested it might be worth skipping the fancier meals for something plainer. "The blander the food, the better," said Amy, who suggested rice cakes as a safe option.

Another suggestion came from Bethany, whose snack of choice was "toast, toast and more toast." Stephanie, meanwhile, says she "ate a lot plain pasta and mash for months."

6. Wear travel sickness bands

Anti-sickness bands, which use acupressure principles, have proven effective with some members of the MadeForMums Community. "I have been using the travel sickness bands (look a bit like sweatbands) and it feels like they help sometimes," Holly told us.

"I got these little wristbands also used for travel sickness – they helped," Lesley agreed. Hayley said, "I bought sickness wristbands. They were amazing."

7. Have a small snack at both ends of the day

Some members of our community said that having a small snack before bedtime helped with their nausea, and many nutrition experts will tell you that the the same goes at the other end of the day too: eating as soon as you wake up can help with sickness during the day. Biscuits seemed to be the food of choice within our community.

"Digestives by the bedside! I nibbled on one of those before I got up," Natalie told us. Kerry shared similar advice, "I was told to have a plain biscuit by the bed, as soon as you wake up have the biscuit and it stops the sickness feeling."

Vicky also recommended "dry biscuits or crackers by the bed."

8. Opt for fizzy drinks

Although water was probably the most common option for hydration purposes, plenty of mums also rate fizzy drinks to help settle the stomach. Mum Merry favours sparkling water, while both Simona and Ionela suggest soda water.

Others opt for something a bit sweeter. "A can of Coke in a morning was a lifesaver for me in both pregnancies," said Jemma. If this is something that works for you, do just keep an eye on the caffeine content, especially if you also enjoy tea and coffee.

9. Try formerly fizzy drinks

In contrast to the above, a number of other mums-to-be left their fizzy drinks to go flat before drinking them. "Flat lemonade has been a big help with keeping up fluids," said Grace. "I’m just really trying to listen to my body and what it wants at that time."

Flat lemonade was also the go-to for Fiona, while Charlie preferred flat coke.

10. Pick mint

Mint in all forms got the thumbs up from our MadeForMums community. "For me it was sucking on mints... polos really helped," said community member Sabrina.

"I had mints and chewing gum for times when it came on suddenly while out," Kim said, while both Andrea and Paula opted to drink peppermint tea to settle their stomachs.

What to do when morning sickness gets really bad

Morning sickness varies hugely between pregnancies, and although these home remedies may work for milder cases, there are times when you need a lot more than a cup of tea or a biscuit. Don't be afraid to reach out to your GP if you are struggling.

1 to 3 in every 100 pregnant women suffers from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, often referred to as "extreme morning sickness". This is a condition with severe vomiting that may mean you need be be admitted to hospital. GP Dr Philippa Kaye advises you seek urgent medical help if:

  • You haven't been able to keep any food or fluids down for 24 hours
  • You haven't done a wee for more than 8 hours
  • You feel very weak, dizzy or faint when you stand up
  • You have abdominal pain
  • You vomit blood
  • You're losing weight

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Gemma Cartwright
Gemma CartwrightFormer Group Digital Editor

Gemma has two decades of experience in digital content. She is mum to a preschooler, and aunt to 4 children 5 and under. She is particularly passionate about sleep (for babies and parents) and loves testing out gadgets, technology and innovation in the parenting world.