Most women experience some form of food aversion, nausea, heartburn, or vomiting during their pregnancy. These symptoms are a normal response to many different hormonal changes that occur during early pregnancy. Morning sickness affects over 50% of pregnant women during the first trimester of pregnancy. For many women, it begins around the 6th week of pregnancy and can last until the second trimester. Hyperemesis is an extreme and debilitating form of morning sickness. Women suffering from hyperemesis can feel very sick during the entire pregnancy and may need hospitalization and intravenous fluids.
Having a healthy nutrition plan before, during, and after pregnancy is essential for growing a healthy baby. A simple meal plan built around easy to digest, nutritious, whole foods is the best plan for getting through this tough time. Figuring out what makes you feel nauseous, what foods you can eat, and what foods, textures, and smells make you feel sick will be part of the process.
The Role of Hormones and Digestion
During the few weeks of pregnancy, your digestive system can go through many changes, and the types of food and size of meals you were used to in the past can change. Examine the size of your meals and the way you feel after you eat them. Focus on eating smaller, more frequent snacks and meals throughout the day.
For many women, heartburn can accompany the morning sickness or just be a side effect that can last the entire pregnancy. Typically, a nutrition plan for heartburn is very similar to the plan for morning sickness. Plain, unseasoned, easy to digest, nutritious, small, whole food meals are best when dealing with heartburn.
Many times women experiencing morning sickness, nausea, and heartburn will find that having an empty stomach can make things much worse. Try to eat small amounts of nutritious food as frequently as needed. Plan your meals ahead of time so you can eat something before you begin to feel nauseous. Pack grab and go snacks that you can tolerate when you traveling or are away from home. When you are heading for a workout or walk bring a light snack and water to have after your exercise.
Tips for Dealing with Morning Sickness
- Limit foul odors, cooking odors, and smells that make you feel nauseous
- Avoid spicy food, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage, and tomato sauce
- Drink plenty of water or coconut water
- Eat smart and get enough protein
- Take your prenatal vitamins
- Supplement with magnesium
- Focus of grazing instead of eating three large meals
- Brush and floss often
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat a small snack before getting out of bed
- Consider acupuncture
- Walk outdoors in a open air environment
- Practice meditation and gentle yoga
- Nap when you can
- If you are too fatigued to workout, take short walks
- Re-examine your nutrition habits
The Best Foods for Morning Sickness and Nausea
- Coconut water
- Eggs, including scrambled and unseasoned quiches
- Bone broth and soups, unseasoned
- Plain vegetable soups, unseasoned
- Sweet potatoes
- Cauliflower mash
- Brown rice
- Chicken soup, unseasoned
- Plain sandwiches
- Plain pasta
Tips for Dealing With Heartburn
- Avoid spicy foods, onion, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage, and tomato sauce
- Eat slowly
- Focus of grazing instead of three large meals
- Sit upright after eating for at least two hours
- Use digestive enzymes
- Prop yourself upright for sleeping
- Monitor your weight gain
- Take short walks after meals
- Practice meditation and gentle yoga in an upright position
Morning Sickness and Nausea Recipes: Easy Queasy Smoothie
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup coconut water
- 3 tablespoons coconut manna
- 2 dates
- Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend to desired consistency.
Morning Sickness and Nausea Recipes: Nourishing Morning Sickness Broth
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 hours
- 3 pounds beef bones
- 6 tablespoons Kerrygold butter
- 8-10 cups of filtered water
- 2-3 large carrots
- 1 squeezed lemon
- 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger
- Pink Himalayan salt to taste
- Place the bones in the slow cooker and cover with water.
- Add carrots.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Add lemon, ginger, and salt in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Remove all bones and put broth through a strainer.
Heartburn Recipe: Plain Sweet Potato Mash
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 4-8 hours (crockpot) or 30 minutes (oven)
- 4 tablespoons Kerrygold butter
- 1 sweet potato or yam
- ½ cup coconut milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork.
- Wrap the sweet potato in foil and place in a crockpot for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. If you want to cook it faster, cook sweet potato in an oven at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes.
- Once the sweet potato is done cooking, remove from foil to let cool to the touch before removing the skin.
- Mash the sweet potato with a fork and mix with butter and coconut milk.
Please note: If your morning sickness is extreme, consult with your obstetrician for your treatment options. Hyperemesis the extreme and debilitating form of morning sickness. Women suffering from hyperemesis can feel very sick during the entire pregnancy and may need hospitalization and intravenous fluids. Complementary therapies including acupuncture, medication, IV support, and hydration. Meditation and gentle yoga may be helpful.