Natural (& Easy) Ways to Combat Morning Sickness

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If you’re lucky, you have at least one gal pal in your life who really says it like it is. She’s your Chelsea Handler. Your Amy Schumer. Or your Karen Walker (if you’re still devouring “Will and Grace” reruns like moi). I’ll never forget how my own Chelsea/Amy/Karen responded to my pregnancy news. We were at brunch, just the two of us. She ordered champagne. I ordered green tea. She shot me a funny look. I nodded. “Apparently I’m going to have a baby,” I said, and based on her response — a full-body shudder and scrunched grimace — you would’ve thought I had instead announced, “Apparently I have shingles.”

It’s not that she doesn’t love me or babies. It’s just that a decade ago she experienced a seriously nasty pregnancy that had her vomiting at least twice a day for six months, and feeling generally funky every other minute. Because of this, she forever associates pregnancy with terrible sickness. (And who could blame her?!) “Of course I’d do it again to get my girl, and I’m happy for you.” She shuddered once more. “I just hope you don’t go through what I did.”

Thankfully, I didn’t. I’d get waves of nausea (the absolute worst episode hit while in Harvey Norman — all of the TV screens started spinning and my vision went in and out as I gracelessly plopped on the floor and stuck my head between my knees beside the phone case rack), but feeling sick is very different from actually getting sick, so I thank my lucky stars that my first pregnancy was a breeze compared to so many of my friends’ experiences.

Along the way, they’ve shared what works and what doesn’t when combating (and coping with) morning sickness. Hopefully what (may have) helped me with morning sickness and what’s definitely helped my pals deal with it is helpful to you, too.

1. “Get out of bed slooooowly. Avoid jumping up from your office chair. Sudden movements after long periods of rest can stir up things you seriously don’t want to stir up.” — Judy R., a corporate renaissance woman and boy mum

2. “Keep a bland but satiating snack with you at all times. Stash crackers, bread, or a handful of almonds in your handbag for when the queasiness strikes.” — Molly C., Year 1 teacher and mum of two kids

3. “Eat several small meals throughout the day. This can help keep your blood sugar level stable and your stomach acids in check.” — Kate S., a nurse and nutrition-conscious mama

4. “Stick with a high-protein diet. Think eggs, nuts, beans, clean meats, and hormone-free dairy. These foods help prevent low blood sugar, which can cause nausea.” — Michelle H., a personal trainer and mum to twin girls

5. “Make the most of supplements. Select quality prenatal supplements formulated to help fight queasiness. Also, talk to your doctor about supplements which can help with nausea, as well as occasional heartburn and regularity during pregnancy..” — Tasha P., pregnant mum and saleswoman

6. “Avoid greasy, fried, or heavily spiced foods. As a chef with a spicy palette, this was hard, but totally necessary.” — Serena J., professional chef and mum

7. “Get some fresh air. If possible, take a walk outside, lower the car windows, or sleep with an open window. In a pinch, even just pausing from what you’re doing for a minute of deep, calming breaths can help make you feel better.” — Patricia M., my walking pal and neighbour, who is mum to three boys

8. “Drink spearmint or peppermint tea or soda water when morning sickness hits to calm your stomach and freshen your breath.” — Gina A., an emergency room doctor and mum to two girls

9. “Try a little aromatherapy. Some scents, including peppermint, spearmint, lime, lemon and orange, may calm and comfort people dealing with nausea, anxiety, and claustrophobia — three feelings often experienced when vomiting in a public bathroom stall, right?!” — Jenny O., an amazing SAHM

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Image: Getty