The Best Tips From Experienced Moms and Professionals
Note: Not all of the following suggestions are supported by hard evidence, but obstetricians and midwives commonly recommend them, and many women swear by them. They may not work for everyone and are not meant to be medical advice in any way. Always consult with your care provider.
- Try to avoid foods and smells that trigger your nausea. If that seems like almost everything, it’s okay to eat the few things that do appeal to you for this part of your pregnancy, even if they don’t add up to a balanced diet. It might also help to stick to bland foods. Try to eat food cold or at room temperature, when it tends to have less of an aroma than when it’s hot.
- Keep simple snacks, such as (saltine) crackers, by your bed. When you first wake up, nibble a few crackers and then rest for 20 to 30 minutes before getting up. Snacking on crackers may also help you feel better if you wake up nauseated in the middle of the night.
- Eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day so that your stomach is never empty. Some women find that carbohydrates are most appealing when they feel nauseated, but one small study found that high-protein foods were more likely to ease symptoms.
- Avoid fatty foods, which take longer to digest. Also steer clear of rich, spicy, acidic, and fried foods, which can irritate your digestive system. All take longer to digest and can irritate your digestive system.
- Try drinking fluids primarily between meals. And don’t drink so much at one time that your stomach feels full, as that will make you less hungry for food. A good strategy is to sip fluids frequently throughout the day. Sparkling water with a slice of lime or lemon is a good choice. Aim to drink about a quart and a half altogether. If you’ve been vomiting a lot, try a sports drink that contains glucose, salt, and potassium to replace lost electrolytes.
- Give yourself time to relax and take naps if you can. Watching a movie (preferably not one about food!) or visiting with a friend can help relieve stress and take your mind off your discomfort. Or try hypnosis — while there’s no definitive evidence that it helps with morning sickness, it has been shown to be effective in combating nausea during chemotherapy.
- Ask your provider about a device that stimulates the underside of your wrist with a mild electric current. This “acustimulation” device costs about $75 and is available by prescription only. It’s safe, and research has shown that this technique works well for some women.
- Try taking your prenatal vitamins with food or just before bed. You might also want to ask your healthcare provider whether you can switch to a prenatal vitamin with a low dose of iron or no iron for the first trimester, since this mineral can be hard on your digestive system.
- As a morning sickness remedy you can experiment with certain natural remedies: papaya enzyme, vitamin B-6, acupressure, acupuncture or even yoga or massage.
Ginger tea can be used freely to help. Ginger has been thoroughly researched over the years. A recent review of scientific evidence, published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, found that ginger was beneficial in treating all kinds of nausea. Ginger can be taken in any form; tea, ginger ale, ginger candy, in recipes, etc. To make a tea, pour boiling water over a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root. You can also add the juice of half a lemon and sweeten with honey if you like. In winter it’s a warmer, in the summer it can be a refreshing iced tea. This mix has the bonus of helping to ward off low blood sugar, headaches and fatigue as well as relieving nausea.
During pregnancy your needs for B6, B12, folic acid, zinc and iron will all increase. Adequate amounts of these nutrients are probably enough to ward off the nausea associated with pregnancy. Foods high in B vitamins tend to decrease nausea so eat plenty of these: whole grains, such as wheat and oats, fish and seafood, poultry and meats, eggs, dairy products, like milk and yogurt, leafy green vegetables, beans and peas.If you are feeling very ill early in pregnancy, extra supplements of B6 in the region of 100mg daily may be needed. You may also require B12 in 50mcg doses daily. Symptoms should usually disappear within a week or two, in which case you should consider halving your dose. Zinc deficiency is also implicated in pregnancy nausea – aim for 20mg daily.
Acupressure can also be very effective. Several recent studies, including those published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Journal of Nurse Midwifery, show that pressure on the pericardium 6 (or P6) point can provide fairly quick relief from nausea, though it may not help to reduce vomiting. To find this point place your hand palm up and measure two thumb widths above the most prominent wrist crease; P6 is just above this point, in line with your middle finger. wristbands, which stimulate the P6 point, have been helpful for some women.
Apple cider vinegar (not any other kind) try taking two or three teaspoons in warm water first thing in the morning. Apple cider vinegar is pH neutral and may help to neutralize excess stomach acid.
Bananas Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep up blood sugar levels and avoid morning sickness.
B-vitamins Take a high-dose B-complex vitamin with at least 100 mg of B-6, morning and night, for both motion sickness and morning sickness.
Cloves Chew five whole cloves.
Cola syrup The age-old standby for nausea and upset stomach has been cola syrup. For adults take 1-2 tablespoons every 15 minutes until the symptoms subside (no more than six doses in a 24 hour period). For children it’s 1-2 teaspoons. There is caffeine in cola syrup, so it is best not to take it before bedtime if you are affected by caffeine. Warning: Also, don’t take cola syrup if you are a diabetic.
Ginger To help prevent motion sickness take two to four gingerroot capsules (500 mg each), 1/4 inch slice of fresh ginger or 1/2-1 teaspoon of powdered ginger in some juice three times daily, depending on the circumstances. Best results will probably occur when the gingerroot is taken an hour or two before departure on your trip, with one or more capsules every four hours while traveling; can be used as either a preventative or remedy. Ginger has also been found to significantly reduce post-operative vomiting for women who have undergone major gynecological surgery, and helps alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea. If you use standardized extract, take 1,000 mg. This remedy has proved to be more effective than Dramamine. Another way to get ginger is to eat candied slices.
Ginger/honey Make a tea by mixing 1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice and 1 teaspoon honey in a cup of boiling water; drink as needed.
Gogi Berries are a well kept secret and can be found in health food stores.
Ice Research at Penn State University suggests that applying a cold-pack to your forehead may alleviate the symptoms.
Lemon Suck on a lemon wedge.
Peppermint Put a small drop of peppermint essential oil under your nose. It will help stop your stomach from churning.
Red raspberry leaf tea helps relieve morning sickness.
Soda crackers. Eating some crackers may help relieve morning sickness.
Water Morning sickness is a thirst signal of both the mother and the fetus. Be sure that you are drinking enough water. Normally, people should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Consult your doctor to discuss the proper amount for you if you have morning sickness.
When you do feel OK try to eat healthful foods, get some exercise, and look forward to the bundle of joy coming your way. And remember heading into the second trimester your real morning sickness remedy will be the passage of time.
National Association of Childbearing Centers
Birth Centers Online
Unicef overview of the program
US Baby Friendly Hospitals
International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA)
La Leche League International
Breastfeeding Helpline: 800-525-3243
Taped Message: 900-448-7475 ext. 26
- Breastfeeding site of Mothers of Australia
- Comprehensive breastfeeding site
www.lactavist.com – A
Warehouse of breastfeeding information
- Breastfeeding and attachment parenting of twins
Fashions for nursing moms
www.waba.org.my – World
Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. Devoted to international
- Nothing can be compared to the
joys of stepping into motherhood ! Know someone who’s going be a mom? Greet
her Happy Mother’s Day for the first time by clicking on our special
Midwifery Today, Inc.
American College of Nurse-Midwives
Citizens for Midwifery
Midwives Alliance of North America
National Association of Childbearing Centers
- Comprehensive search for midwives, doulas, childbirth educators,
breastfeeding support, birth photographers, massage therapists, and
Full of information on midwifery and has a Midwife Directory on the home
www.mfom.org – Massachusetts
Friends of Midwives offers a search function for
midwives, doulas, and childbirth educators, as well as The Directory
of Birthing Resources, a print version of
- A statewide directory of
midwives, doulas, and childbirth educators.
American Association of Drugless Practitioners
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Referral number: 206-298-0125
American Herbalists Guild
American Holistic Health Association
American Holistic Medical Association
American Naturopathic Medical Association
Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals
Holistic Pediatric Association
International Chiropractic Pediatric Association
National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance
The National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine
North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH)
The Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM)
Support and Advocacy Organizations
Attachment Parenting International (API)
The mission of Attachment Parenting International is to promote
parenting methods that create strong, healthy emotional bonds
between children and their parents. These methods nurture and fulfill a
child’s need for trust, empathy and affection, providing a lifelong
foundation for healthy enduring relationships.
Mother’s Support Network
Their mission is “to support parents in their quest to raise happy,
healthy children.” They have regular support meetings, scheduled
play days, a mother/baby program, childbirth preparation classes,
parent/toddler classes, community events, a library and a newsletter.
The National Association of Mothers’ Centers (NAMC)
Their mission is “to enable members to be effective in using their
individual and collective knowledge and experience as catalysts for
personal and societal changes that benefit mothers and fathers.”
The NAMC will help you find or start a mother’s center in your area.
The Moms Clubs
Particularly for at-home moms. The organization’s goals are “to
provide a support group for mothers who choose to stay at home to raise
Mothers of Color at Home (MOCHA)
The group is a “support group for stay at home mothers who have
chosen not to work fulltime outside of the home in order to devote more
time to their families.” The group is currently accepting new
members and organizing new chapters in areas with several members.
The Motherhood Project
Working to promote “a Mother’s Renaissance-fresh thinking,
discussion and activism by mothers about motherhood and mothering, and
about who mothers are, what we do, our importance to our children,
families and society, and our potential as catalysts for cultural and
social change for the benefit of children and families.”
Families for Natural Living
Families for Natural Living is a 501 (c)3 non-profit educational
organization and a community of diverse people who share the belief that
we as individuals are responsible for our own health and have the
inherent right to make informed decisions regarding our health.
Mothers Ought to Have Equal Rights (MOTHERS)
“A grassroots mothers’ movement to improve the economic status of
mothers and others who care for family dependents.”
Mothers and More
They provide a nationwide network of local chapters for “mothers
who are-either by choice or by circumstances-altering their
participation in the paid workforce over the course of their active
parenting years.” The group serves mothers at home as well as
mothers working outside the home.
Mothers Acting Up
This group is dedicated to “mobilizing the gigantic political
strength of Mothers.” “We realize that we live in a world that
does not prioritize or protect our children’s well-being and that will
not change without each of us finding the courage and commitment to
speak out on their behalf.”
The Motherhood Movement
The Mothers Movement Online (MMO) provides “resources for mothers
and others who think about social change.” They provide “an
open source for the distribution of information about social, cultural,
economic and political conditions that impact the lives of
mothers.” They serve as a clearinghouse for resources and ideas
that support social change to improve the status of mothers and others
who are responsible for care work in our society.”
The Natural Child Project
The Natural Child Project has articles and advice on “parenting and
education that respects children”. The site also includes a
children’s art gallery and a fundraising shop with unique parenting
items. Founder and counselor Jan Hunt’s Parenting From The Heart
Telephone Counseling Service is available worldwide for questions and
concerns on parenting, homeschooling and personal matters.
Familes For Natural
Families for Natural Living (FNL) provides resources, education, support
and camaraderie to parents who wish to make conscious, compassionate,
informed choices for their children and themselves. FNL families are
typically interested in natural living issues, such as holistic health
care, natural birthing, attachment parenting, alternative schooling,
nutritious whole foods, and environmentally conscientious living.
Take A Nap
To provide support, resources and a playgroup for parents of infants and
young children who wish to share their experiences with other naturally
minded parents. NAP is designed to be an open-minded organization where
all parents practicing ANY aspect of Natural Parenting can feel valued
Features sections on the sypmons and treatment of PPD as well as a
bookstore and complete contact information.
Information Request Line 1-800-944-4773
Postpartum Support International
Featuring information on the causes, symptoms and treatment for PPD
including a self-assessment test. How to increase social support, a book
and video section, a support group list (
worldwide) and a chatroom entitled Mothershare.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Features a state coalition list to find a resource group in your area as
well as a step by step guide on how to get help.
End Abuse – The family violence prevention fund
An overview of Family Violence Prevention Fund programs and extensive
resources to get help. You can also sign up to receive e-alerts for the
lastest action campaigns.
Ritual Abuse, Ritual Crime, and Healing
Offers information and resources for survivors, therapists and others.
Features healing tips, an extensive library and a creative corner with
art and poetry from survivors.
Family Violence Prevention Services
A recovery program viewed by law enforcement agencies and the courts as
a effective alternative sentencing program. Website offers a program
description and related articles.
Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence
Features the online Domestic Violence Abuse handbook.
Local Resouces– Orange County/Long Beach/South Bay
Dr. Brad Miller