Pregnancy Hacks: Nutrition Strategies for Combating Morning Sickness

November 14, 2023

Written by Gia Eapen, MD

Medically reviewed by

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Key Points

  • Everyone's body is different; what works for one woman might not work for another.
  • Small, frequent meals could be more manageable than large meals.
  • Keep easy-to-digest foods on hand throughout the day.
  • Lower-fat foods are typically easier to digest, whereas high-fat foods might worsen nausea.

Experiencing morning sickness, a rollercoaster ride of nausea and vomiting, is an all-too-familiar part of the pregnancy journey for many women. Yet, believe it or not, this journey can become significantly smoother with the right nutrition strategies. Let's delve into how you can use nutrition as a lifeline in these turbulent times.

Understanding Morning Sickness

Remember, no two pregnancy experiences are identical. Every woman is unique and what soothes one might not work for another. Keeping this in mind, it's always a good idea to experiment with different approaches and find out what works best for you.

A few general points to keep in mind:

  • Small, frequent meals can often be more manageable than fewer, larger meals.
  • Keeping easy-to-digest foods within reach can be a lifesaver.
  • Lower-fat foods are typically gentler on the stomach, while high-fat foods might exacerbate nausea.

Adapting Your Dietary Habits

In the battle against morning sickness, your diet is a powerful ally. Here are some ways to adapt your eating habits:

Consider eating 6 small meals/snacks throughout the day. This approach can often be easier on your stomach than the traditional three large meals. Always have easily digestible foods, like crackers and pretzels, within arm's reach. You might even want to keep some at your bedside and nibble on a few before you rise in the morning. Stay hydrated by drinking water or other caffeine-free beverages between meals. And don't forget the humble ginger root; it's renowned for its nausea-combating properties.

It's important to remember that these are general tips and might not work for everyone. For a more personalized approach, consider booking an appointment with a Registered Dietitian at Fay.

Welcoming the Right Foods

Navigating food choices while dealing with morning sickness can feel like walking a tightrope. However, some foods are known to be gentler on the stomach:

  • Cold Foods: Think about indulging in ice cream, smoothies, popsicles, and frozen fruit. Their coolness can be soothing for nausea.
  • Warm Foods: Comfort foods such as mashed or baked potatoes, soups, and toast are typically easy on the stomach.

Contrary to what you might think, some spicy foods like salsa, gingersnaps, gingerbread, and curries can actually help some women with nausea. Also, creamy foods such as low-fat milk, custards, puddings, and yogurt can be pleasing to your palate without aggravating your stomach.

Remember, your dietary needs might evolve as your pregnancy progresses. Don't hesitate to book another appointment with a Registered Dietitian at Fay to adjust your nutrition plan.

Steering Clear of Certain Foods

While morning sickness can render many foods unappealing, there are specific items you should consciously avoid:

Beverages like alcohol, excessive caffeine, and unpasteurized cider and juices are off the menu. Stay away from raw or undercooked meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and even hot dogs, luncheon meats unless they are heated until steaming hot. Also, be aware of dairy products: raw or unpasteurized milk and cheese and dairy products made from them should be avoided.

Managing nutrition during morning sickness can seem daunting, but remember, you're not alone in this journey. The team of Registered Dietitians at Fay is ready to guide you every step of the way, offering personalized advice and support.

The views expressed by authors and contributors of such content are not endorsed or approved by Fay and are intended for informational purposes only. The content is reviewed by Fay only to confirm educational value and audience interest. You are encouraged to discuss any questions that you may have about your health with a healthcare provider.


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Gia Eapen, MD

Written by Gia Eapen, MD

Dr. Gia Eapen is a skilled Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) physician at Case Western/MetroHealth. A Northwestern University alumna, she pursued her medical degree at the University of Vermont, fostering a deep understanding of women's health and reproductive medicine. She combines her comprehensive knowledge with a dedication to patient-centered care, embodying a commitment to enhancing healthcare standards in her field.


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