Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. Read my full disclosure policy here.
These are the tricks I used to prevent throwing-up while pregnant. These remedies for morning sickness are not your conventional anti-nausea suggestions, but techniques I discovered during my pregnancies that work. Most of them are free (or very cheap) and super easy to implement.
Vomiting is torture.
I hate it. Yes, hate is a strong word, but I mean it. I could count on one hand how many times I’ve thrown up in my life since probably age 7.
So when those 2 pink lines showed up on my pregnancy test the first thought that came up was, OMG, please, please, I don’t want to throw up! After the initial rush of joy, of course.
Before the nausea set in I even thought to myself, maybe I’ll be one of those lucky ones that don’t get morning sickness, WRONG! I had morning sickness. A lot of it. Throughout the entire day for my first pregnancy. For my second, I must have just been used to the hormones and nausea, because it was definitely better the that time around.
Even though I was so nauseated I DID NOT throw up. I’ve learned some unique ways to help prevent vomiting during pregnancy. The persistent nausea is bad enough, but vomiting is so, so much worse.
Check out my post on What No One Tells You About Pregnancy to find out more on EVERYTHING pregnancy related!
These remedies are not your run of the mill anti-nausea tricks that you usually find when googling.
Although I did do an honorable mention for some of the more common ones at the end of this post (if that’s what you’re looking for).
For all you nauseated pregnant mommies out there. . . I really hope this works for you!
FYI: The first 3 remedies deal with different techniques solely on brushing your teeth (I noticed that this is the most vulnerable time for potential vomiting episodes when suffering from morning sickness).
1. Brush your teeth with COLD water:
Make sure your tooth brushing water is as cool as possible. Lukewarm or warm water will only make your nausea worse. I can’t tell you how many times I came this close to vomiting because my tooth brushing water wasn’t cold enough.
2. Scrape your tongue BEFORE brushing your teeth:
I don’t know about you, but that gunk stuck to the back of my tongue every morning makes me feel sick just thinking about it. Trying to stick a toothbrush into that gunky mouth just made my nausea worse.
I use this 100% copper tongue scraper (best one I’ve ever used, great quality, and not too pricey) win-win-win in my book! If you scrape that stuff off BEFORE brushing your teeth, it makes the whole experience WAY more tolerable.
Insider tip: When scraping your tongue, take a deep breath first, then be sure to stick out your tongue with some force. You have to sort of flex your tongue to prevent the gag reflex from being stimulated. Then scrape.
3. Brush your teeth standing straight up, DO NOT lean over the sink:
You would be surprised how much this helps. A co-worker of mine told me about this; her OB doc from back in the day let her in on this simple yet super effective trick. This act alone has thwarted the dreaded gagging/almost vomiting/gagging/almost vomiting cycle practically every time.
Your body just doesn’t gag as much when you stand up straight (look straight ahead too, try not to look down until you have to spit). Total game changer!
4. Wash your hair:
My hair is naturally oily, with my first pregnancy my hormones went nuts and my hair was greasy by mid-day, ugh! Oily hair triggers these awful nauseated headaches. I would gag every time I turned my head wrong. I was so tired (1st trimester fatigue is so REAL). Getting up off the couch was an ordeal but I made sure to wash my hair AT LEAST daily, and when time allotted, twice a day.
And when shampooing, be sure to shampoo correctly: wet hair thoroughly before applying shampoo, scrub your scalp REALLY well with the shampoo to loosen the the gunk from those oil secreting glands in your scalp, you only need to shampoo your roots. Rinse well, and REPEAT!
Have you ever googled how to shampoo your hair correctly or wondered why your hairdresser takes so long and uses so much shampoo when washing your hair? It’s because that’s how you are supposed to wash it. Lather, rinse, repeat. Thank me later when you feel refreshed!
5. Scratch your scalp:
Sometimes I didn’t have time to wash my hair twice a day, but I figured out a quick fix that helps, especially when car sick. I’m not quite sure why, but if you scratch your scalp all over, relatively firmly and thoroughly as if you are washing your hair, it instantly relieves that nauseated/car sick feeling, at least for a few precious minutes.
When my husband was driving (he’s really not a bad driver, I swear), I would get so nauseated (morning sickness and car sickness do not mix). But a few scalp scratches, and some cool air on my face would get me through the drive.
Insider tip: I eventually just took over driving while pregnant until approximately the last week unless it was a super short drive. It’s hard to be car sick when you are driving.
6. Coolness to the face, neck and chest:
A nice cool breeze, air conditioning, or a cool/cold washcloth placed on your face, chest or back of your neck does wonders for nausea! I would go so far as just grabbing a piece of ice out of the freezer and rub it all over my face, neck, and chest. Ahhhh! It was wonderful, and it stopped the nausea in its tracks!
7. Cough drops or Mints:
I stumbled upon this next remedy completely by accident. Someone at work always had cough drops on her and I was so hungry. She offered and I said sure, why not? Lo and behold, who knew cough drops would be so effective against nausea? So I started googling, and apparently it’s a thing!
Since I was pregnant I was worried about the side effects of menthol and possible overdose. But apparently you have to eat more than 6000 cough drops in a relatively short time span to come close to the harmful dose.
Make sure to use the mentholated type, the ones that taste like candy won’t work as well.
If you don’t have cough drops on hand when you need them, mints can work just as well sometimes. These X-treme tic tac mints are my new favorite! Buyer beware: it takes you right up to the brink of pain when you eat them, but oh how I love them!
Just don’t eat only cough drops or mints for your entire pregnancy and you should be fine. To give you an idea, I probably only had 3-5 cough drops on my really bad days when I couldn’t get to food in time. Speaking of getting food in on time. . .
Okay, so with my first pregnancy, I was miserable for my first 10 weeks because I was. . . hungry?! What?! The nausea was so intense I could barely eat anything. I lived off your typical saltine crackers, lemon drops, and small bites of food, but my body was not happy. It was not enough food.
By week 11, I decided this baby might need some sort of nutrition. So I decided I needed to eat a real meal. Chili cheese fries from Wienerschnitzel. After I downed my ‘nutritious’ meal, my nausea was gone! Gone! I couldn’t believe it!
10 weeks of absolute misery! But from that point on a constant, steady stream of hefty meal sized snacking kept my nausea at bay. Sometimes when I waited too long between meals I was gagging while simultaneously shoveling large spoonfuls of food into my mouth.
I looked and felt like a crazy person. No really, everyone was like ‘You’re gagging, stop eating!’ I know my body, and it needed food. It felt so wrong (chewing, gagging, swallowing, gagging). But as soon as I got a couple of bites down, the nausea and gagging would cease!
My go to hearty snacks were:
- Hawaiian sweet bread with smoked Gouda and green grapes
- Sara Lee frozen cheesecake (like 1/2 the package at a time)
- Tangerines (approximately 6-10 at a time)
- String cheese (just to get me by)
- Korean style Ramen noodles- sooo good (I know, don’t judge me, my kids came out fine).
This list doesn’t include my full-on meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Just don’t over do it, a bloated stomach also can cause nausea.
I even had to wake up in the middle of the night for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk. I could only drink the stuff with my first pregnancy, otherwise, I am not a fan. This way I wouldn’t wake up in the morning nauseated. So awesome!
And yes, I would have morning sickness even at night, lucky me. But changing my eating habits and making sure I always had something substantial in my tummy really helped. By mid 2nd trimester my morning sickness eased up.
So try eating, sounds weird, but it may work for you. It did for me!
9. Change your prenatals and sandwich them within meals:
Sorry Costco, I love you but I don’t love your prenatal vitamins, gag! I changed to Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System).
A pregnant friend at work suggested them to me and she swore there was no nausea with them. She would only take it with some juice (she’s not as sensitive as me). For me, I still had to sandwich the vitamins within my meals.
I’ve have chronic acid reflux since I was a kid and burping up vitamin is just unpleasant, and nauseating.
So I made sure to take my vitamins about halfway through my meal so I would not be taking them on an empty stomach. The rest of my meal would keep them pushed down far enough so I didn’t have to taste vitamin when the reflux would act up.
After I changed vitamins, the nausea was significantly better. I was so mad that I didn’t change them sooner.
10. Go to the bathroom (number 2):
As time and nausea went on, I started to realize that when I had to go ‘number 2’ I would start to gag. I know, weird. But I was happy I made the correlation, it’s a whole lot better than throwing up.
I remember having an episode of severe nausea so I quickly went through my checklist of possible fixes, I was stumped. I thought I had this morning sickness thing somewhat under my control.
Then when another bout of nausea started to rear its ugly head, I ran to the restroom to throw up. I thought, THIS IS IT, it’s happening, I’m officially going to throw up in this pregnancy.
Luckily, I also had to pee so I decided to do that first and then deal with the possibility of vomiting. I didn’t want to pee my pants from the retching that occurs from actively vomiting.
Just then, I went you know what (number 2). I had no idea I even had to go! After my ‘episode’ the nausea vanished. GONE! No vomiting, YAY!
11. Alcohol swabs:
I worked as a nurse in the emergency room for both my pregnancies. We used this trick for our nauseated patients. It was super helpful and works great!
Anytime I came across a smell that would trigger my nausea (which was quite often at my workplace), I would bust out one of my handy-dandy alcohol swabs from my pocket and sniff it. The results were instantaneous.
You can get a box of them for less than $5 at Amazon or even Target.
Hey, if this trick worked in the emergency room with all the interesting smells that are floating around there, then it should work just about anywhere!
These remedies for morning sickness allowed me to enjoy my pregnancies.
So I hope this odd but effective list I’ve compiled helps get you through this nauseating stage of pregnancy. I hope it helps you grow from just surviving to thriving during your beautiful pregnancy.
ENJOY YOUR TIME (and I mean that with a sinister tone)! That’s how my brother-in-law said it, with the same sinister tone pointing to our blissfully ignorant selves (my husband and I). I was late into my second trimester (the honeymoon stage of pregnancy). I thought he was nuts, I even asked my husband, “Is your brother okay?”
He already had two small children and knew the struggle we were in for. He was one of two people who really tried to warned me about parenthood before I had the baby. Two people! Unbelievable!
So use these anti-nausea remedies to help alleviate some of that morning sickness and get to delighting in that pregnancy, Mommy to be!
If you are like me and like to KNOW what you are getting yourself into but everyone just keeps sugarcoating parenthood every time you ask, don’t worry. I will tell you what you need to know, so you can feel somewhat prepared for this life altering event that you can never really prepare for.
Stick with me sister! Pregnancy really is just the beginning (a tiny preview, if you will). But together we will not only survive this, we will THRIVE as MOMMY!
Oh! Here are those run of the mill morning sickness remedies I promised
You know, just in case that was what you we’re looking for when you clicked on this post.
Generic products for anti-nausea:
- Ginger candies- Some people swear by these. I put one in my mouth and spit it out instantly. But, I definitely liked ginger ale soda.
- Saltines- Worked okay, it wasn’t enough sustenance for me, but it is better than nothing.
- Essential oils- Worked for me for approximately 1 minute at a time. Rub a drop or two into your hands, cup hands around mouth and nose, then inhale. Menthol type oils worked best.
- Preggie Pops- Eh, they didn’t work for me. My candy of choice was spicy Mexican candies (tamarindo, pulparindo, and pica fresca). Worked like a charm but I didn’t put it in my top 11 list above because I’m 98.5% sure that they are NOT good for you. But oh how I love them!
- Mentos!- I almost forgot about these! Only the strawberry ones and the mint ones (my babies were picky in utero).
- Popsicles- These worked pretty good but I still had to eat real food to stave off the nausea, I liked otter pops.
- Stay hydrated- This wasn’t really a problem for me, I’m like a fish, I adore drinking water. Think more small consistent quantities, not large infrequent quantities.
- SeaBand Mama– Uses the p6 acupressure point to help ease nausea. (I would just press on it myself, but with minimal relief)
- Pregnancy/anti-nausea teas- I hear they work great for some but I never got around to using them. They are a healthy, natural way to alleviate morning sickness.
Keep in mind, if your morning sickness is so bad that the doctor diagnoses you with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), these tricks may not help much. You will need prescription meds, and most likely IV meds and fluids.
If this is happening to you, I am so, so sorry, and it WILL eventually end.
Over the counter (OTC):
- Dramamine- Yes, the one used for motion-sickness
- Benadryl- Yes, the one used for allergies
There may be increased risk for low birth weight and there are studies that show these OTC meds may only help in less than 20% of moms with HG.
- Vitamin B6- I never tried it in large doses. My prenatal vitamins had only 20 mg but apparently it’s safe to take up to 100 mg daily while pregnant.
Be sure to ALWAYS ask your doctor before starting any over the counter medications while pregnant.
- Diclegis- Supposedly it’s the only prescription that is approved to treat morning sickness.
- Zofran- The docs in the ER would give this out like candy to all the pregnant mommies coming in with morning sickness. The use of Zofran is now somewhat controversial. Some studies have deemed it unsafe for pregnancy not being able to rule out birth defects, so there has been a decrease in prescriptions for this med.
But when these medications would not work, they brought out. . .
The Big Guns:
- Reglan- It is supposed to be safe and effective, but there is always a risk of adverse effects from the medication.
- Phenergan- Side effect is intense drowsiness for the mother and the baby, potentially causing respiratory depression in newborns. Not to mention the risk for decreased platelet aggregation (meaning the baby’s blood may not clot well enough to stop any sort of bleeding).
- Compazine- Lots of risk with this one, many adverse effects that can affect both mom and baby. Not recommended for use during pregnancy (only in severe cases).
If you have any other suggestions that worked for you or questions I would be happy to hear from you! Just shoot me an email or write a comment below!
Find out more tips and tricks on everything to do with pregnancy in my post What No One Tells You About Pregnancy!
All the love!
Learn how to be a CALM and CENTERED mom with this 4 step method (It’s FREE!):