Managing morning sickness

Managing morning sickness

Kelly Benton – Pregnancy & Baby Nutritionist

It really is one of pregnancy’s cruel games; around 8 out of 10 women will experience some level of nausea / sickness during pregnancy (Bustos et al., 2017). Symptoms usually start around 4-9 weeks and ease by 22 weeks, however 10% of women may suffer throughout their entire pregnancy (Bustos et al., 2017).

Here are some things to consider helping get you through this stage:

Ginger: Ginger is a relatively accessible and cheap first line strategy for mild to moderate nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. One randomised placebo-controlled trial found that 750mg of ginger daily reduced vomiting by 51% and nausea by 46%, when compared to placebo (Saberi et al., 2014). Try ½ tsp of freshly grated ginger steeped in boiling water 1-2 times a day, or pre-packaged ginger tea (ensure it contains dried ginger, not ginger flavour).

Vitamin B6:  Vitamin B6 is a well-researched vitamin that can help ease mild to moderate pregnancy-related nausea (Sahakian et al. 1991). Look for a supplement containing pyridoxal-5-phosphate and aim for 25mg every 8hrs. B6 is included in some prenatal vitamins, so make sure you aren’t double dosing. I would suggest speaking with your pregnancy health care team for advice.

Water / fluids: Stay hydrated: drinking plenty of fluids will replenish what you have lost through vomiting and helps if there is anything else left to come up. Drink between meals rather than during / directly after. If you are struggling with plain water, try coconut water, or adding natural flavours such as citrus, berries, or cucumber and mint. Sucking on ice cubes can also feel quite nice for some women.

Bone broth: Nourishing, easy to digest + calming on the stomach. If you are making your own, choose bones from good quality produce (eg: organic, grass-fed). There are also some great store-bought brands out there, ranging from frozen broth cubes, to refrigerated, to powdered form which can easily be diluted with boiling water. Again, make sure you are selecting high quality ingredients from a reputable source.

Check your prenatal: It is not uncommon for women to struggle swallowing their prenatal during this time. If you miss a few days here and there, don’t panic. It might also be worth checking the ingredients, as some women have reported that iron-containing prenatal worsen symptoms of nausea and vomiting (Gill et al, 2009). Switching to a prenatal without iron may help.

Lastly, we want to aim for blood sugar stability, as any sharp spikes may further aggravate nausea. Avoid going long periods without eating and aim to incorporate protein and healthy fats into your meals / snacks, eg: an egg through your 2-minute noodles, a sprinkle of hemp seeds toast or crackers, some nuts with a piece of fruit, and try keeping a tablespoon and a jar of nut butter beside your bed to consume upon waking, which is when some women feel worst.

Kelly Benton is a Nutritionist specialising in maternal and baby nutrition. She is a mother of two little ones, right there in the thick of it with you. After experiencing maternal nutrient depletion through her first pregnancy and postpartum period, Kelly saw a need to educate and empower other women to proactively take health into their hands so they can have a more positive experience. Kelly is available for 1:1 consults, to book please visit her website or Instagram page.


Bustos M, Venkataramanan R, Caritis S. Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy - What's new? Auton Neurosci. 2017 Jan;202:62-72. DOI: .

Gill SK, Maltepe C, Koren G. (2009) The effectiveness of discontinuing iron-containing prenatal multivitamins on reducing the severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Jan;29(1):13-6. DOI:

Saberi F, Sadat Z, Abedzadeh-Kalahroudi M, Taebi M (2014). Effect of ginger on relieving nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nursing and Midwifery Studies; 3(1):e11841.

Sahakian V, Rouse D, Sipes S, Rose N, Niebyl J. (1991) Vitamin B6 is effective therapy for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Jul;78(1):33-6.


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