Morning Sickness: All You Need To Know

Written by Jillian Lai Mei Siew on Fri, 01 December 2023

Key Highlights

  • Morning sickness is quite common and affects about 70% of pregnant women.
  • Women have certain risk factors that put them at risk of having severe morning sickness.
  • It can be managed by healthy eating habits and a proper diet.
  • Having foods rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber reduces the severity of nausea.

One can only imagine the happiness on a couple's face when they see that positive line on a pregnancy test. The excitement, the anticipation, and the joy that you feel during these moments are second to none. However, in the case of pregnancy, the entirety of the journey is teeming with highs and lows. Some days you might feel ecstatic, while on others you will experience lows that you never knew existed! Amongst all the lows, one of the most common negative effects seen is morning sickness. Morning sickness causes extreme distress to most pregnant women.

Morning sickness symptoms that are known the best include nausea and vomiting. However, the silver lining is that morning sickness management is fairly easy and doable!

But before we take a look at the morning sickness remedies out there, let us understand everything about morning sickness during pregnancy.

Morning Sickness: All questions answered

Any kind of nauseous feeling or vomiting that affects you during your pregnancy days is termed morning sickness. Did you know that morning sickness is quite common and affects nearly 70% of pregnant women?

Morning sickness causes: Why does it happen?

The cause of morning sickness is ambiguous at best, although there are a few theories to identify the exact reason behind it. Some researchers believe that this can happen due to low blood sugar or a surge in pregnancy hormones like estrogen or human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone.

When does morning sickness strike?

Morning sickness is kind of a misnomer. Looking at the name, one would assume that it only strikes in the morning. However, that is not true! Morning sickness can affect you at any time of the day. It usually appears during the first 6-7 weeks and lasts for about a few months, at the most.

Morning sickness symptoms: How do they affect your health

In most cases, morning sickness resolves by the second trimester and does not adversely impact your or your little one's health. However, there are some conditions where the symptoms become so severe that you will require medical attention.

The most severe form of morning sickness is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. When does regular morning sickness morph into this condition, you ask? Here are a few symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Severe dehydration
  • Frequent vomiting (greater than three times a day)
  • Dizziness while standing
  • Weight loss (greater than 2.5 kgs)

If you have any of the above symptoms, then contact your doctor immediately.

We understand that after reading this you might be a bit worried, however, this condition only affects around 3% of women!

Are you at risk?

Certain risk factors predispose you to severe morning sickness. Here are a few that may make you a target of severe nausea and vomiting

  • A family history of severe morning sickness
  • Motion sickness also puts you at risk
  • A woman who is prone to migraines is also prone to severe morning sickness
  • Being pregnant with twins or triplets also puts one at risk of severe morning sickness

Can you prevent Morning Sickness?

By this time, you must be wondering if you can avoid having morning sickness. We hate to break it to you, but there is no detour. You will most likely be partnered with this unpleasant passenger during your journey. However, there are some ways to keep this nuisance in check.

Read more : Meditation And Wellness Aids For A Better Pregnancy

Morning Sickness Management

Although unavoidable, morning sickness can be effectively managed by mindful eating practices and following a healthy diet. Studies show that women who consumed lesser quantities of healthy foods had stronger symptoms of morning sickness. Read on to arm yourself with diet tips and tricks to keep your morning sickness under control!

Mindful Eating For The Win!

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having good and sustained eating habits during your pregnancy. Practicing mindful eating goes a long way in reducing the severity of morning sickness. Read on to know more about this simple morning sickness treatment!

You Are What You Eat!

It is just like the phrase says - You are what you eat! If you keep indulging in gooey brownies or pizzas and fries, you're bound to have severe morning sickness during pregnancy. Try swapping those junk foods with healthier alternatives. Here are a few food items you can include in your diet for a happier and healthier trimester:

Oranges And Lemons Sold For A Penny!

Citrusy fruits like oranges and lemons are packed with Vitamin C and potassium. This will help your body feel satiated faster. In addition, these foods are packed with potassium and can help alleviate those nauseous feelings. You can try including these fruits as a part of your breakfast to keep morning sickness at bay.

Sip Into Wellness With Herbal Tea

Nothing like the fragrance and soothing warmth of herbal teas first thing in the morning. But, did you know? Herbal teas can also be immensely beneficial morning sickness remedies! Here are a few herbal teas you can try that will nip nausea in the bud:

  • Peppermint tea with honey: A tasty treat that doubles as a great morning sickness treatment! Peppermint leaves serve as effective treatments for nausea, vomiting, bloating, and gas
  • Red raspberry leaf tea: Being packed with vitamins like vitamin A, C, and E and trace minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium, this tea is an excellent addition to your pregnancy diet. A tea this nutrient-rich helps combat morning sickness in pregnancy and improves uterine health
  • Fresh lemon balm tea: Lemon balm is a herb well known for its medicinal properties. Apart from its nausea-alleviating properties, it also helps improve your mood and reduce stress.

It is important to keep in mind that not all herbal teas are okay to consume during pregnancy. Only those with a high safety rating are good to consume. Consult your doctor before including them in your regime.

Fibrous foods to ease your tummy

Did you know? Nausea and vomiting due to morning sickness can also lead to complications like acid reflux and heartburn. With the unpleasantness of morning sickness, you don't need the added pain of heartburn. Take precautions before such complications occur.

Foods containing copious amounts of dietary fiber are a great way to combat morning sickness, acid reflux, and heartburn. Try having plain toast with high-fiber baked veggies like sweet potato, carrots, or beans for a more pleasant pregnancy!

Include the power of protein

Protein is a macronutrient often ignored. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of a protein-rich diet as a remedy for morning sickness in pregnancy. Evidence states that consuming meals that are packed with protein helps reduce nausea and gastric dysrhythmias.

Try including lean meats like chicken, fish, and eggs in your everyday diet. If you are a vegetarian, you can get your protein from soy, tofu, cottage cheese, and lentils. Have a protein-packed meal for a wellness-packed pregnancy!

Nuts and the seeds-The vitamin-rich duo

Vitamins are the unsung heroes of wellness. One such example is Vitamin B6. Consuming healthy amounts of this micronutrient goes a long way in reducing nausea symptoms.

Usually, doctors recommend prenatal vitamin B6 supplements since it is a convenient way to meet daily vitamin requirements. However, there are some ways to naturally increase your vitamin consumption. Snacking on certain nuts and seeds can help keep nausea symptoms at bay. Here are a few to try out:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews

Try snacking on these nuts and seeds to better the symptoms of morning sickness during pregnancy!

Read more : Breathing Exercises And Yoga For A Better Pregnancy

Ginger-A root for all your problems

Ginger is a medicinal herb that has been used since age-old times for the treatment of nausea and vomiting. Including this ingredient in your diet can be a bit tricky due to its strong aroma and flavor.

Some people might enjoy it while others have an aversion to it. If you are the latter, try avoiding it since strong unpleasant smells can induce morning sickness to a certain extent. Nevertheless, here are some tricks to incorporate ginger into your diet.

  • Brew some tea: Having some fragrant tea with some honey and ginger will help mask its aroma
  • Homemade ginger ale: Lemon + Ginger + Honey + Soda! A combo that is refreshing and hard to beat.
  • Carrot-ginger soup: The goodness of carrots with the benefits of ginger makes this dish a power-packed nutrient package

Dissolve your problems with the universal solvent

  • Water is one of the most important yet neglected nutrients. During morning sickness, you tend to feel nauseous and sometimes throw up. This puts you at the risk of dehydration. Experts recommend that you drink at least 8 cups of water a day to keep your body hydrated.
  • Apart from this, you can add some amount of electrolyte to your water to make up for the amounts lost due to vomiting. Do consult your doctor before using any kind of electrolyte powder or solution.

Healthy carbs are the way to go

  • Not all carbohydrates are good for your health. Simple or processed carbs found in cookies, brownies, or sugary drinks are easy to digest and cause a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. Instead have complex carbohydrates like a piece of multigrain bread or boiled veggies like potatoes, carrots, and beets.
  • Having such foods in small quantities and at short intervals will help curb those feelings of nausea. It helps you feel satiated and at ease. Apart from this, some carb-rich foods like potatoes and carrots are also rich in fiber which can help acid reflux associated with morning sickness.

We hope that the article so far has provided you with a potential grocery list for your pregnancy. However, just like some foods will help remedy morning sickness, some will worsen it. Read on to know more about such foods.

Foods to avoid for morning sickness

While some foods ensure a smooth sailing pregnancy period, some have the opposite effect. Consuming such foods not only puts you at risk of having severe morning sickness but also compromises your health and wellbeing. So, you should steer clear of such food. Here is a list of pro-morning sickness foods:

  • Dishes with a lot of spice
    Spicy food tends to promote the release of gastric acids. This can worsen morning. Switch to bland foods like toasts, bagels, or scones for a better pregnancy
  •  Processed and fatty foods
    Did you know? Foods having a high-fat content tend to increase the amount of time food stays in the stomach. This has been shown to increase nausea and vomiting. Switch to
    low-fat foods to have a smoother pregnancy!
  • Ditch the caffeine
    Are you someone who cannot function without their morning cup of coffee? We hate to break it to you, but a high caffeine intake is shown to increase the risk and severity of nausea in morning sickness. Try switching to decaf drinks once in a while for your morning coffee needs
  • Refined sugar
    Scientists have done a lot of research regarding the deleterious effects of refined sugar on our health. It is no surprise that excess consumption of sugar can worsen your morning sickness. Recent research has witnessed an increase in the severity of morning sickness with an increased intake of sugar! Try limiting the intake of sugary foods like soft drinks and brownies. Crave something sweet? Switch to natural sweeteners like jaggery or honey.


Morning sickness symptoms can come to affect you at any time of the day. Constantly being on guard for nausea and vomiting can take a toll on your mental peace. Though morning sickness causes are not well understood, it is important to understand that it affects a majority of pregnant women. Most of the time it is unavoidable and some women are at risk of having more severe episodes than others. However, the good news is that it can be managed!

After reading so far, you must have realized that all macro, as well as micro-nutrients that we consume, are important. Having a healthy and well-balanced diet goes a long way in keeping morning sickness at bay.

However, it is important to keep in mind that everything is best in moderation. All nutrients have a recommended dietary intake limit, which if exceeded results in adverse events like headaches, nausea, and stomach upsets.

Consult a doctor and nutritionist since they are best equipped to create a diet plan to beat that morning sickness. There are a plethora of morning sickness remedies out there; however, diet is the most convenient way to manage it. Taking a little extra care and planning in regards to your diet and eating habits will go a long way in keeping your as well as your little one healthy and fine.

So, follow a good diet to keep complicated health conditions at bay and have a healthy pregnancy.


Jillian Lai Mei Siew

As the Product Consultant Manager of Mega BiO-LiFE, Jillian Lai Mei Siew, has the role of providing a productive team spirit among all Product Consultants to equip them with the right health nutritional information. Jillian is a BSc in Nutrition and Community Health, and a MSc in Nutritional Sciences an from Universiti Putra Malaysia. Affiliated to the Professional Affiliation Languages & Dialects Nutrition Society of Malaysia, NSM, Jillian can speak English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien and Malay.

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Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Dec, 01 2023

Written By

Jillian Lai Mei Siew