Pregnancy nausea is often referred to as 'morning sickness,' but the unfortunate reality is that pregnancy nausea can persist throughout the entire day.

Morning sickness is typically at its all-time worst during the first trimester. Thankfully, most pregnant women notice that nausea begins to subside during the second trimester (but it may not for everyone. If that's you, I feel for you!).

When unable to stomach fruits, vegetables and protein-rich foods, a lot of expecting mamas worry that they are not getting the nutrients they need to support the growth of their babies.

While this is a valid concern, it should be reassuring to know that your body has nutrient stores available and greatly prioritizes the health of your baby in the distribution of these nutrients.

If you are dealing with severe nausea and vomiting, you don't have to simply tough it out. Reach out to your doctor or midwife to discuss treatment options: there are many.

Nutrition tips for dealing with morning sickness

The following morning sickness remedies can help you optimize your nutrition and get in those nutrient-dense foods when dealing with on-again, off-again nausea.

1. Pick different proteins

Protein is the building block of all of our body's tissues and is critical for the healthy growth of your baby. Pregnant women require more protein per day (anywhere from 60 to 100 grams total) to help support the development of their baby and the growth of their breast and uterine tissues.

During pregnancy, it is not unusual for women to develop an aversion to protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and poultry. If you find yourself unable to stomach animal proteins, try incorporating more plant-based or vegetarian sources of protein into your meals and snacks.

Examples of plant-based and vegetarian proteins include:

  • Legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils)
  • Tofu and soybeans
  • Nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios)
  • Nut butters
  • Seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin seeds)
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Kefir (a fermented yogurt drink)

Related: I’m a nutritionist: Here are my 5 favorite prenatal vitamins

2. Cook your veggies

Vegetables are full of many nutrients that are critical to a healthy pregnancy, like folate, iron and vitamin A, among others. However, the mere thought of your favorite salad might sound revolting during early pregnancy, making it more challenging to get these essential nutrients in.

Try changing the texture, temperature or consistency of your veggies to increase their appeal.

For example, many pregnant women find cooked vegetables to be more appetizing than raw vegetables, so start roasting, sautéing or steaming your favorite veggies. Milder-tasting vegetables, like sweet potatoes, green beans and carrots, might sit better than vegetables with a stronger flavor and odor like Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage.

Cold foods often give off less of an odor so eating your veggies cold or at room temperature might be more tolerable than eating them right out of the oven. Switch things up to see what works for you.

Related: Are my pregnancy cravings normal? A dietician explains what you should know

3. Sneak in your veggies by getting creative

If you are really struggling to eat vegetables, try hiding them in certain foods to mask their flavor and odor. Blend frozen cauliflower and spinach into a fruit-based smoothie, blend in some black beans to your favorite brownie recipe, add zucchini to a breakfast muffin or puree butternut squash and use it as a sauce on your favorite pasta.

Related: Check out this doctor-recommended green juice recipe for a healthy pregnancy for some additional inspiration.

4. Eat small, frequent meals

Nausea often strikes when your stomach is empty, or conversely, when it's too full. Rather than eating three large meals per day, try breaking your meals up into four to five mini-meals.

This will also prevent drastic spikes or crashes in blood sugar, another potential cause of prenatal nausea. If you notice you are getting nauseous immediately upon waking in the morning, keep a snack or two at your bedside so you can get something in your stomach first thing.

5. Shop smarter

When feeling nauseous and fatigued, it's often tempting to grab a processed snack or meal rather than cooking a meal from scratch. However, not all take-out and packaged foods are created equal. Many are full of additives and preservatives and lack the vitamins and minerals your body needs during this critical period of growth.

Read nutrition labels closely and pick snacks with ingredients you recognize. Look for more nutrient-dense versions of your favorite comfort foods.

For example, if you find yourself regularly reaching for saltines when nauseous, find a cracker made with seeds and nuts instead. A seed cracker will provide important nutrients like omega-3s and iron and will also help to keep your blood sugar levels stable thanks to the fiber content.

Hang in there, mama. Trust that you are doing what you need to for your baby, and don't hesitate to reach out to your provider when you're concerned.

A version of this post was originally published on Sept. 3, 2019. It has been updated.