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5 ways to manage nausea during pregnancy—naturally

Pregnancy is full of ups and downs. Some days you feel energized and ready to take on the world and others you feel, well, not so great.

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy are often referred to as morning sickness, but this is such a misnomer. For many pregnant women, any-time-of-day sickness is a better description. Your nausea may last for a few weeks, a few months, and—I'm sorry to say—it may even stick around for your entire pregnancy.

Most often, nausea is a fleeting symptom that occurs in the first few months, then gradually eases up. In approximately 60% of women, nausea and vomiting will resolve by the end of the first trimester (13 weeks) and if it doesn't, know that only 9% of women experience it past 20 weeks.

Hang in there, mama. Although there's no "cure" for nausea in pregnancy, there are many tricks you can try to ease your symptoms.

1. Eat small, frequent meals or snacks.

Most women benefit from smaller, more frequent snacks in place of large meals when nausea is at its worst. This helps prevent you from getting too hungry or full or from your blood sugar dropping— all common nausea triggers.

When you're nauseated or anticipate throwing up, it can be hard to want to eat so carbohydrates tend to be the easiest foods to digest. Opt for the least-processed carbohydrates whenever possible and read those ingredient labels to keep pesky additives out. Try fruit, cooked sweet potatoes, a smoothie, or rice.

Eat slowly and mindfully. Ideally, stop eating when you're comfortably satisfied, but not stuffed.

2. Balance your blood sugar—aim to include some protein and fat when you eat, even if the portion is small).

Sharp blood sugar fluctuations are another nausea trigger. Once you can tolerate a small amount of carbohydrates, try to follow it with a small portion of protein or fat-containing foods to stabilize your blood sugar, such as nuts, cheese, avocado, Greek yogurt, scrambled eggs, or beef jerky.

Protein at breakfast is especially helpful for maintaining blood sugar balance throughout the day, which can help alleviate nausea.

If eggs or other high protein foods are unappetizing (a common food aversion in early pregnancy), try a protein shake. I prefer grass fed whey protein or organic rice protein blended up with yogurt, kefir, coconut milk, or almond milk for liquid and 1 cup of fruit for flavor.

For extra "staying power," a tablespoon of nut butter or coconut oil, or even half of an avocado, can add healthy fats. You may also be able to "hide" things like greens and collagen powder in it to give you a nutritional boost. Some of my clients have even opened the capsules of their prenatal vitamin into their shake, as this was the only way they could get it down in the first trimester. Grab your blender and experiment.

3. Try salty, sour, or cold foods.

Some women find that sour or salty foods help mitigate their nausea, which perhaps explains why pickles are a common pregnancy food craving. In India and Mexico, sweet and sour foods, such as tamarind, are traditionally recommended to ease nausea.

Other options to try include:

  • Lemon water
  • Tangy popsicles (homemade versions with citrus juice work well)
  • Avocado with salt and lemon juice
  • Unsweetened dried cherries (a good balance of sweet and tart, like nature's sour candy)

4. Keep a snack at your bedside and move slowly first thing in the morning.

If you wake up nauseous first (perhaps where the term "morning sickness" originated), you may find it helpful to keep a snack at your bedside. Saltine crackers are a classic, but I personally found that the steep blood sugar spike I got from them only worsened my nausea.

Roasted, salted cashews were my bedside snack of choice. I'd nosh on a few before even sitting up in bed and that seemed to do the trick (most mornings, anyway). It can also help to ease out of bed slowly if you notice that quick movements worsen your nausea.

5. Consider supplementing with ginger, vitamin B6, and magnesium.

Certain supplements can be effective for managing nausea. One of the most common is vitamin B6. You can take a supplement or try munching on vitamin B6-rich foods, like avocados, bananas, pistachios, and sunflower seeds. Meat, fish, and poultry are also good sources of vitamin B6 but are often not that appealing when you're nauseous.

Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce nausea and is clinically shown to be both safe and effective in pregnancy. Several forms of ginger are good options: ginger tea, crystallized ginger (dried, sweetened ginger slices), and ginger supplements (often sold in capsules).

Magnesium has also been found to lessen morning sickness, though this has yet to be clinically studied. You can take a magnesium supplement, use a topical magnesium spray, or do a relaxing bath or foot bath with Epsom salts to boost your levels.

Reassure yourself that this is temporary and the human body is an incredible machine. Human beings would not have been able to survive famines without a complex system to make up for a temporary lack of nutrition.

When my nausea was at its worst, I remember feeling nervous that I couldn't eat all the nutrient-dense foods that I knew were so important for my baby's development. But, I had to trust that my body could handle the demands and draw from my nutrient reserves for the short term. They did, the nausea eventually went away, and I had a very healthy baby despite an imperfect diet in my first trimester. (Full disclosure: salt & vinegar chips were a lifesaver on bad days. Ideal? No. Better than starving? Yes.)

If you're struggling with nausea, take heart that you will get through this and you will be able to return to a more balanced diet when it passes.

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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.


Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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