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Top Supplements for Morning Sickness

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

This is a super common question that I get from women.


'What can I take naturally to reduce my morning sickness?'


Unfortunately about 70% of women suffer from morning sickness in the first trimester. Around 3% suffer from a very severe form called hyperemesis gravidarum (1).


What Causes Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness generally starts around week 6, peaks around week 9, and continues until about week 14-16. Research says that symptoms of this are similar to nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy. It can be so severe for some women that around 25% need to take a leave from work. (2) There's not an exact reason for what causes morning sickness, but it's believed to be caused by:

  • Fluctuating hormone levels (hello estrogen and progesterone!)

  • Blood pressure fluctuations (particularly low blood pressure)

  • Changes in blood sugar and carbohydrate metabolism

  • Possible vitamin deficiencies.


What supplements can I take?

Always check with your doctor before starting new supplements to make sure it doesn't interfere with your medications!


Ginger comes from the root of the herb zingiber officinale or ginger. Ginger has been used for

thousands of years to support digestive health. Oftentimes, nausea can be caused by decreased gastric motility. Ginger works by increasing gastric tone, motility, and gastric emptying. This means it makes the stomach less sensitive to increasing in size and helps things move through the stomach more quickly (2, 3).


Dosage varies, but anything from 500mg to 1000mg per day may help to reduce symptoms. I recommend breaking this up into a morning, midday, and nighttime dose to help minimize symptoms throughout the day. You can also sip on ginger tea.



Around 50% of the population may not consume enough magnesium (Mg). A common symptom of this is nausea. When vomiting occurs, this can deplete even more Mg. Mg can help to regulate fluctuating hormones like cortisol. Cortisol levels may increase and fluctuate during times of stress- sickness, vomiting and/or poor sleep. This can cause disruptions in blood sugar and cause more drastic spikes and drops. Mg can help prevent this from happening and can replenish any possible deficiencies (5).


Magnesium glycinate is a highly absorbable form and doesn't affect the bowels like other forms do. Recommendations may range from 200-300mg twice per day. You can also soak in baths with magnesium salts and use magnesium lotion at bedtime.


Often used as the first line treatment of nausea during pregnancy, B6 has significant abilities to reduce symptoms. (2) Vitamin B6 deficiencies can cause nausea and when vomiting is happening, it can continue to deplete levels. B6 can help to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates. This can help with balancing blood sugars.


Again, dosage varies but ranges anywhere from 75mg-80mg per day broken into 2 or 3 doses.


During pregnancy, changes in estrogen and progesterone can cause changes to the gut microbiome. This can affect digestive functions and cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Low levels of bacteria that increase bile salt hydrolase (helps with nutrient absorption) is associated with

more pregnancy related vomiting. Taking probiotics can significantly reduce nausea and vomiting. They also help reduce constipation. (5)


Aim for probiotics that are dominant in lactobacillus and contain at least 10 billion live cultures.


Electrolytes contain magnesium, sodium, and potassium. These minerals help to move fluid in and out of the cells as needed and this is how they help to improve hydration. There isn't specific research that correlates electrolytes with morning sickness, but vomiting can lead to dehydration and electrolyte loss. Supplementing these can help to minimize symptoms associated with dehydration and low electrolytes. Disruption in electrolytes may even contribute to lower blood pressure.


I recommend avoiding pedialyte and gatorade as the levels of electrolytes are not very high and mostly contain sugar. Limit it to one serving per day. You can mix these with water and sip slowly which may also reduce nausea.


Dietary modifications that may also help

Supplements can be super helpful in reducing morning sickness symptoms. I also recommend some minor dietary modifications you can make (besides crackers as soon as you wake up).


Loaded with protein, collagen, vitamins and minerals bone broth can be easily sipped on throughout the day to help you stay hydrated and keep something in your stomach.


Protein may help to reduce levels of nausea, but I do know most of the time meat is something you don't want when you're feeling this way. Bone broth has more protein than broth alone and can at least provide you some nutrition as well as hydrate you if you are vomiting.


I recommend making your own bone broth as you get way more nutrients from it. You can batch it and freeze it for later.


💡I recommend making it early in pregnancy before the nausea hits!


Protein Shakes

I like protein shakes because they can be easier to drink slowly when you're feeling nauseous and can also be high in fiber, fruits and vegetables, and protein. Frozen cauliflower can be easily hidden in shakes and spinach also breaks down so much you can barely taste it. Sometimes cold foods can also help to reduce nausea.


A smoothie is better than juice because you are getting additional benefits from the fiber in the shake which helps to regulate your blood glucose levels more efficiently and doesn't cause a large spike in blood sugar like juice does. My favorite protein is a paleo protein (gluten and dairy free) I like mixing it with peanut butter, cauliflower and frozen banana. You can buy it here .



Final Thoughts

Nausea or food aversions during pregnancy may not happen to everyone. However, I recommend preparing BEFORE symptoms hit so that if you aren't feeling good or unable to get out of bed, you have some food and snacks prepped ahead of time.


If your symptoms become unmanageable or you are losing weight from vomiting to much, reach out to your healthcare provider so they can get you the help you need.


 

Work With Me 👇


If you are looking for preconception counseling, are having difficulty conceiving, and/or have suffered from miscarriage(s) you can click here to sign up with a complimentary 15 minute phone call with me. We can discuss your goals at that time and determine whether or not we will be a good fit for each other. We will discuss necessary nutrients, dietary options, as well as lifestyle and exercise programs catered to YOU specifically to help you reach your health goals.

About Dr. Zaremba: Dr. Zaremba received her bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University in Biomedical Sciences and minored in Chemistry and Psychology. She completed her doctoral training at Palmer College of Chiropractic. During her time in school, she took post-doctoral training through The Clinic on Disease and Internal Disorders (CDID) earning her a Diplomate from the American Board of Chiropractic Internists (DABCI).

 


This web site offers health, wellness, fitness and nutritional information and is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this web site. The use of any information provided on this web site is solely at your own risk. Nothing stated or posted on this web site or available through any services offered by Dr. Katie Zaremba DC, Dr. Katie Zaremba LLC, are intended to be, and must not be taken to be, the practice of medicine. Information provided on this web site DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any doctor affiliated with our web site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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