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Morning sickness

morning sicknessDuring early pregnancy, it is common to experience nausea, vomiting and tiredness. This is often referred to as morning sickness but symptoms can occur at any time of the day.

Normal morning sickness won't threaten your baby's health as long as you are able to keep food down, eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.

In most women symptoms often begin around 6 weeks after a woman's last period (this equals 8 weeks of pregnancy). In 9 out of 10 women, symptoms disappear by the third month of pregnancy (the end of the first trimester).

Symptoms can occur at any time of the day and often include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dry retching (like vomiting, but nothing is thrown up) 
  • food smell or sight sensitivity (certain smells or the sight of some foods can trigger nausea).

Not all women experience morning sickness in the same way, but there are things you can try which might make you feel better.

Tips to manage morning sickness


Try eating a bland, protein-rich diet.

Eating 5 to 6 small meals a day can help.

Have something to eat before getting out of bed in the morning.

Try eating a light snack high in protein and complex carbs just before you go to sleep.

Avoid foods that are fatty or make you feel nauseous.     

Fluids and hydration

Keep yourself well hydrated.


Ginger taken as ginger tea, ginger-containing foods or ginger capsules (from a pharmacy) may help calm the tummy.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Bananas, potatoes, watermelon, chickpeas are all rich in this nutrient. Talk to your lead maternity carer about taking vitamin B6 supplements.

Exercise and fresh air

Keep active – regular, gentle exercise helps.

Getting fresh air may help you feel better. Take a short walk, turn on a fan, or try to sleep with the window open. When you are cooking, open windows to get rid of smells that may cause nausea.

Do not smoke cigarettes. Ask other people not to smoke around you. 

Rest and relaxation

Get enough sleep, take rests if needed and avoid getting overtired. 

Don't try to maintain the same schedule or level of activity as you did before your pregnancy.

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