Managing Nausea During Pregnancy

Class of lemonade sitting on wood cutting board with sliced lemon - managing nausea during pregnancy

Are you struggling with nausea as you begin pregnancy? It’s very common to experience nausea and even vomiting during the first trimester (1). However, there is no harm to your baby if you’re experiencing mild nausea and vomiting (1). To help you feel better there are a few things you can do to help manage nausea during pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more about managing nausea during pregnancy.


When Does Nausea Start?

Nausea and vomiting often start around the 6th week of pregnancy (2). Nausea will often ease up around the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy (1,2). Unfortunately, some women can experience nausea throughout their entire pregnancy (2). If you continue to be nauseous past 14 weeks of pregnancy, please talk to your healthcare provider.


Do I Have to Offer Water to My Baby?

No, you don’t have to offer your baby water in the first year of life (1). This is because human milk and standard formula are mainly composed of water (1). Human milk and standard formula are around 87% water (1). For this reason, water is totally optional before 12 months of age. Therefore, your baby is well hydrated from the human milk or formula you are feeding them (1).


Tips to Ease Nausea

Here a some tips to help manage nausea during pregnancy (1):

  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals and snacks throughout the day. This may make you feel less nauseous when compared with eating 3 large meals a day.
  • Try to not skip meals.
  • Drink small amounts of fluids often.
  • Some women find that drinking ginger or peppermint tea helps to ease nausea.
  • Cold foods and liquids like smoothies may be better tolerated than hot foods.
  • Stay away from smells that bother you.
  • When nauseous, some people find smelling lemons or ginger can help.
  • Sour foods may also help, like sour candies or frozen lemonade.
  • Try to get as much sleep and rest as possible. Nausea is often worse when you are tired.
  • Some women find acupressure relieves nausea.
  • Eating a few crackers (like saltines) before a meal can help settle the stomach.
  • Avoid lying down right after a meal.
  • Try to get up slowly.
  • Some multivitamins may make your nausea worse. Talk to a Registered Dietitian or your healthcare provider about other options during this time.

For more tips, click here to read about other ways to lessen symptoms of nausea and constipation, another common symptom during pregnancy.


What Can I Eat When Nauseous?

When you feel nauseous, eating a plain diet is best. Some ideas of plain foods can be remembered by the “BRATT” diet. This stands for:

  • Bananas
  • Rice
  • Applesauce
  • Toast
  • Tea 

These foods often do not irritate the stomach (2). Also, if you would like some ideas on different types of tea that are safe during pregnancy, check out this beverages blog post about what you can drink during pregnancy.


What Kind of Cup Should I Offer Water in?

It’s best to offer water in an open cup or a cup with a straw (3). This is because it helps your baby learn cup-drinking skills (1). It isn’t recommended to offer water in a sippy cup. A sippy cup does not help with developmental skills (1). Additionally, offering water in a sippy cup or bottle can lead to over consumption of water (1). When you are looking to purchase an open cup, there are a few things to keep in mind. You want a cup that is small and easy for your baby to hold (1). Also, it is ideal to have a cup that doesn’t hold more than 1-3 oz (1). This is because you will likely be dealing with many spills in the beginning (1).

Final Notes from The Nest

While nausea and vomiting are very common symptoms during pregnancy, it isn’t a pleasant one. These symptoms should clear up around 14 weeks of pregnancy. While there is no harm to your baby during these weeks, managing nausea during pregnancy is beneficial for your comfort. There are many different tips for managing nausea to determine what works best for you. If you’d like more individual guidance on managing your nausea during pregnancy, please book a free consultation with our Registered Dietitian.

Article Written by Julie Van Osch

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  1. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada [Internet]. Ottawa: SOGC; c2023 [cited 2023 May 23]. Nausea and vomiting; [about 3 screens]. Available from: 
  2. BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre [Internet]. Vancouver: Provincial Health Services Authority; c2023 [cited 2023 May 23]. Coping with Nausea and Vomiting; [about 3 screens]. Available from: