What to Drink When You Have Morning Sickness

by Tara M. Bloom

ice and lemon sliceI had a lovely phone conversation with a customer last week. A resident of North Carolina, she was doing her best to bear the heat wave that was hitting the East Coast. Ten weeks pregnant, she called at her wit's end with pregnancy acne, and while we were chatting about pregnancy-safe strategies and tips for clearing her skin, I brought up the importance of staying hydrated.

"How are you about drinking water?" I asked.

"Well, I could be drinking more water," she said, "and normally, I'm fanatic about getting lots of water throughout the day. But since I got pregnant, I just can't keep it down. I try to drink some and it makes me feel so nauseated. Sometimes I even throw it up."

Poor thing!

I know she's not alone.

Morning sickness is the pits and it can be so frustrating to try to deal with it. You're pregnant, and committed to taking prenatal vitamins, eating right and drinking lots of water…but you can't -- because every time you pop a pill or try to take a bite of salmon or a sip of water, you want to retch!

No, it's not fair. If this is what's going on for you, like our mom in North Carolina, I'm sorry. I've been there, too, and there's no feeling I dislike more than nausea. Give me pain over nausea any day; I can tolerate it better.

Fortunately, morning sickness passes soon for most pregnant women.

Unfortunately, if you're pregnant and struggling with morning sickness now, it's hot outside and your body needs water! If even drinking water makes you feel like throwing up, I'd like to help.

Here are a few strategies you can employ to try to be able to drink water when you have morning sickness. Squelch your nausea and stay hydrated during pregnancy with these tactics:

1. Squeeze fresh lemon in your water. (Celebrity mom Alyssa Milano tweeted about how this worked for her!)

2. Alternately, try adding slices of fresh, peeled ginger or peppermint leaves to a pitcher of water.

3. Make at least three of your eight daily servings of water an anti-nausea herbal tea. Two to three cups of ginger tea daily are safe for pregnancy, and studies have shown that ginger really does reduce the feelings of nausea from morning sickness.

4. Don't drink water or any fluids with food. Instead, eat first. Then, try drinking water 20 to 30 minutes after you've eaten.

5. Sneak in your water. Drink small sips of water throughout the day, instead of 8-ounce single glasses.

6. Find a temporary alternative to water. Experiment with fluids that do work for you. Some pregnant women find that lemonade or orange juice not only stays down, but helps them feel less nauseous. For other women, it's caffeine-free cola, ginger ale, Gatorade or even chocolate milk.

7. Avoid drinking water on an empty stomach. Eat something first, then wait (see above).

8. Think inside the box -- the ice box, that is. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest freezing your beverages (milk, juice, herbal tea and water) and then sucking on the cubes. Frozen, the fluids won't offend your nose or tastebuds and trigger nausea.

Do you (or did you) have pregnancy morning sickness and trouble keeping down water? Share your comments about what you tried and what work for you.

Tara M. Bloom has a passionate desire for women to have safe, healthy, confident experiences of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. She’s the founder and CEO of Maternitique, a resource for women seeking naturally safe and beautiful maternity products through their childbearing years. Read more of Tara's maternity guides on her blog, Materni-Talk.

Copyright © Tara M. Bloom. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.