- 4 surprising reasons you might feel sick in the morning, even if you’re not pregnant
- Feeling Nauseated While Eating Breakfast
- This Is Why You’re Never Hungry When You Wake Up In The Morning
- Your Metabolism Has No Idea What’s Going On
- You Ate Too Much Before Bed
- Hormones, Hormones, Hormones
- So, What Can You Do?
- Other Than Pregnancy, What Causes Morning Nausea?
- Fatigue or sleep issues
- Hunger or low blood sugar
- Acid reflux
- Postnasal drip or sinus congestion
- Pain medication
- Brain injury or concussion
- Food poisoning
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Peptic ulcer
- Motion sickness
- Inner ear infection
- Why Do I Feel Sick in The Morning? | 7 Tips to Stop Nausea Before Breakfast
- Cortisol and serotonin can also make you feel queasy
- Feel sick in the morning from low blood sugar
- Feel sick in the morning because of acid reflux
- 7 tips to stop nausea in the morning
- Is Nausea After Eating an Early Sign of Pregnancy?
- Is nausea after eating an early sign of pregnancy?
- What does it feel like, exactly?
- When does it usually start?
- More About Early Pregnancy Symptoms
- What causes nausea after you eat when you’re pregnant?
- What can you do to relieve morning sickness after eating?
- Is there any way to prevent it?
- When does nausea after eating typically end?
- Could nausea after eating be caused by something other than pregnancy?
- When to call the doctor
4 surprising reasons you might feel sick in the morning, even if you’re not pregnant
- Nausea is sometimes a symptom of pregnancy.
- But people feel sick in the morning for plenty of other reasons.
- For instance, it could be down to diet, lack of sleep, or anxiety.
- Mild nausea can be treated with small adjustments.
- But if it’s a prolonged problem, you should see a doctor.
If you’re a woman, feeling sick in the morning is known as one of the first signs you’re pregnant. But it’s not the only reason you might feel queasy when you wake up.
According to Daniela Jodorkovsky, a doctor interviewed by Refinery29, nausea isn’t always a gastrointestinal issue.
In fact, the feeling of sickness can be linked to your sleep cycles, particularly if you’ve tossed and turned all night or had irregular sleep. Not getting enough sleep disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms — or body clock — which has been linked to numerous disorders and problems, including Alzheimer’s, weight gain, and mental health problems.
Read more: Disrupting your body clock could increase your risk of mood disorders like depression — here’s why
Jodorkovsky said research has shown that your digestive system is linked with your circadian rhythms. All our hormones are in a delicate balance. Some make us sleepy, like melatonin, and some, like ghrelin, control our appetite. So eating or sleeping at irregular times can have more of a prolonged impact on our general health than we realise.
Morning nausea can also be caused by your diet. For example, eating a big meal right before bed might cause acid reflux. It could also be a sign your blood sugar is low. So Jodorkovsky recommends eating something, even if you don’t feel like it.
“While it sounds counterintuitive, eating a light snack or breakfast when feeling nauseated in the morning can alleviate the symptoms altogether,” she said.
Strangely, nasal congestion could also be a culprit. According to Healthline, a blocked nose or sinus congestion can put pressure on your inner ear, leading to an upset stomach and nausea.
Read more: The single most effective way to unclog your nose
Anxiety can cause nausea, especially if there is an event coming up, like an important meeting. These nerves can be channeled positively, but if anxiety is affecting your every day life and you’re suffering frm panic attacks, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder that needs to be checked by a professional.
Otherwise, the NHS suggests plenty of fresh air, peppermint or ginger tea, distractions like watching films, and smaller, frequent meals may help mild nausea.
“Of course, if you have concerning symptoms like vomiting, weight loss, severe headaches, or abdominal pain, see your doctor,” said Jodorkovsky.
Feeling Nauseated While Eating Breakfast
Q1. I try to eat in the morning, but it makes me nauseated. I try to eat at least once a day, usually in the afternoon or late evening. I’m gaining weight instead of losing it. What can I do?
— Sarah, California
If you’re gaining weight instead of losing it, you’re eating more calories than you’re expending — in other words, you’re overeating. The only way to break this cycle would be to stop eating at a certain time of the day — let’s say 6 or 7 p.m. Try to eat something small in the morning, such as a piece of fruit or a container of yogurt. Once you establish this pattern, you’ll start to become hungry in the morning.
It could be that you’re becoming nauseated from a vitamin pill or another type of pill you may be taking. This could be alleviated by taking the pill with yogurt or a piece of fruit. Alternatively, if you’re able to take these pills in the evening or after lunch, you might avoid the nausea altogether.
Try to eat slowly in the morning. Many people are in such a rush to get to work that they quickly down their breakfast — even a small amount of food can cause nausea if it’s not eaten in a more relaxed manner. The best way to gauge which of these conditions may be affecting you in the morning would be to keep a food log of everything you put in your mouth each day for at least three weekdays and one weekend day. Or you can just keep a food journal for a week or two and look for patterns. Whatever the cause, you need to eat breakfast — because you’re really breaking a fast!
Q2. I tell myself the reason I can’t lose weight is that I love food. But in reality, I often find myself eating so fast I barely taste it. I’ve read a little bit about mindful eating. Can you explain more about it? How can it help me lose weight?
— Lisa, Oregon
The term “mindfulness meditation” refers to a Westernized version of a practice rooted in ancient Eastern spiritual teachings. It often involves things like relaxation breathing, focusing one’s attention, staying in the present moment, and being aware of your thoughts, emotions, and actions as they relate to your current state of well-being. It can be a useful tool for certain people in reducing stress and improving quality of life.
Unfortunately, as is the case with many pop-culture ideas in psychology, mindfulness has become an overused and often over-complicated concept that is hard for the average person to relate to, let alone apply to their daily life. The term “mindful eating” often conjures up images of sitting on a bamboo mat in the lotus position (legs crossed with hands and feet turned upward) with your food while becoming lost in a trancelike and focused state. Of course this is not the case. Nonetheless, the techniques involved in the formal practice of mindfulness often seem a little too complicated and impractical to apply as part of most people’s mealtimes in the context of our busy lives.
In my experience, when it comes to weight loss, simple, uncomplicated concepts work best. While mindfulness may have its place as a relaxation technique or broader self-awareness activity, when it comes to mealtime I prefer to focus on practical, long-standing behavioral techniques that were used long before the “mindfulness” label with all its added bells and whistles was applied to them.
I call what I teach Eating with Awareness:
- Monitor hunger and fullness. Pause before eating and ask yourself: How long since I last ate? Am I really hungry? And in the case of between-meal snacking: Why am I eating? What do I really need (for example, a way to reduce stress or to reward myself)?
- Pay attention to your food. Eliminate unnecessary distractions. Look at the food on your plate and take time to smell it, savor the smell, and notice texture, colors, and portion sizes. Slow down to fully appreciate the experience of preparing to eat as opposed to just racing to consume calories unnoticed.
- Eat slowly. Take the time to cut up your food or take smaller bites. Chew your food, notice its flavors, and pause between bites. Make eating a complete experience.
- Monitor hunger and fullness again. Check in with yourself periodically so you will know when to stop eating based on fullness — not “empty-the-plate-ness.”
These longstanding and simple behavioral techniques will add a substantial level of control and self-awareness to your eating experience and can reduce your calorie consumption — after all, that is the main goal.
Q3. I totally pigged out today and feel so defeated. What should I do now?
Congratulations — you’re human! We all make mistakes, and pigging out does not constitute failure on your part. Consider it just a slipup or a temporary setback that you can overcome. Overdoing it at one meal, or even for a full day or two, will not undo all your hard work. The first thing you should do is get yourself back in gear.
Here’s how to get started:
- Make the rest of your day as healthful as possible. Don’t skip meals, but have a lighter dinner (and lunch too, if you haven’t eaten lunch yet). A bowl of cereal and milk works well for a light meal (measure it out so you don’t eat hundreds of extra calories), as does a container of yogurt with fruit, a big salad, a baked potato with broccoli, or even a sandwich.
- Go the extra mile — by adding minutes or intensity — with your exercise routine today and tomorrow. This will give you a head start on getting back on track.
- Think about what may have gone wrong. Did you let yourself get too hungry? Were you eating to fill an emotional need? Was the food sitting right in front of you, tempting you even though you weren’t hungry? The more you learn about your behavior patterns and why you slip up, the better able you’ll be to prevent future setbacks. Use a journal to record your thoughts and feelings.
Q4. Help! I can’t control myself when I start eating! How can I limit my portions?
You’re not alone. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people struggle with portion control many times throughout the day. I know — that doesn’t make you feel better. But because it is such a common problem, there are some strategies you can adopt to help you control your portions.
Focus on eating more slowly to give yourself time to tune in to your body’s hunger and satiety. It takes 20 minutes to half an hour for your brain to receive the message that your stomach is full, so take your time.
When you are no longer feeling hungry but still want to eat, think about why. Are you bored? Find something else to keep you busy. Are you upset? Call a friend and vent. Are you stressed or anxious? Turn on some music or go for a brisk walk to relax and de-stress. Don’t try to fix your problems with food.
Keep your portions down by following these basic tips:
- Use a smaller plate. As simple as this sounds, it works. Studies have shown that people eat more when there’s more on their plate, regardless of how hungry they feel. So put less on your plate but trick your eyes into thinking you’re eating more by using a smaller plate.
- Never eat directly from a container, bag, or box. It’s so hard to keep track of how much you’re eating when you’re just reaching in and stuffing food in your mouth. Before you know it, the bag is gone. Instead, serve yourself one portion on a plate or in a bowl, put away the rest, and only then sit down to eat.
- Measure, measure, measure! Keep that measuring cup or spoon handy, and measure out your cereal into a bowl, your rice onto your plate, your tuna salad, your potato chips, your strawberries — everything.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Weight Center.
This Is Why You’re Never Hungry When You Wake Up In The Morning
We’re sure you’ve heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
But oftentimes as you’re rushing out the door, breakfast is the last thing on your mind — and it’s not just because you’re in danger of missing your morning meeting.
The truth is, you’re just not hungry enough to sit down and savor a plate of bacon, eggs, and home fries while you’re scrolling through social media at the start of your day. You don’t even feel like grabbing a bagel with cream cheese for your commute. You might even feel a little bit nauseous. So, you end up heading into the office, wondering what’s up with your stomach. You find yourself questioning — yet again — why you’re never hungry when you wake up in the morning. What’s actually going on here?
Elite Daily consulted with nutrition experts Michelle Blum, Lisa Hayim, and Bridget Bennett to get the scoop. From eating too much before your head hits the pillow, to your hormones coming into play, to your metabolism being on “snooze,” these nutrition experts provided the answers you’re looking for when you wake up in the morning. You can even follow a couple quick tips to help get a handle on the situation.
Your Metabolism Has No Idea What’s Going On
As nutritionist Michelle Blum explains it, your metabolism enters an entirely different mode when you sleep. It kind of hits the “snooze” button. She tells Elite Daily, “Your metabolism works much like a fireplace: If you keep throwing sticks on a fire (food), it will burn strong. If you do not add fuel to the fire, it will go out. This is what happens when we sleep, which is fine because we don’t expend much energy when we sleep either.”
When you wake up, though, often your metabolism doesn’t get the message that it’s go time. Breakfast is so important because it kickstarts your metabolism and makes you operate better throughout the day, according to an article via Rush University. So, try to eat a nutritious breakfast within a few hours of waking up.
You Ate Too Much Before Bed
The jury’s still out on how bad eating late at night is for you, but experts say a heavy meal before bed disrupts sleep because the body is working hard to digest it. Another reason to skip your midnight snack? It could be responsible for your lack of appetite in the morning.
Blum notes this could have to do with leftover stomach acid, and Hayim adds if you ate a big meal around midnight and wake up at 6 or 7 a.m., it makes sense you wouldn’t be hungry yet. She explains, “Your body would just be finishing up digestion, and your hunger cues wouldn’t have kicked in yet.” Although a late-night fridge dive might seem like a good idea in the moment, try to cut it off a few hours before bedtime.
Hormones, Hormones, Hormones
Like many of the weird things that go on in our bodies, hormones have a lot to do with lack of appetite and morning nausea. Nutritionist Bridget Bennett explains, “The body secretes several different hormones prior to waking up to help the body get up and moving after (hopefully) a night’s rest. Besides giving you a burst of energy, these hormones raise blood sugar, which is necessary after ‘fasting’ overnight. This hormonal surge may be one culprit for mild nausea in the morning.”
She adds, “An empty stomach can trigger nausea when it secretes acid in anticipation of eating. The acid influx may cause discomfort and mild nausea, so it’s a sign from the body to get some food in there for the acid to work on!” Damn those hormones (and stomach acid, apparently).
So, What Can You Do?
Although eating mindfully is always a good idea and you generally shouldn’t eat when you aren’t hungry, the morning may be an exception. Hayim recommends starting small. She tells Elite Daily, “Start with a snack that will be easy to digest like a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. It will start your metabolism, and you will feel hungry for breakfast in about an hour or so.”
In an interview with Business Insider, Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and the author of “The One One One Diet,” suggested drinking water when you wake up in the morning. It’s an awesome habit to get into because it helps your metabolism get going (in addition to many other benefits). You can easily incorporate this into your morning routine to help rehydrate your body and kick-start your metabolism.
Keep this expert insight in mind, and maybe you won’t wake up wondering why you’re not hungry in the morning again. Hopefully, these quick tips will give you a head start when you get out of bed.
This post was originally published on Nov. 4, 2015. It was updated on Aug. 29, 2019.
Other Than Pregnancy, What Causes Morning Nausea?
Both men and women can wake up feeling nauseated.
Nausea and vomiting are among the earliest signs of pregnancy, appearing around the sixth week. These symptoms usually go away between weeks 16 and 20.
Morning sickness isn’t limited to the morning. It can happen at any time. Some women experience ongoing nausea throughout the day.
Fatigue or sleep issues
Jet lag, insomnia, or an earlier-than-usual alarm can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. These changes in your regular sleeping pattern shift your body’s neuroendocrine response, which can sometimes lead to nausea.
Hunger or low blood sugar
If the last time you ate was at dinner, 12 or more hours may have passed by the time you wake up in the morning. A low level of glucose in your blood (low blood sugar) can leave you feeling dizzy, weak, or nauseous. Skipping breakfast — especially if you usually eat breakfast — may make it worse.
Acid reflux occurs when the entrance to the stomach doesn’t close properly after you eat or drink, letting stomach acid escape into the esophagus and throat. The sour taste, along with other symptoms such as burping or coughing, can leave you feeling nauseated.
Acid reflux can be worse in the morning, even though it’s been hours since you last ate. This might be because you’re in a reclined position and swallow less when you’re sleeping.
Postnasal drip or sinus congestion
Sinus congestion puts pressure on your inner ear, which can lead to an upset stomach and nausea. It can also cause dizziness, which can cause nausea and vomiting. When you have postnasal drip, mucus that drains from the sinuses to the back of the throat and into the stomach can cause nausea.
We often feel emotions such as stress, excitement, and anxiety in our gut. Nausea in the morning might be related to a stressful event, such as an upcoming important meeting. In other cases, it’s caused by chronic or ongoing sources of stress or anxiety.
If you had a lot of alcohol to drink the previous night, your nausea might be the result of a hangover. A number of alcohol’s effects are associated with nausea. These include low blood sugar and dehydration.
Nausea in the morning could be related to something you ate at breakfast. A mild food allergy or intolerance can cause nausea. In other cases, eating too much will leave you feeling nauseated.
Gastroparesis is a condition in which the muscles in the wall of your stomach slow down or stop. As a result, food does not move from your stomach to your intestine. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are common symptoms.
Gallstones form in your gallbladder when substances, such as cholesterol, harden. When they get stuck in the tube that connects the gallbladder and intestine, it can be very painful. Nausea and vomiting often occur with the pain.
Opioids are a class of drugs used to treat moderate to severe pain. A side effect of most of these drugs is nausea and vomiting.
Nausea and vomiting are well-documented side effects of some chemotherapy drugs. The drugs turn on the part of your brain that controls nausea and vomiting. Sometimes the drugs also affect cells in the lining of your stomach, which can cause nausea and vomiting.
If you’ve already had nausea and vomiting from receiving chemotherapy, just the sights and smells that remind you of it can trigger nausea and vomiting.
Brain injury or concussion
Concussions and brain injuries can cause swelling in your brain. This increases the pressure in your skull, which can turn on the place in your brain that regulates nausea and vomiting. Vomiting after trauma to your head indicates your head injury is significant and you should seek immediate medical attention.
When you eat or drink something that is contaminated, your body works quickly to get rid of it. If you have food poisoning, you might experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, along with an upset stomach or abdominal cramps. If you’re experiencing nausea in the morning, it could be something you ate the previous night.
Gastroenteritis is not the same as food poisoning, though it causes similar symptoms. This infection is caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite. It’s transferred from person to person via contaminated feces, food, or drinking water.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication that can occur when you have diabetes and insulin scarcity forces the body to start breaking down fats (instead of carbs) to use as fuel.
This process results in a buildup of ketones in the bloodstream. Too many ketones can cause symptoms such as nausea, confusion, and extreme thirst. You should seek emergency medical assistance right away if this happens.
Peptic ulcers are sores that affect the inner lining of the stomach and intestines. They typically cause stomach pain, but they can also cause nausea and vomiting.
Constipation can cause nausea. When digested matter is backed up in your colon, it slows down the function of your entire gastrointestinal system, leading to nausea.
Motion sickness happens when your brain gets mixed signals about your movement. For example, when you ride in a car, your eyes and your ears tell your brain that you’re moving but the area in your inner ear that helps you stay balanced, and your muscles, tell your brain that you aren’t moving. The mixed signals can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. This happens most often in pregnant women and children.
Inner ear infection
The vestibular system in your inner ear helps your body stay balanced. When you have an infection in your inner ear, it can make you feel unbalanced and dizzy, which can cause nausea and vomiting.
Why Do I Feel Sick in The Morning? | 7 Tips to Stop Nausea Before Breakfast
Do you often feel sick in the morning? Do you sometimes feel so queasy that the idea of eating breakfast is not appealing at all? I know this is very common. One of my most popular posts is called “Can’t” Eat Breakfast in the Morning? Here’s Why and it’s provided me with lots of feedback as to how and why my readers cannot eat when they wake.
Eating in the morning makes me feel queasy
We are always told that it’s important to eat a good breakfast but what if you can’t get anything down? There are many reasons as to why you can’t eat breakfast in the morning and the good news is, most of them are curable, and generally, there is nothing wrong with you. Let’s have a look at the 3 mains reasons that eating breakfast makes you feel sick.
“Can’t” Eat Breakfast in the Morning? Here’s Why
Cortisol and serotonin can also make you feel queasy
Can’t eat breakfast in the morning? Could the cause be cortisol, low blood sugar or serotonin?
Have you heard of cortisol, the “stress hormone”? “Cortisol is a necessary stress hormone designed to help you wake up in the morning and in emergencies, to cope with danger,” according to US coffee house Teeccino. “A spike in cortisol triggers the release of amino acids from the muscles, glucose from the liver, and fatty acids into the blood stream so the body can access a tremendous amount of energy.”
I have heard that many people feel queasy when they wake up suddenly – this may be due to the cortisol flooding their body. I used to work in breakfast radio, meaning that I would have to wake up at a truly ungodly hour – about 4am on 5 nights of the week. Sometimes when I would wake up, I would feel really, really nauseous. I put this down to cortisol. It would usually only happen when I had to wake up suddenly – as with an alarm clock before dawn.
“Chronic long-term exposure to stress hormones disrupts the body’s metabolism causing elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased body fat levels due to increased appetite.”
Feel sick in the morning from low blood sugar
“Eating in the morning makes me feel queasy”, is actually a very common complaint
Have you ever suffered from low blood sugar? According to Morning Sickness Mentor, sometimes (even when you’re not pregnant) this can be a cause of nausea in the mornings.
“Your blood sugar is usually the lowest in the morning because you have gone several hours without eating while sleeping. So when waking some people experience the full effects of low blood sugar.”
Here are some of the symptoms: Shakiness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, headache; and even your stomach rumbling.
“Can’t” Eat Breakfast in the Morning? Here’s Why
If you suffer from low blood sugar then take small sips of a sweet, natural drink such as fresh orange juice about 20 minutes after you wake up. Don’t gulp and drink the OJ before you drink any coffee or tea. If you don’t like juice then substitute this for a hot, sweet tea, preferably caffeine free.
Feel sick in the morning because of acid reflux
MSM also says that feeling sick in the morning, “can be triggered by eating a meal too late and then lying down and sleeping before your meal has time to digest. You can combat this by taking acid reflux medication and/or eating early enough that your meal is digested before bed.”
Food in the morning makes me feel nauseous: What to do:
Do you often say, “Food in the morning makes me feel nauseous?”
If you are experiencing nausea in the morning, don’t be too concerned. Here are a few (safe) tips to try. Remember that consistency is the key – you can’t just try these for 2 days and say “I am done” – you need to apply them over time, and consistently.
7 tips to stop nausea in the morning
Feeling nauseous before breakfast is more common than you think
- Have a regular wake up time
- Try to wake (and go to bed) at a reasonable hour
- Have a light dinner only (no heavy carbs)
- Make breakfast a routine
- Find breakfast foods you enjoy
- Wait 20 minutes before attempting to eat
- Try lemon water in the morning
“Can’t” Eat Breakfast in the Morning? Here’s Why
Summary Article Name Why Do I Feel Sick in The Morning? | 7 Tips to Stop Nausea Before Breakfast Description Why do you always feel sick in the morning? Are feelings of queasiness and nausea before breakfast something to worry about and can they be cured? Author Alyce Vayle Publisher Name Alyce Vayle | Content Strategist Publisher Logo
Is Nausea After Eating an Early Sign of Pregnancy?
Morning sickness is one of the most common and unpleasant pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester, affecting an estimated 3 out of 4 moms. So if you’ve been trying to conceive (or even if you haven’t!) and feel a bit nauseous after eating, you might be wondering if you could be pregnant. While there’s no way to know for sure that you’re expecting until a pregnancy test comes back positive, there is indeed a chance your nausea could be tied to the start of a surge in pregnancy hormones.
Is nausea after eating an early sign of pregnancy?
Nausea after eating is a common early sign of pregnancy. But morning sickness isn’t always the first (or only) pregnancy symptom women experience early on. Some feel tired, bloated and moody, while others might just notice tender breasts. Still others may experience all of the above symptoms…or no noticeable signs of pregnancy at all.
What does it feel like, exactly?
During pregnancy, nausea after eating can feel like car sickness, minus the car or sea sickness, minus the boat. Or you might liken it to a hangover. In other words, you likely feel like you want to throw up after meals, even if you never actually do (though you might wish you could). Some women feel nauseous every time they eat (or even all day long), while others have occasional queasiness. You may feel both queasy and hungry at the same time. You might also vomit a lot or a little, or you may never vomit at all. These variations are likely due to a number of factors, including hormone levels, sensitivity, stress and fatigue.
When does it usually start?
Although nausea usually begins around week 6 of pregnancy, queasiness (including that after you eat) can start shortly after conception, around week 3 of pregnancy.
More About Early Pregnancy Symptoms
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What causes nausea after you eat when you’re pregnant?
There’s no official known reason for nausea after eating during pregnancy. But there are a lot of potential factors at play, including:
High hCG levels in the first trimester
Elevated estrogen levels
An overactive sense of smell that plagues some women in pregnancy
Pregnancy heartburn, which may begin when you’re around 8 weeks pregnant.
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER)
Less efficient digestion as pregnancy hormones relax the muscles of the digestive tract
Fatigue and/or stress
Eating too much food or eating high-fat foods, which tend to make an unsettled stomach worse
What can you do to relieve morning sickness after eating?
While it might seem counterintuitive, morning sickness often gets worse the longer you go without filling up your tank. That’s because when your tummy is empty, stomach acids churn away at your stomach lining, adding to the queasiness you experience when you do eat. A few tips to relieve morning sickness after eating:
Eat five to six smaller meals every day instead of three large ones. A very full stomach is likely to make nausea and heartburn worse, so aim for either six small meals or three medium-sized meals and two snacks.
Don’t force it. If you can only stand pasta and peas for now, that’s certainly better for you (and your nausea) than eating nothing — or forcing down something that makes you feel like throwing up for the next few hours. If you can only stand sweet foods, a serving of yogurt with sliced fruit for dinner still gets you a healthy dose of protein, fiber and vitamins. And if all you can manage are ginger snaps, that’s okay too. While your goal is of course to eventually eat a well-rounded pregnancy diet, you’ll have plenty of time to make healthy choices in your second and third trimesters. In the meantime, continue to take your prenatal vitamin to cover your bases.
Drink your nutrients. Some moms find that smoothies and soups (as well as chili or any warmed foods) are easier to stomach, and both are chock full of nutrients. Plus it’s important to stay hydrated during pregnancy, and liquids in any form help with that.
Try adding lemon or ginger to your cooking, since many women find these flavors help ease nausea. You can also keep a bag of real candied ginger by your desk to nosh on after meals or a half lemon or fresh-cut ginger to sniff. Sour or peppermint candies along with chilled almond milk can also ease nausea for some women.
Brush your teeth right after you eat (or after you throw up), since that clean-mouth feeling might reduce the odds of feeling queasy.
Avoid strong smells and flavors. Your favorite Indian or Mexican takeout might make you nauseous now, given your extra-sensitive sense of smell during pregnancy. So stay away from anything that makes you even slightly queasy.
Switch it up. If bread is the only food you can stand for weeks on end, you might soon find that even the sight of a baguette makes you queasy. If that’s the case, ditch it for now and replace it with something else. Try out other options that are more palatable, like rice or quinoa.
Snack before you go to bed. Think a mix of protein and complex carbs (like hard cheese on whole grain crackers), so your stomach has something to work on during the night other than its own lining.
Keep a small snack on your nightstand (crackers, cereal, trail mix). That way you can munch if you wake up in the middle of the night and have a light bite first thing when you get up in the morning.
Prioritize R&R, including sleep and stress-busting activities like meditation or yoga, since stress and fatigue both make nausea worse.
Slap on a Sea-Band. This elastic band puts pressure on both wrists to possibly reduce nausea and is available at most pharmacies.
Talk to your doctor about supplements and medications. Prenatal supplements contain vitamin B6, which has been shown to ease queasiness. If swallowing a prenatal makes you nauseous, take yours whenever works best for you — whether that’s early in the morning or just before bed. For more persistent nausea, your doctor may also recommend a B6 supplement, a prenatal vitamin with extra B6 in it, Unisom SleepTabs (which contain the antihistamine doxylamine), and/or magnesium, all of which may help reduce queasiness. For severe cases of morning sickness, your doctor might prescribe a morning sickness medication (Diclegis or Bonjesta, both very safe and effective drugs that combine vitamin B6 and antihistamines) or an anti-nausea medication (like Reglan, Scopolamine or Phenergan).
Is there any way to prevent it?
Unfortunately for the many women who gag their way through the first trimester, it isn’t possible to totally prevent nausea after eating during pregnancy. However you may be able to reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms by noting anything that consistently makes you nauseated — spicy foods, strong odors, fatigue, sugary/greasy foods — and avoiding these triggers whenever possible. Also try to avoid eating large meals, which often makes nausea worse.
When does nausea after eating typically end?
Most women find that nausea after eating eases around the end of the first trimester, between weeks 12 and 14 of pregnancy. A few women, however, continue to feel nauseous throughout the second trimester and sometimes beyond.
Could nausea after eating be caused by something other than pregnancy?
Nausea after eating is often a very normal (if very unpleasant) early sign of pregnancy. If a pregnancy test hasn’t yet come back positive, however, that sick-to-your-stomach feeling could be due to a number of other factors, including medications you’re taking, a stomach bug, food poisoning, overeating, motion sickness or hormonal issues. Sometimes, indigestion after eating can be caused by a problem with the digestive tract, like an ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Much more rarely, persistent nausea and vomiting may be linked to thyroid disease, liver disease, diabetes or gall bladder disease. If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor.
When to call the doctor
If nausea after eating continues for more than two weeks without a positive pregnancy test, check in with your doctor. It could be a sign of a more serious problem, especially if you have other unusual symptoms.
If you are pregnant and nausea and vomiting is severe, call your practitioner. You may be experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum, which can result in dehydration and weight loss, requiring treatment at the hospital. Also check with your health care provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Peeing only a little bit, or urine that’s darker in color (it should look transparent or straw-colored; urine that’s dark yellow, honey, amber or light orange suggests you may be dehydrated)
Not being able to keep liquids down
Feeling dizzy when you stand up
Nausea after eating may or may not be an early sign of pregnancy, so hang on until you’re far enough along to take a pregnancy test and get a positive result. And while the queasies aren’t one of the most fun early pregnancy symptoms, they are a sign that your pregnancy hormones are well and kicking — and your baby very likely will soon be, too.