Morning sickness relief - information and support

It's very common to feel sick during the first few months of pregnancy, and sometimes for a bit longer.

Pregnancy sickness – or morning sickness – is thought to be a reaction to high levels of pregnancy hormones, in particular human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). These hormones rise quickly during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Pregnancy sickness is often at its worst when you first wake up, which is why it is called morning sickness, but it can happen at any time of day.

For most women, the first 12 weeks are the worst. After that you should slowly start to feel better. By around 16-20 weeks, you will probably find that the sickness has completely gone away.

Not every pregnant woman will get morning sickness. Pregnancy symptoms vary a lot, so don’t worry if you don’t have one of them.

Is there a cure for morning sickness?

No, there is no surefire way of stopping morning sickness. But there are some things that may give you some relief. These ideas have not been scientifically proven to work but they have helped some women, so you might like to try them out:

  • Eat little and often. Try eating six small meals a day instead of three big meals.
  • Rest. When you are tired the sickness can get worse.
  • Avoid foods with lots of sugar or saturated fats – such as sweets, chocolate and red meat.
  • Carbohydrates – things like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta – can be easier to eat when you’re feeling nauseous.
  • If possible, keep away from ‘triggers’ – food or smells that make you feel sick.
  • Have a small snack before getting up in the morning – something like dry toast or crackers.
  • Try foods or drinks that have ginger in them. You could try ginger biscuits, crystallised ginger or ginger herbal tea.
  • Try wearing acupressure bands throughout the day. You can buy elastic acupressure wristbands from most pharmacies. These bands have a plastic button that presses on the acupressure point on the wrist and it may help relieve the nausea.

What should I do if I get morning sickness at work?

This can be challenging, especially if you’re not ready to tell your colleagues about your pregnancy.

If you feel very ill it’s probably a good idea to tell your manager at work at work that you’re pregnant, but you don’t have to.

If you do decide to tell them about your pregnancy, this is a good time to talk about any changes to your work that might help.For example, you might need easier access to a toilet. Or if smells from the kitchen or canteen are triggering your sickness, maybe you could move somewhere else until you feel better.

Try not to worry too much about people knowing you are pregnant – it’s more important to look after yourself.

What if my morning sickness is really bad?

If you can’t keep any food or drink down, or you are worried at all about pregnancy sickness, see your midwife or doctor. You may have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.

What is hyperemesis gravidarum?

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition which causes excessive sickness and vomiting in pregnancy.

Symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum

Other than severe nausea and sickness, you may also notice:

  • dark concentrated urine
  • weeing less often
  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • losing weight
  • blood in your vomit
  • a high temperature
  • low blood pressure.

If you are vomiting several times a day or are not able to eat and drink at all without being sick, you may be dehydrated, which is why you feel so bad.

Treating hyperemesis gravidarum

There are several medicines that are safe to use in pregnancy, including anti-sickness drugs (anti-emetics) or steroids. If you’re too sick to keep anything down, they can be given by injection.

You may also be prescribed a vitamin B supplement, which can help as well.

Hyperemesis can also affect how you feel emotionally and you may need some support with this.

If your sickness is really severe and you’re struggling to control it, you may need to go into hospital for treatment. This will usually be for a few days so the doctors can assess the condition and work out the best way to manage it for you and your baby.

Support for hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)

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  1. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012), Mayes’ Midwifery, 14th edition, London, Ballière Tindall
  2. Matthews A, Haas DM, O'Mathúna DP, Dowswell T, Doyle M, 'Interventions for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD007575. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007575.pub3.
  3. NHS Choices, 'Nausea and morning sickness' [accessed 29/03/2018]
  4.  HSE, ‘New and Expectant Mothers: The law’, London, HSE: [accessed 29/03/2018]
  5., ‘Pregnant employees’ rights’: [accessed 29/03/2018]
  6. NHS Choices, ‘Severe vomiting in pregnancy’ [accessed 29/03/2018]
  7. RCOG (2016), ‘The Management of Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy and Hyperemesis Gravidarum’ [accessed 29/03/2018]
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    Last reviewed on April 10th, 2018. Next review date April 10th, 2021.

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    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Kelsey (not verified) on 10 Mar 2020 - 13:35

      I'm only 7 weeks and this morning sickness is terrible, i cant eat, cant even think about food without throwing up,, i have terrible migraines that nothing helps, i am always hot then cold every minute and i also hate getting out of bed in the morning to go to work.. help please!

    • By Lakhvir Dhillon (not verified) on 20 Mar 2020 - 07:34

      I am also the same I give myself extra time in the morning , eat in bed and keep the window open also drink a glass of warm milk before bed you will have a good night sleep, hopefully you will get an appetite back soon, it will all be worth it at the end of it

    • By Kat82 (not verified) on 30 Aug 2019 - 16:21

      I’m 7 weeks and really suffering from morning sickness. I take levothyrine for my thyroid and folic acid and vit D but I’m sick about an hour afterwards is this long enough for the medication to be doing what it needs to do? I’m concerned but even feel sick at night so not sure if taking at a different time would work. Thanks in advance.

    • By Doris (not verified) on 30 Jul 2019 - 09:26

      I have a 35 day cycle, I had an implantation bleeding for two days just 12 days after my period ended. Since then I've checked twice but the urine test kept showing negative. I've started feeling headache, dizziness, and faint cramping. Did I take the test too early or should I wait till after a missed period before I retest again.

    • By Doris (not verified) on 29 Jul 2019 - 23:39

      I have a 35 day cycle, I had an implantation bleeding for two days just 12 days after my period ended. Since then I've checked twice but the urine test kept showing negative. I've started feeling headache, dizziness, and faint cramping. Did I take the test too early or should I wait till after a missed period before I retest again.

    • By Ganiyyah (not verified) on 9 Jul 2019 - 15:54

      Am 9 weeks gone, I easily get tired and can't eat some foods I enjoy eating before, the annoying one is the excessive salivation. What can I do I can't swallow my saliva?

    • By Misty (not verified) on 5 Jul 2019 - 17:20

      Lately I have had lots of Symptoms lately , heartburn, swelling in my feet and legs, bloating in my stomach, constipation , some breast tenderness but not much.. but my issue is I took two preg. Test and they read negative!! WhAt could it be!! Am I losing my mind or am I pregnant?

    • By Andrea (not verified) on 21 Dec 2018 - 17:32

      I had a really different case of morning sickness this time! I didn't get it until after the 12 week mark. And, even now, at 28 weeks, it happens occassionally in the mornings :( No nausea either, just like really bad acid reflux.

    • By Elise (not verified) on 10 Nov 2018 - 19:01


      I'm 22 weeks exactly and I'm still being sick up to 5 times a day. At my worst (8-15 weeks) I was being sick 15-20 times a day and vomiting blood. I know the amount of times I've been sick has gone down dramatically, but is it normal to still be vomiting at this stage in my pregnancy? I have been diagnosed as not having HG by the GP and have anti sickness tablets to take if/when I vomit blood. I'm really worried as I'm still struggling to eat and I've lost approx. 8lbs since the start of my pregnancy which can't be good for baby!

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Nov 2018 - 14:52

      Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is a common condition affecting approximately 70% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser extent. About 45% of pregnant women suffer from vomiting with nausea, while an additional 25% have nausea alone.

      For most women the nausea and sickness usually settles by 12 to 14 weeks however, some women will continue to have symptoms beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. It sounds as though you are really struggling with nausea and vomiting - please contact your GP and discuss if there are other treatments/options available to you.

    • By Zoe (not verified) on 3 Jan 2020 - 23:03

      I would definitely have asked for a second opinion. I had GV with all 3 of my pregnancies. The last was twins and ended up being hospitalised with it.

    • By Susan (not verified) on 1 Jun 2018 - 13:21

      Hi I am 7 weeks and up until now only thing I've had is tiredness however this week I've started to feel sick although havnt actually been sick and have diarrhea is this common?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Jun 2018 - 16:08

      Hi Susan,
      It is possible that you may have a stomach bug as you are having diarrhoea too, this is not normally a pregnancy symptom. We would advise you to keep hydrated and snack on foods when you can. If it goes on longer than a few days or you are struggling to keep down water then do see your GP.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Victoria (not verified) on 1 Mar 2018 - 06:05

      I found out I am pregnant recently and since I got a cold. Is that normal? Is it me or my body adjusting to the baby? This is my first and I young. (21) I have my vitamins but they only help a little bit.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Mar 2018 - 15:53

      Congratulations on your pregnancy. Yes when you are pregnant your immune system is weaker and it is very common to have colds and feeling unwell, especially as it is the winter at the moment and this is more common anyways. You are limited in what you can take in pregnancy so try to rest, and drink plenty of water with lots of fruits and vegetables and you should feel better soon. If you have high temperature and paracetamol does not bring it down or you feel flu like symptoms then do see your midwife or GP for advice.
      Best wishes, Tommy's midwives x

    • By Macey (not verified) on 30 Dec 2017 - 21:44

      This is my first baby it was a complete surprise I didn’t notice intill a week ago I was already 7 weeks. My 1st symptoms were nausea and feeling sick almost every morning I also didn’t have a period but this was normal for me because my cycle has always been off scent I stop receiving Brith control shot called Depo this is definitely the hardest part for me and I hope it will be over soon

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Jan 2018 - 12:03

      Hi, Thank you for your comment.
      Pregnancy sickness can be really debilitating for some women and they can suffer really badly. This normally settles done around 12 weeks, as you enter the second trimester, but for some it can last a bit longer. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and eating well. If this continues then you can always speak to your GP or midwife and see if you can be prescribed something to help. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Jun 2017 - 15:46

      Hi there
      It can be normal for sickness to come and go. For some lucky ladies, they never once experience nausea or vomiting. For others, they experience a lot more of it. Unfortunately it's pot luck where you will fall.
      Just because in a previous pregnancy you experienced one thing, doesn't mean that you will experience it the same way again. Every pregnancy is different.
      If you experience any abdo pain, or bleeding/discharge from the vagina, or have any other concerns, you can get your GP to refer you to your local early pregnancy assessment unit. They will be able to perform an early scan and review you to make sure all is ok.
      I really do hope that you can stop worrying too much and try to relax a little. I know it is so tough when you have lost a baby in the way that you did, and at the gestation that you did. But to be sure, i would get checked over to put your mind at ease if nothing else. Please do feel free to call us too if you need to talk anything through on our helpline! Take care of yourself

    • By Cal (not verified) on 27 Jun 2017 - 14:02

      It is normal for sickness to go or be significantly less by 9 weeks? Last time I had bad nausea until at least 13 weeks and this has worried me. I just associate sickness/nausea with a good progressing pregnancy. I had a stillbirth at 29+6 weeks and anxious about this one.

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