Expecting moms: Expect no proven cure for morning sickness

By Shayna Brouker • Published: November 12th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

First, you notice you’re a little more tender here and there. You need at least two cups of coffee to function but you still feel exhausted by noon. Bathroom breaks become more frequent. Then, you wake up to a queasy feeling and your day starts with a trip to the toilet.

Congratulations! You’re pregnant. That little bean pod in your belly is growing. But for many new moms, the initial excitement of finding out they’re expecting is soon tempered by morning sickness, the well-known plight of pregnancy.

Midwives and mothers alike offer an array of remedies, from the old standby of eating saltines to the holistic practice of squeezing pressure points on the wrist, known as acupressure. But moms-to-be, take note: Crackers and ginger won’t cure your morning sickness. Not definitely, anyway.

A study from Dublin City University in Ireland investigated different treatments for morning sickness and found that no single therapy could be proven to work, and sometimes even caused additional suffering. For instance, ginger triggered heartburn in some women.

Researchers tested acupressure, ginger supplements, vitamin B-6, antihistamines and anti-nausea drugs, but none cured nausea consistently. While some antidotes provided limited relief, others held no water.

Regardless of the lack of any steadfast solution, obstetricians say there’s no harm in trying something if it helps. And whether you swear by soda or saltines, O-B-G-Y-Ns advise avoiding iron supplements and smells that trigger nausea, and make sure to stay hydrated and keep a little food in your stomach, if you can.

The good news: For most women, the misery of morning sickness usually ceases by the twelfth week. Until then, try whatever doctor-approved tonic will tame your tummy.