Unfortunately, most women experience “morning” sickness during the first trimester of their pregnancies. And as we all know, it doesn’t just happen in the morning. For some unfortunate women, their nausea even lasts throughout their entire pregnancies. What these women all have in common, however, is trying to find ways to help abate that nausea in any way they can. For me, a ginger, apple, and pineapple smoothie from a local juicing store was the only thing that helped. For others, they claim it’s pickles. Are pickles good for nausea? If so, how does that work exactly? The very thought of eating a pickle during my first trimester made me want to hurl, so I’m curious as to why it seems to help other women.
"Nausea and morning sickness can be relieved by consuming lemon, ginger flavor, or sour foods. And pickles are sour, tangy, and tart — all tastes that pregnant ladies tend to crave. They could help ease morning sickness to a certain extent,” Amanda Capriglione, a registered dietitian nutritionist and active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as founder of Mommy and Me RD, tells Romper. However, since pickles are so high in salt, they could leave you feeling worse and bloated, Capriglione warns. “Also, keep in mind that pregnant women with preeclampsia need to avoid excess salt in their diets,” she says. The one perk to that saltiness, however, is that salt on the taste buds can lead to drinking more water, “which is super important for pregnant women,” she says. “Try pickled ginger (the kind they give you with sushi) to help ease your morning sickness (but without the sushi) or cucumbers with lemon juice or vinegar and a pinch of salt” for a homemade “pickle" treat.
However, for some women, salty and sour flavors could actually cause nausea. According to the website for Dr. Sears, you should remember the “three Ps (pickles, potato chips, and pretzels) to avoid letting your saliva hit an empty stomach. An empty stomach is hypersensitive to saliva, and nausea will soon follow."
Why do so many women crave pickles while they’re pregnant? “Pickles are sour, tart, and salty — all bold flavors that tantalize taste buds. Blame a pregnant woman's hormones for all the specific cravings. During pregnancy, some hormones are heightened and women become sensitive to tastes and smells,” Capriglione says.
For some other alternatives that don't include chugging pickle juice to cure your nausea, Capriglione has a few suggestions, the most important of which is to stay hydrated by drinking water or even seltzer all throughout the day. This should help nausea “tremendously,” she says. “Consuming bland foods like toast and crackers also helps. The worst thing to do for morning sickness and nausea is have an empty stomach (it can actually make nausea worse). Hot lemon water and ginger can even help to ease some morning sickness. If you can't stomach drinking water all day, try a low-sugar popsicle in a refreshing flavor like lemon or lime.”
Additionally, Capriglione suggests eating small meals throughout the day instead of large ones, and staying away from fried, greasy foods, which can make nausea worse. “If you are too nauseous to function, talk to your OB-GYN about taking vitamin B-6. Studies show that it can help relieve morning sickness without doing any harm to your growing baby,” Capriglione says.
Every woman is different with their cravings and solutions to curing nausea while pregnant. For some it may be pickles, for others the thought of pickles may make them barf. Just be sure to eat those pickles or drink that pickle juice in moderation because of the high sodium content. Good luck, and I hope you feel better soon.
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