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Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

Along with all of the other amazing symptoms of pregnancy, you may be more susceptible to motion sickness during pregnancy. If you are experiencing motion sickness while pregnant, then you are not alone. But how do you distinguish between motion sickness and morning sickness? In this article we will discuss treatments and preventions of motion sickness during pregnancy. 

What is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness is an unfortunate condition characterized by nausea, dizziness, or vomiting. While pregnancy can make the probability of experiencing motion sickness higher, it is not the only factor. For some people motion sickness is a common occurrence when traveling long distances. Many people, myself included, experience motion sickness when travelling on cars, trains, busses, and boats. For this reason motion sickness has many names including - car sickness, sea sickness, and travel sickness. 

Causes of Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

While you do not need to be pregnant to experience motion sickness, you may be more prone to motion sickness if you are pregnant. There are a combination of factors that can influence your susceptibility to motion sickness. 

  • You already experience motion sickness. If you have experienced motion sickness prior to being pregnant, then you are more likely to experience motion sickness while pregnant. 
  • You have eaten a large meal before traveling. If you have eaten a lot of food before traveling, or you have eaten some heavy foods, you may be more prone to motion sickness. The movement of the vehicle can cause the food to move around in your stomach which can disrupt digestion and make you feel nauseous. 
  • The vehicle is stuffy or the air is not clean. If the air in the vehicle is too hot or is filled with smoke it can become difficult to breathe. This can make you feel light-headed and dizzy. Try to cool yourself down and ensure that you have plenty of fresh air. 
  • Your body’s sense of balance is being thrown off. The body’s sense of balance is created through a complex system of nerves and brain signals. This balance-sensing system is made up of the inner ear, eyes, muscles, and joints. When your brain receives conflicting signals from two parts of these systems it can cause you to have the symptoms of motion sickness. For example: if your ear senses movement, but your eyes do not see movement (such as sitting on an airplane), you can experience motion sickness. 

Symptoms of Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

The symptoms of motion sickness during pregnancy are essentially the same as motion sickness for someone who is not pregnant. The symptoms include: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Dehydration (due to excessive vomiting)
  • Anxiousness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Hot Flashes
  • Mild Headache

Motion Sickness versus Morning Sickness

Because the symptoms of motion sickness and morning sickness are so similar, some women often may confuse the two. There is one main difference between the two - are you in a moving vehicle? The causes of motion sickness are largely the relationship with your body to the vehicle bouncing, moving, turning, and tilting. In contrast, morning sickness is in response to an increase in hormones in your body.


Morning sickness occurs over the course of the day and usually remains consistent. Motion sickness typically lessens or stops after the motion stops. If you are experiencing nausea and vomiting when you have never had a problem before it is most likely morning sickness. Similarly, if you experience nausea throughout the day, but only vomit when traveling, you may have a combination of both. Your morning sickness can be increasing your vulnerability to motion sickness and make you feel even worse. Thankfully, motion sickness can be treated/prevented. 

Treatment for Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

If  you have motion sickness during pregnancy, it can be hard to determine what to do about the symptoms. You want to take medication, but what is safe to have with your pregnancy? Here is a list of possible treatment options for your motion sickness symptoms. 


  • B6 supplement. This vitamin can help reduce pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. 
  • Acupressure bracelet. Some women have found that their nausea is greatly reduced when they use an acupressure bracelet. The bracelet target a specific pressure point in your wrist that is supposed to help reduce nausea. 
  • Dramamine. This is an over-the-counter medication that is designed to help combat motion sickness. Many medical professionals claim it is ok to use during pregnancy and should not harm your baby. 
  • Prescription medication. If you are experiencing motion sickness on a regular basis, talk to your doctor about it. They may be able to recommend a specific medication for you, or prescribe you a behind-the-counter medication to combat your symptoms. 

As with any medication that you take during your pregnancy, be sure to talk to your doctor before self-medication to ensure that you are being safe.

Prevent Motion Sickness

In order to prevent motion sickness during your pregnancy there are a few things that you can do. 

    • Sit with your eyes facing the movement of the vehicle. If your eyes are able to see the movement of the vehicle your brain is less likely to get confused and cause motion sickness. This is because your eyes are able to see the movement and your inner ear is signalling that there is movement. Two of the balance-sensing systems are in unison and this should prevent motion sickness. 
  • Eat a light meal. Avoid eating any heavy food or having a large meal before travelling. Small and frequent meals can help combat the nausea. 
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause you to feel light-headed and dizzy. By staying hydrated you will be able to combat those symptoms. 
  • Avoid Strong Smells. Try to avoid any strong smells that may worsen your symptoms. 
  • Make sure you have fresh air. Try to make sure you have access to fresh air and that it doesn’t get too stuffy. If you are in a car, crack the window a little bit.

  • Takeaways

    It can be difficult to determine if you are experiencing motion sickness during pregnancy or if you are experiencing morning sickness. Motion sickness can be caused by a plethora of things, but it can be treated/prevented. Make sure you talk to your doctor about your symptoms and stay safe. 


    At Bellefit we believe that your health and comfort are important. Check out our postpartum garments - such as panties, compression leggings, and postpartum girdles. Designed for women like you. 


    We hope this article has been beneficial. Do you have any tips to combat motion sickness during pregnancy? Leave them in the comments below!

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    Cynthia Suarez

    • Sep 22, 2020
    • Category: News