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The REAL Cause Of Morning Sickness

Affiliate Disclosure | in Motherhood | by | with 298 Comments


“Daddy!!! Diarrhea is coming out of Mommy’s mouth!!!”

Ahhh, morning sickness. The quintessential pregnancy experience in which a woman heaves a whole plate of eggs into her own hair. We’ve come to expect it as a normal part of pregnancy, but is it? Not necessarily, says Kristen of Food RenegadeIn her Beautiful Babies e-course, Kristen challenges common myths about “inevitable” pregnancy woes (morning sickness, stretch marks, swollen ankles, etc.) and teaches mamas how to increase fertility, have a happier pregnancy and birth a gorgeous, healthy baby.

Hands down it is one of the best classes I have ever taken, and today I get to share a little snippet from lesson #5 with you: How to prevent morning sickness!!! This is no gimmick, ya’ll.  Kristen and I went to college together, and if there is one thing I learned about her there it’s that she doesn’t make claims she can’t back up via 10 independent sources and possibly citations from a dead language or two. The research on this is solid, so let’s jump right in!

Flip On The News . . .

morning sickness cureAny night of the week and you will find a smattering of pregnancy-related stories: Jedi forcefields that prevent moms immune system from attacking baby as an invader,  Snooki says breastfeeding is “like you’re a cow,” and a pregnant woman is criticized for jumping into icy waters to save a toddlers life.

Sandwiched between all that mess there are usually a few common theories about morning sickness floated here and there. Though they are commonly accepted as true, these theories are either incomplete or flat out wrong. Let’s look at a few of them:

  • Theory #1: Morning sickness protects baby from toxins – According to this perspective, “Doctors have long known that morning sickness — the nausea and vomiting usually experienced in early pregnancy — is actually a good sign of a healthy pregnancy, despite the discomfort it brings” (source). Nausea is an inner wisdom which prevents mama from eating foods that would be toxic to baby.

What’s wrong with this theory? Well, a couple of things: First, many of the foods women find themselves unable to eat are the very ones recommended by Dr. Weston A. Price as part of a nutrient-dense diet (pastured eggs, oily fish, fresh beef and lamb). These foods are far from toxic!  Second, plenty of women carry healthy babies to term without this so-called “protective” mechanism, and while consuming copious amounts of the foods typically avoided during morning sickness.

  • Theory #2: The body is adjusting to a flood of extra hormones – This is partly true, but the presence (or lack) of a particular nutrient may determine how intensely this change affects us (more on that below!)
  • Theory #3: It’s caused by low blood sugar  – This is also partly true (and eating constantly throughout the day helps!), but it’s a symptom, not the cause
  • Theory #4: You’re deficient in vitamin B6 & B12 – Many mamas find significant relief when they intentionally build up B-Vitamin stores, and that makes sense, because B6 and B12 aid in the absorption of the mineral which truly helps to prevent morning sickness – magnesium!

Wait, Another Post About Magnesium?!?!?

morning sickness cure

Poço Azul – Magnesium is what makes the water so blue!

I know, ever since Cheeseslave wrote a blog post about magnesium deficiency it seems like the world’s gone mad with it! Did your dog’s tail turn blue? Magnesium deficiency! The bus was late? Magnesium deficiency!  I was pretty surprised to learn that even people who eat a nutrient-dense diet are at risk of magnesium deficiency, but her research is spot on.

“A hundred years ago, it was easy to get enough magnesium just by eating a variety of foods and drinking water. However, our modern soil is very depleted . . . [And] so is the water. ‘ Our human ancestors evolved in a world in which healthy drinking water came directly from streams, rivers, and lakes, rich in mineral content. The human body became reliant on obtaining a considerable proportion of its daily mineral needs from natural water sources.

Fast-forward to the twenty-first century. We obtain drinking water from a spigot or a plastic bottle. Pesticides and other chemicals seeping into the water supply have made everyone suspicious of water quality. As a result, municipal water-purification facilities have intensified their efforts to remove contaminants like lead, pesticide residues, and nitrates from drinking water. Unfortunately, these modern water-treatment methods also deplete drinking water of desirable minerals like calcium and magnesium. Exacerbating this problem is that many Americans, distrustful of the purity and safety of municipally treated water, have added home water filters and purifiers that efficiently extract any remaining minerals from the water, thus converting “hard” into “soft” water. In fact, the manufacturers of these devices boast of their power to yield water free of “contaminants” — including minerals like magnesium. Thus, the magnesium content of the water that passes through most commercial filters is zero. (Source)‘”

So what does this have to do with morning sickness? I’m glad you asked!

You’ve Probably Heard By Now . . .

morning sickness cureThat cortisol (the stress hormone) can cause weight gain, but did you know that’s because one of it’s main functions is to increase blood sugar? Yep, excess cortisol in your system takes your blood sugar through huge spikes and crashes, resulting in fatigue and nausea (aka morning sickness).

Normally, magnesium balances cortisol levels by cleaning the excess from our blood. BUT – Pregnancy hormones inhibit our ability to absorb magnesium! This can lead to a vicious cycle in which excess stress hormones cause nausea, which causes stress, which we can’t fully remedy because the very thing we need we can’t fully absorb, and then you get this → Ugh!

That’s Why The Secret To Morning Sickness . . .

41W1M2PFo-LIs to build up your magnesium stores before getting pregnant! You can can do this by consuming magnesium rich foods such as bone broth, seaweed, leafy green vegetables, properly soaked seeds and nuts, unrefined sea salt.

Because Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and a little calcium are essential for magnesium absorption you’re going to want to eat foods that contain those nutrients, too. (Note: According to Kristen, this is one of those instances in which Vitamin D supplements cannot replace sunshine. Studies comparing fermented cod liver oil vs. sunlight show that magnesium absorption goes WAY up when you get real sunlight! More info on how to get the benefits of sunlight without burning here.)

Of course, modern farming practices and water filtration systems have drastically reduced the magnesium content of the foods listed above, so you may want to add in a supplement as well. I personally use magnesium oil because it is much more easily absorbed  by the body than pills. Be careful to by from someone you trust, though, because some magnesium oils contain contaminants like mercury.

(Wondering where I get mine? This is the brand I use.)

My Story

morning sickness cureMy pregnancy with Katie was gloriously healthy overall, but I did have some morning sickness and awful problems with restless leg syndrome. Supplementing with magnesium helped control the RLS, but it wasn’t until after Katie’s winter solstice waterbirth that things finally resolved.

Looking back, it makes sense that pregnancy hormones were preventing me from fully correcting a magnesium deficiency. Of course, I had lots of time to work on it by the time I got pregnant with Micah, and the difference was amazing. No morning sickness at all and virtually no restless leg! I have nerve damage in one of my legs from an old ballet injury so it’s not completely avoidable when there’s lots of pressure on my hips, but it was much, MUCH better! Do you know someone that needs to read this series? Why not share it with them???

NEXT: 7 Real Food Remedies For Morning Sickness

Photo credit: Guillherme Jofili

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298 Responses to The REAL Cause Of Morning Sickness

  1. Holly says:

    Interesting … I had hyperemesis gravidaurm with all 4 kiddos (read not just morning sickness but hospital on IV’s puking for 4 months killed Charlotte Bronte type morning sickness) …

    • WOW. I have a friend who had HG with her first kid and said NEVER AGAIN. She does not want more children. The experience of HG was so bad for her, she can’t imagine ever thinking another pregnancy is worth it. And you’ve had it FOUR TIMES???

      • thecatzpajamas says:

        I’ve had HG with every pregnancy… all 5. It’s awful, but of course having a little baby at the end makes it all okay. mostly. :D I’d love to figure out how to avoid losing 4 months of my life to miserable constant puking, starvation, dehydration & losing 15% of my body weight.

      • Holly says:

        yes but I wouldn’t trade my 4 kiddos for anything!!!

      • Stephanie says:

        I also had HG with my first, and they never told me I had it with my 2nd but it was the exact same. Miserable all 9 months, Threw up on the nurse while getting ready for the c-section!! I think there is truth to this stuff, but when you have such a miserable pregnancy more then once I think its just mother nature’s way of fighting off the baby in your body. Well, thats what my Dr. told me.

        • Rosanna says:

          but its counter to nature to fight the baby in your body. something is wrong that makes your body want to do that – like nutrient deficiencies?

        • Vonnie says:

          Seriously? You’re doctor said that? Reminds me of Dr. Spaceman on 30 Rock who said that everything about childbirth was disgusting. I would have tried to find a new doctor!

          Your body is not trying to fight off the baby, but fight off what it perceives as a threat to the baby, even if the threat is misinterpreted.

    • Gena says:

      I also had Hyperemisis Gravidarum with 5 of my 6 pregnancies, my last one was much more manageable (no need for IVs & lasted only 6 weeks instead of 12), which I attribute to dietary changes. I later found out I have Pyroluria, a genetic metabolic disorder that is basically a severe B6 & zinc defieciency. I have to wonder, if I had known this and addressed it before pregnant life if my morning sickness would have been non existent.

      • Lydia says:

        can I ask what dietary changes helped you? thanks :)

        • Rosalie says:

          I am also wondering what dietary changes helped you? Desperate! THANKS!

          • Rosa says:

            I have HG right now, in fact, and I really don’t know how anyone can survive with this – just up all night long, and puking twice an hour all day no matter what I did or didn’t eat.

            All that’s helping me survive right now is that I discovered that weed makes the stomach ache go away entirely for hours – and I can actually keep food down during that time.

    • Staci says:

      I was an HG survivor too, three pregnancies, lots of IVs, hospital stays, constant bedrest and even a PICC line for the last.

      There has been years of studies about the causes of HG and it seems very unlikely the origins are the same. You’d think doctorates dedicating their lives to understanding HG would have figured it out if it was that simple…

    • Rachel J. says:

      I remember reading “Romancing Miss Bronte” and thinking how vitamin D deficient she and her sisters must have been living out on that moor. And even when there was sunshine they were probably well-covered. How (sadly) interesting that magnesium and vitamin D deficiency might have contributed to her death.

      • Heather says:

        I wonder the same thing about the Mennonites that live in Hickory Valley near my mom. I have nothing against modesty, but it seems like it would be hard to get much vitamin D in ankle length dresses with long sleeves!

        • Summer says:

          I’m Muslim, and we wear even more involved clothing. You can get plenty of vitamin D from just 20 minutes of only your face and hands showing, and we don’t wear (can’t speak for the Mennonites) that clothing in the house, so opening a window can help, too. Back “home,” many older houses had indoor yards (the house is doughnut or square shaped with a courtyard in the middle) or a wall around the whole house/yard complex, so you would have the chance to get some sun. Not many people have that setup nowadays, though.

    • Crystal C says:

      Yeah I am HG survivor too. The first pregnancy – when I had a horrible diet was actually more manageable than the second one where I ate a nutrient dense whole foods diet that included a lot of magnesium (beans/leafy greens/figs EVERY SINGLE DAY.) During my second pregancy the Midwife said she had never seen someone with such great blood panels.. I wasn’t even anemic. Anyway I threw up multiple times a day… every single day starting 4 days before I tested positive till a week after I gave birth. Zofran was the only thing that made life manageable. I lost 38 lbs during that pregnancy. I gained some of it back .. but I still weighed 15 lbs less on the day I gave birth to my daughter than the day I conceived her. I’m sure that this may help some people but it is definitely not the cure to all “morning sickness”. I think I am literally allergic to my husband ;)

  2. I always though the b12 b6 idea was bollucks… At least in my case because I ate plenty of rare/medium rare red meat, eggs, and ate liverwurst or chicken liver pâté a few times a month and had hyperemisis gravidum for 2/3 of my last pregnancy. Looking back I can certainly see how I could have been magnesium deficient though. That is DEFINITELY going to be on my prep list when I get myself ready (6 months prior) for the next baby. Thanks!

  3. […] The REAL Cause Of Morning Sickness « The Mommypotamus ← Just What Elements Should I Take Into Account When Scouting for a … Is a […]

  4. I had TERRIBLE everyday all day sickness from 7 weeks to 15 weeks and then it started up a little bit at 36 weeks. I also had Restless legs at night plus terrible charley horse cramps. I used Calms plus Calcium that has magnesium in it to help with my leg issue, and that cleared up! Now I know that I need to start building up my magnesium storage for the next one!
    Thank you, as always, for sharing this wonderful information. I’m hoping for no (or atleast much less) sickness next time!

  5. I had never heard this one before, it sounds like it would make sense. What baffles me is that with my first pregnancy I only had two days of a bit of nausea and ate whatever I wanted to and knew nothing about health or nutrition. This pregnancy has gone much much different, I had some nausea for the entire first trimester, I never vomited but I had more aversions to food and felt the need to eat enough or it would get bad. And this time I know lots about nutrition and made sure I was getting enough nutrients, drank raw milk, had bone broth soup, ate pastured eggs, etc. etc. Maybe my digestion was suffering and therefore I wasn’t absorbing enough magnesium to begin with? Plus when I got pregnant I was still nursing a 2.5 yr old. I had have had way more digestion problems this time around, especially dealing with reflux that started in the 2nd trimester. I hate it that with everything I know about nutrition now, my health is worse than it was when I knew nothing! It has made me not want to ever get pregnant again. :(

    • Aimee says:

      I totally understand. I know so much more about health now and I feel worse sometimes. However, with my first pregnancy I had HG. And with my second it was so much better. Still not perfect but better, I tried my best to eat healthy, but I ended up just eating what sounded good regardless of whether it was “healthy” or not. I had a great pregnancy overall and birth.

  6. This is interesting!! So far I have had hyperemesis gravidarum with both my pregnancies. It usually lasts well into the 5th month. Severe morning sickness seems to run in my family too. I am curious whether this actually works for people like me!! I will have to keep it in mind if I have another. I would do anything to help with the ms. It is the worst part of being pregnant (obviously).

    • Chezzylane says:

      I’ve been using the suggested oil for three days now and my all day everyday “morning”sickness has amazingly gone without trace;)))) wonderful !!!!

    • melissa says:

      i had HG also, all 7 times i was pregnant. it’s very VERY difficult for me to read about “cures” for m/sickness when i literally.tried.everything. my midwife had me on magnesium but perhaps it was too late since the HG had already begun? i found the information interesting, but very upsetting because i feel like my m/sickness went well above and beyond “normal” m/sickness. (hospitalization, iv’s, PTL, you name it!)

      i was sick from before i took my HPT until i delivered. i threw up on delivery day every single labor. *sigh*

  7. Sara Whitney Wolford via FB says:

    I can’t wait until the next post.

  8. Kristen Eppner Ethridge via FB says:

    Oh, Mommypotamus…you’re four months too late! I would have paid any amount of money for this in early March when I couldn’t get out of bed!!! ;)

  9. Kristen, thats how my pregnancies were. Basically in bed or on the couch for the first 5 months. :-/ With the first I resorted to Zofran, but my second I tried the b6 & unisom.

  10. Ashley Kelso Sherrill via FB says:

    Interesting! With my first pregnancy I did not eat that great and barely had any morning sickness. This time I eat much better and I have be so sick. Not vomiting ( thank goodness) but severe nausea. At times even water made me sick! At 16 weeks I am still struggling but it is slowly getting better. Very interested to see what you suggest. My OB did not recommend supplementing with magnesium. I asked about mag oil spray to help with anxiety. I also remember you said something before about too much mag supplementing with your daughter affected her teeth.

  11. Marsha says:

    I have trouble believing this is the only cause or way to prevent morning sickness. I have other symptoms of magnesium defieciency but when I was pregnant I had very mild, if any, morning sickness. Makes me want to get my magnesium levels check out!

  12. Christy Lifeisgreat via FB says:

    I eat this whole list of foods and have for 2 yrs,. plus I’m on well water unfiltered,.. this is my 3rd pregnancy already had a girl and boy but this time I’m 12 weeks and haven’t been sick at all. Bone broth is an amazing food.

  13. Carrie says:

    I’m skeptical too. I tried magnesium supplementation – both the oil externally and taking Natural Calm internally, and it didn’t help. I honestly think morning sickness has many causes and is highly individual. My theory is that nausea is just the way my body reacts to high progesterone levels. Now, at 33 weeks pregnant with #6 it’s coming back. Nothing has ever appreciably helped my pregnancy nausea other than frequent snacking. I tried B6 supplements as well as every other remedy in the book (I’ve had plenty of pregnancies to practice!), all were the exact same for me.

    I hope this helps other women though – just like the Bean Cure has helped some. And ginger has helped others. And peppermint oil, and reflexology and high protein diets and RRL tea and … I could go on and on. ;)

    • The kicker is that magnesium supplementation won’t really help you all that much if you’re already pregnant. That’s because progesterone DOES interfere with magnesium absorption. So, your body must rely on the magnesium stores you’ve already built up pre-pregnancy to help regulate your cortisol levels in that first trimester!

      So, to test this, you’d want at least 3 to 6 months of getting extra magnesium in your system (preferably while you’re also eating a fertility diet AND getting plenty of sunshine) BEFORE you get pregnant. Then see how you feel during that first trimester.

      • Carrie says:

        I suppose it’s possible… I don’t think I have symptoms of magnesium deficiency though, and it’s something I’ve read plenty about.

        I find it so strange that every pregnancy I’ve experienced the same thing: severe nausea in the first trimester, and prolonged nausea for the duration – but once the baby is born, and I mean IMMEDIATELY after it is born, the nausea/aversions etc stop. It’s light night and day. I feel so instantly better once the placenta is delivered that people around me practically have to sit on me to get me to rest postpartum.

        If it was a magnesium deficiency, why would it so instantly abate the moment after birth? Deficiencies don’t disappear that fast.

        I think I must be allergic to progesterone. Or maybe the elevated estrogen? Ha!

        • If it was a magnesium deficiency, why would it so instantly abate the moment after birth? Deficiencies don’t disappear that fast.

          Because it’s not plain old magnesium deficiency. It’s magnesium-deficiency-in-the-presence-of-pregnancy-hormones. In other words, pregnancy hormones interfere with the absorption and utilization of magnesium within your body.

          • Anita says:

            I have had hypermesus gravidarum with all three of my pregnancies. I was lucky enough to have a good diet when growing up. It improved even more when I found the Weston Price Foundation just following the birth of my first child. My second child was born over four years later because I wanted to make sure I was in optimal health. Unfortunately, it made no difference. In my first pregnancy, the nausea subsided practically overnight as soon as I hit 14 weeks. I felt great through the rest of my pregnancy. During my second pregnancy the nausea lasted until about week 17. I had a continuous stomach ache until the moment the baby was born. In the middle of the second pregnancy I learned of magnesium oil and I began using it daily. I have continued using it daily from that point on. I also use magnesium citrate a few times a week orally, and Remag daily in my water. I became pregnant with my third child 2 years and 3 months after my second was born. I think that was enough time to increase my magnesium levels. Well this pregnancy has been the worst. Although the severe nausea where I couldn’t eat or drink without medication subsided around 15 weeks, I continue to have mild nausea and I am now 22 weeks. Although these reccomendations may work for those suffering from morning sickness, I think HG is an entirely different thing Every pregnancy has been like my body is at constant conflict with the baby inside me. It’s been so frustrating trying to find something to help and having absolutely nothing work. I wouldn’t be surprised if it may have something to do with thyroid or adrenal health that I inherited from my mother while she was pregnant with me. And unfortunately, if this is the case, I may be passing this on to my children as well.

        • Rosanna says:

          I agree with you that every person is unique. in your situation there could well be another cause. Considering that magnesium deficiency is so common (60% or more of the population) this information is likely to benefit many (but not all) women.

        • Erica says:

          WOW, you described me to a T!! As soon as I give birth, it is like the flip of switch & I feel WONDERFUL… after being sick 24/7 for the entire pregnancy… & I mean S.I.C.K!! No herbs, no food, no drink, no candy, no NOTHING helps me feel better…. though I can’t say that Zofran, etc wouldn’t work because I never tried them… I have always been too afraid of the long term affects on the baby.

          Every one of my pregnancies so far has been that way, though I didn’t get as severely sick w/my first as I did the others…. which could be explained by the fact that I wasn’t as depleted w/it being my 1st pregnancy.

          I also find it fascinating that I had to use bioidentical progesterone w/all of my pregnancies until 14 weeks, to prevent miscarriage. W/the 1st I used BIP suppositories & the others I used a topical BIP cream.

          Man, I don’t know if we will be able to have any more blessings, but I am going to make sure I work on my reserves JIC we do… & in the meantime, my body & health will benefit too because I KNOW I am deficient… which all started during my 2nd pregnancy w/sudden partial deafness & tinnitus… seemingly out of the blue, but now I suspect nothing is what I have been told all these years about my hearing loss & tinnitus either…. & definitely not my “morning sickness” that lasts all day, every day for an entire pregnancy.

          VERY fascinating info!!

      • Whittney says:

        Interesting. The only pregnancies I carried to term, I supplemented with natural progesterone. I was deathly ill. I have so much work to do before #3! Any thoughts on prog. supplements during first trimester and mag absorption?

        • Heather says:

          I don’t know much about progesterone supplementation, but as it relates to magnesium absorption I’d wager they have the same effect.

        • Erica says:

          Same with me… I had to use bioidentical progesterone w/all of my pregnancies until 14 weeks, to prevent miscarriage. W/the 1st I used BIP suppositories & the others I used a topical BIP cream.

          I can’t even GET pregnant to begin with w/out using BIP for the 2nd half of my cycles… & then if I do get pregnant, I have to keep using it until 14 weeks.

          I also have to use vitex… if I JUST use BIP then no BFP…if I use just vitex, then no BFP… but if I use BOTH of them is how we’ve only ever been able to have a BFP on our own (we had medical help w/our 1st conception).

          VERY interesting!!

  14. Sara Daniels via FB says:

    I’m deep in the midst of morning sickness and my ND/Acupuncturist says that’s actually a good sign in Chinese medicine. I have tried magnesium ionic and it’s not been too noticeable. Is it true that pregnancy hormones can be preventing the absorption and so should I just not take it at all or should I try this: (is this the one you take Heather?)

  15. There is another theory that eating enough protein will help your body process the added hormones ( especially estrogen) that are leading to nausea. Here is the explanation:

  16. I am already pregnant and am just anticipating the morning sickness. I was really sick with my first, only mildly sick with my second pregnancy that resulted in miscarriage. I’m 5 1/2 weeks along now and am waiting to see how I feel in about a week. I’m sure I’m probably still magnesium deficient despite all of the changes that have been made in my diet.

  17. Omigosh! I wish I known this when I had my sons.

    You know, my morning sickness was the worst with my middle son. I had it the entire pregnancy versus only in the first trimester with my oldest and youngest.

    I also became pregnant with him within 5 months of a miscarriage and he has mild Asperger’s.


  18. @Janelle — That’s actually a common complaint. In the deep South, when subsistence farming was at it’s lowest point, it was a commonly held truth that moms lost a “tooth per pregnancy.” In other words, with your first pregnancy your body uses up a lot of your nutrient stores to make a fabulously healthy pregnancy & baby. But if you don’t replenish those stores through a traditional fertility diet (which can last 6 months to a year long in some cultures), then you & your growing babies suffer with each subsequent pregnancy.

  19. I’m so sorry, Kristen Eppner Ethridge! Now I wish I had a time machine!

  20. Ashley Kelso Sherrill – As Kristen mentioned above, our bodies use up a lot of their stores during the first pregnancy. If you didn’t get a ton of magnesium in your diet (which would be hard without supplementation) chances are they didn’t get fully replenished. It is true that magnesium and calcium compete for absorption in the body so it’s important to increase your intake of both. We’ll be talking more about that in the next post :)

  21. Yay, Christy Lifeisgreat! So glad to hear that, and congrats on your pregnancy!

  22. Sara Daniels – It is still worthwhile to supplement with magnesium oil (more on that in the next post!) the product you linked to is not what I use, but it’s the company I order from. The name of the product I use is Ancient Minerals :)

  23. Jessica says:

    Actually, before people fully understood proper cooking techniques, animals products were very likely to lead to parasitic infections that could harm a fetus. In most societies morning sickness is common. It is actually only societies that are mostly vegetarian that women do not experience morning sickness.

    The Cornell team found further proof of this pattern by comparing anthropological reports from 27 societies where the early symptoms of pregnancy were discussed. In seven of those societies, morning sickness was all but unknown. In 20 others, it was common. Societies in the first group rarely ate animal products, relying instead on corn, rice, tubers, and other plants. Most in the second group drank milk or ate fish or meat.

    • I have had 3 live births and 10 miscarriages. Every single time I’ve gotten pregnant we knew I was pregnant even before the line showed up due to the hyperemisis. All the way up until after the kids were born I was sick. I went the whole gamut. From every natural remedy and therapy to b6 & unisom (just made me pass out on the toilet seat between heaves) to experimental drugs that were in a mini pump and taped to my side 24/7 with daily nurse visits. I’ve done it all and I was a strict vegan on an organic diet (until 2 years ago at 32 years old I had NEVER at meat, chicken,fish,etc.), with no chemicals what so ever in the house as I make my own, I was as toxin free as you can get. I’ve also seen many clients and friends who were also not meat eaters have extreme nausea and vomiting. I just feel there has to be more.

      While I believe the nausea and vomiting is a way that nature helps to protect the body from poisons I don’t believe foods or toxins or what have you are the cause. I have a 13, 12, and 5 year old now and as a sexually active woman I am going to build my mag stores up just in case. Another stint in bed would be horrible at this point as all 3 of the kids are homeschooled.

      I too have been an official “birth junkie” ever since I doula’d for a friend my senior year in high school. I’ve attended 69 births and had trainings, read everything and I’ve NEVER heard of this. I’m looking forward to learning more ’cause after my middle (when I was on the experimental drugs) the drug was pulled due to causing deaths in both mother and babe.

      Wow…I’m almost angry… to think all that time, fear, worry, and pain and I could have built up my magnesium stores to prevent it. Do you have any info over recurrent miscarriage and magnesium? I was diagnosed with an “unknown clotting disorder” or “we’ve no freakin’ clue why you’ve miscarried 10 babes.” The loses came from 6 weeks to days before my second trimester.
      (And, I’m your newest reader! :) )

      • Roxanne says:

        Have you been tested for rare protein deficiencies? A very good friend of mine suffered miscarriage after miscarriage (5 total) until she sought out a doctor who specialized in genetic-based protein deficiencies (she had BOTH protein C and protein S deficiencies in her blood–both deficiencies at the same time will basically ensure a miscarriage). Her 6 pregnancy was successful only because of daily shots, 3x a day, of various medications that controlled clotting: baby acetylsalicylic acid, and warfarin. I think she was also given I.V. heparin immediately after birth. This is someone who has always believed in and lived a very healthy lifestyle and nutrient-dense diet (she introduced me to WAP foundation), but no amount of healthy living or healthy eating can resolve a protein C or S deficiency.

      • Sarah says:

        Hi Honey, it’s a fact that mineral deficiency in livestock causes miscarriage, there is 1 mineral in particular that has more influence on this than the others, I’m just not certain which it is, so a link with this from animals to humans is more than likely, and as a matter of interest relating to the absorbtion of magnesium and calcium – these minerals are rendered inert in the body by sodium flouride which is often added to drinking water and of course toothpaste! so that will explain why women often feel extra nauseous while brushing their teeth or drinking water. So I suggest to everyone wanting to up their magnesium and calcium levels to stay clear of sodium flouride

  24. […] I read something that has changed my view of what causes morning sickness forever.  Check out this post by Mommypotamus!  Apparently the cause of morning is a lack of magnesium.  Now, I have used magnesium to help […]

  25. Janelle Hoxie – I agree with a lot of what he says but I think the water was probably beneficial because it contained naturally occurring magnesium :)

  26. Hmm. This is interesting! I’m 11 weeks pregnant. I feels so yucky. Could be worse- I don’t actually throw up (very often)- just CONSTANT nausea. I can’t even drink water. Worse for me is the food aversions. 90% of what I make I can’t stomach- or at least not more than once. Cheese and milk are about the only things I can handle right now. I have discovered that a liquid B complex helps, as does getting PLENTY of rest (easier said than done as a homeschooling mom of 2). So using a magnesium oil at this point would be of no help, or just limited help? Looking forward to your ideas for dealing with food aversions. As a chef- not being able to spice or eat your own food is painful in and of itself!

    • Oh! Also- eating protein helps. Or at least if I don’t get protein in, and enough- it’s almost guaranteed to be a “couch day”. Hence the cheese……all animal proteins I’m having trouble not gagging at (aside from bacon). I welcome ideas!

      Also- curious- what’s your take on “uncured” meats while pregnant. I know nitrates are a no-no. Uncured meats have celery juice in them, because it’s a natural form of nitrates. Is this still harmful? I can eat bacon and a grassfed “uncured” beef summer sausage like it’s going out of style. I’m kinda hesitant though because of the celery juice……..

      • Heather says:

        Regarding uncured meats, I personally eat them. From what I understand eating a vitamin C-rich food alongside nitrite-containing foods will prevent the formation of nitrosamines (the cancer causing agents). I usually add a little kraut and mustard to my sausage for that reason :)

    • Heather says:

      Ahhh, I didn’t get a chance to read this until I’d already written the follow up post, but I think I covered everything by accident!

  27. Like I said, I’m just very baffled, there are things about my health that improved because of adding in things like raw milk and bone broth, FCLO, epsom salt baths, supplements. I guess it wasn’t enough when you breastfeed exclusively for a year, then round the clock still for another yr and half when you get pregnant. Thats why I waited the recommended traditional time frame between pregnancies.

  28. My daughter was still nursing when I became pregnant with my son, so I totally get what a challenge it is to keep those nutrient stores up! There were weeks I’d by two HUGE blocks of grassfed cheese to last us 2-3 weeks and they’d be gone in four days (no kidding!). We don’t know if we will be blessed with another baby down the road, but after nursing the past 4.5 years straight and carrying two babies I am more aware than ever of the challenges of multiple pregnancies. It sounds to me like you are doing a great job nourishing yourself!

  29. Christy Lifeisgreat via FB says:

    I have heard WONDERFUL reports on Ancient Minerals. :)

  30. Christy Lifeisgreat via FB says:

    I have waited 4 yrs between all 3

  31. Okay, he explains it even better in this one:, its way more complicated than just getting enough magnesium! I love the science behind the hormones, and what can keep them all regulated. Its also why just supplementing or drinking enough water doesn’t work :)

    • Krysti says:

      Thanks for sharing the link to the video! Makes sense, especially since I have hypothyroidism and morning sickness!

  32. I thought you were going to say ” by not being pregnant” lol

  33. lesleygoody says:

    Well…I wish this had been posted…oh, let’s say 30 weeks ago. LOL…pregnant with baby girl #5 my morning sickness wasn’t as bad as it was with my twins, but would much rather have done without it. Now you make me want to try one more time to see if it would work for me…lol…eventhough I keep saying I NEVER want to do this again. I am ready to have my body back :) and proceed with foster care and adoption options ;-)

  34. Cassie says:

    So I want to get pregnant in a ear or so. Can I build up magnesium? Or it doesn’t work like that?

  35. A. B. says:

    This is very interesting, but I don’t know if it all pans out. I have never had a day of morning sickness during my four pregnancies, but I DO have high cortisol and blood sugar issues (If I don’t eat protein first thing, I do feel nauseous. Also, I wonder how this ties into people being sickest with their first pregnancies (seems like they should be least sick since they have the best nutrient stores) and why are some sick with girls, but not with boys or vice versa? Still, I’m passing this along to all my morning sickness prone friends – magnesium oil can’t hurt!

  36. Thanks, Janelle Hoxie – I’ll take a look at it when I finally get to sit down tonight :)

  37. Thanks, Janelle Hoxie – I’ll take a look at it when I finally get to sit down tonight :)

  38. A. B. says:

    Also, I’m curious – do women in cultures that live by the ocean (like the Japanese) get morning sickness? I would think that being around all that sea water would prevent any magnesium deficiency.

  39. Sara Daniels via FB says:

    Did you take the gel or spray? None appear to be internal though, so I’m confused. Here’s the link:

  40. Renee says:

    Oh my GRACIOUS. I’m in just about in TEARS right now. I was terribly sick with both of my girls despite being a very “healthy” person. I was always SO ashamed of how awful I took to pregnancy and how I was forced to eat because of my vomitting. I am always a strict WAPF eater but when pregnant just couldn’t get much of the good stuff down. I had fantastic natural births, but I just always felt I wasn’t meant for pregnancy since I was always SO very sick. I’ve been learning in the last few months the importance of properly soaked grains in the diet and since I’ve always been a low carber I’m sure my mag levels were too low to support pregnancy. :( Because I was so ill I’m so ashamed of how my girls jaws turned out despite how beautiful they are. I know it is my fault from not eating well even though I so desperately wanted to. I have seen drastic improvements in my cycle and hormones since introducing more carbohydrates and mag into my diet in the last few months. We really want to have more children so I’m very hopeful to see how this might help. Thank you!

    • Heather says:

      Bless your heart, mama! I have so been there with blaming myself when my kids had a problem I knew I could have prevented . The truth is, though, most of us are working with a deck stacked against us (poor genetic momentum due to our parents processed diets, environmental exposure, etc), and we give ourselves far too little credit for the things we do right. Big hugs to you, and a huge standing ovation for the obvious care and concern you have put into nourishing your children!

  41. Kimberly says:

    I never had any morning sickness with any of my kiddos. My Mom didn’t either. I do have some symptoms of magnesium deficiency though, which we’re trying to supplement in a few ways. I read that morning sickness has more to do with the health of the liver. This is totally anecdotal, but a friend of mine had Hepatitis as a kid and was absolutely SICK all 9 months of all 3 of her pregnancies. Shonda Parker recommends milk thistle before betting pregnant to prevent morning sickness and support the liver.

    • Heather says:

      I agree that the liver plays a role in food aversions during pregnancy. More on that tomorrow!

    • Alicia says:

      I took milk thistle for 8 mo before my last pregnancy and had zero nausea, compared to daily nausea during the first trimester of my first pregnancy. Doing it again now before #3!

  42. Amanda says:

    My sis is pregnant and having morning sickness. I’m looking forward to the next post so I can forward both of these two her and hopefully she can find some relief.

  43. Sarah says:

    How much magnesium do you need to take a day to build up your stores? Is it possible to take too much magnesium? I just finished my 1st trimester & had been eating a WAPF diet, but I still had nausea (no fun!) :) I tried taking magnesium before I got pregnant, but I guess maybe I didn’t take enough??? Thanks for any feedback, I appreciate it :)

  44. Leyna says:

    Next post…next post…next post… Can’t wait to hear what you have to say, as I’m sitting here feeling pukey with the smells of bone broth and leeks simmering in the kitchen…

  45. Mercedes says:

    This is a great post! Thanks for sharing. I am so excited at the prospect of having a morning sickness free pregnancy. My 3rd baby is ONE TODAY! :) We are thinking about trying for another in about 6-7 months. I have had morning sickness to varying degrees with all three.

  46. Joy says:

    Interesting theories. As someone who has given birth to 5 children (all born at home), and suffered with SEVERE morning sickness with each pregnancy, I feel like I’ve tried it all. All of the commenters who have suffered with hyperemesis (as I did with my first 2), and severe all-day-and-night sickness (as I did with my other 3) seem to have a similar feeling…”I’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, so why would this?”

    Morning sickness is an enigma. No one seems to be able to find the real cause. I consulted with Shonda Parker before I conceived my 3rd baby, and I tried everything she suggested: a whole body and colon cleanse, milk thistle supplementation before conception and during the pregnancy, etc. While my friends who ate a junk food diet were sailing happily through their pregnancies without a single second of morning sickness, I was sick for at least the first 5 months of my pregnancies (and this despite eating a whole foods diet, bone broths, soaked grains, Kombucha, Beet Kvass, Kefir, very mineral-rich well-water, cod liver oil and butter oil, raw milk, etc.).

    My midwives have given me many ideas to try throughout the years, and none of them have worked. In the end, to stay alive, I had to take anti-nausea medications. I survived my last 4 pregnancies (barely) thanks to Unisom (without the B6–it made me sicker).

    Different things seem to work for different people. One of my midwives suggested that perhaps it is due to my very high estrogen levels. I also nurse my babies on-demand, sleep with them, don’t use pacifiers or bottles, wear them in a sling, and yet my periods always return within the first 4-6 months postpartum. It’s kind of frustrating. I wrote my story here if it would encourage anyone to read it:

    Having said all that, I am so thankful for the 5 beautiful children we have been blessed with! :) And I also feel it couldn’t hurt to at least try the ideas suggested here!

  47. Lisa says:

    I have read some research articles based on the link between ketosis and fetal growth and development. Morning sickness promotes ketosis, methinks. I don’t think morning sickness is as bad for the mother and the developing baby as made out.

  48. Kristi Niclas says:

    oh my goodness i LOVE your blog! Thankyou so much for such amazing info! :) I am reading something new off your site every night, its like my dessert or something! I am 11 months pregnant with our first. :) So far i feel good. A little more tired for sure and just slightly car
    sick-ish, some days not at all though. i follow Weston A Price and love my super foods and all that goodness, so i am hoping that i am in pretty good shape for my first pregnancy.
    my question is I just got my order of Ancient Minerals magnesium oil and flakes for the bath. Soooo, should i wait to use these till after i give birth? Will it just be wasted? i didn’t know that the elevated progesterone decreased the absorption of magnesium.
    Thanks so much !

  49. Stephanie says:

    This could help some people, but I do think that morning sickness and especially HG have more than one cause, or like someone else said, they would have figured it out by now. I have had 7 children and my last few pregnancies, when I had given up wheat and sugar (except for treats) and started adding the juice of one lemon to a few large glassfuls or water a day (to dilute it so it isn’t too hard on the teeth) I had very little nausea even. If I ate anything with white sugar or wheat though or skipped my lemon juice water for the day, it came back immediately and severely. For me, fresh lemon juice seems to help my magnesium levels too, so it could be related to that.

  50. leolabeth says:

    One magnesium-rich word: almonds. Learned about effects of mag depletion as a result of training for a triathlon. I buy raw almonds at the co-op and toast them in toaster oven. Yum.

  51. Cast Iron Kitchen says:

    Very interesting read. It makes sense in so many ways. I absolutely believe that a nutrient diet is a must, something I failed to do with my first 3 pregnancies. Those resulted in acne, nausea, aversions, leg cramps, and one ended with PUPP. I am happily pregnant with our 5 child, 4th pregnancy and I can tell you this is my best pregnancy every. At 10 weeks I have minimal energy loss, cooking almost every meal, homeschooling, taking care of the homestead and more. I do consume food based prenatals, D3 and daily —BioRay Liver Life. I have been taking it for some time and it has not only helped regulate my hormones (liver’s job), cleared all acne prior to pregnancy and have a rare little one now and again, and has helped me sweat properly. I did find out after my third pregnancy I have Gilbert’s Syndrome -which affects stage 2 of the liver and mainstream does nothing for it. My billirubin was at 1.9 and after 4 months on this product alone with the same diet I have had now for years it went to 1.5! .1 from the normal range. Milk Thistle, Artichoke and Dandelion Root previously consumed for years did nothing. I feel this has been the key for the few days I had a mild nausea and now none, not even food aversions. Yah to feeling good while pregnant! Great read – magnesium is huge in this journey even before.

  52. […] we talked about the REAL cause of morning sickness, and why it’s virtually impossible to correct this deficiency (if you have it) until after […]

  53. Deanna says:

    I’m so glad more and more articles like this are coming out. Please please please keep them coming! This confirms what I have belived for years. Pregnancy and labor is getting harder due to diet and environmental issues. It is black and white to me but I don’t have the studies to back it up, just good old observation. Diet can and does effect every aspect of our health and we need to take it seriously. It is far stronger than any drug that will ever be created. I am 4 months now and follow a Weston Price diet as much as I can, any suggestion for pregnancy congestion? Have you come across anything on that?
    Again thank you sooo much for this, I am a follower now!

    • Heather says:

      Wow, I’ve never heard of pregnancy related congestion before. Have you tried a neti pot?

      P.S. Congrats on you pregnancy!

      • Deanna says:

        Yes apparently it is supper common. I had no pregnancy symptoms with my first but now pregnant with number two I am hitting a few speed bumps. Pregnancy congestion is my biggest complaint so really I shouldn’t complain at ALL! It is annoying though to have a runny, stuffed up nose, nose bleeds and plugged ears all the time. I have tried the usual natural remedies but no relief. I have read it is due to hormones making the nasal passages swell and it only gets worse as the pregnancy progresses, so I wonder if a different approach is needed. I sent your morning sickness article to sooo many of my friends (thanks again) I hope it can help them with their future pregnancies and overall health.

        • Monica says:

          I have pregnancy congestion issues as well. The first pregnancy I bought into the hormone explanation, the second one I realized that it only happened when I did not eat enough fermented foods and ate too much sugar/carbs. Then I realized its a candida issue due to my immune function being lowered during pregnancy. I don’t seem to have a problem when I am not pregnant. So I take my fermented cod liver oil, eat a bubbies pickle everyday and watch my sugar intake and I’m fine! Hope that helps!

    • Lex says:

      I have been hearing TOO many stories about how almost every pregnant woman gets all the symptoms, especially morning sickness, but they never said anything about DOING something about eliminating those symptoms. It just seems that they “go along with them” and complain about it, you know? I wished they knew about this, especially the fact that they don’t know that their bodies are lacking something, instead of being told that pregnancy symptoms are “normal” and nto do anything about those symptoms.

  54. Sheila says:

    I can definitely testify to that. I didn’t try magnesium for morning sickness, but later in my pregnancy I started getting a lot of toning contractions. They were every 15-20 minutes, and some pretty uncomfortable. I’d had them last pregnancy so I didn’t think it was serious, but it was unpleasant. Then I read magnesium deficiency can cause excessive Braxton-Hicks contractions, so I started taking a supplement. The contractions decreased dramatically, and would come back on days when I hadn’t taken it! Magnesium also helped some other pregnancy symptoms, like constipation and insomnia, and it even seemed to help my sore back. I’ve heard it can reduce pain in labor (because it is needed to allow the muscles to relax) and it seems to have done that … I had a three-hour labor that wasn’t anywhere near as painful as my first.

    My midwife said it’s important to make sure you’re taking or consuming calcium along with your magnesium so those two minerals stay in balance.

    • Heather says:

      Great story, Sheila! Thank you for sharing. And I totally agree about increasing calcium alongside magnesium. Covering that in tomorrows post!

  55. Sja says:

    Very interesting post. I had HG during my pregnancy with my son. Only Zofran and Restavit kept me alive…I will definately try to build up my magnesium reserves, but I do wonder about the following. Both my mother and my grandmother grew up eating traditional East African diets in East Africa and both suffered from HG with their pregnancies. There appears to be a long line of HG sufferers in my family, going back generations. Fermented foods, raw milk, water from the nile, local agricultural products and plenty of sunlight were staples for them. My mother and grandmother never suffered shortages of food (i don’t know about previous generations) and generally ate the whole animal when it came to meat, some of it raw! Could they really have been magensium deficient? My grandmother didnt live near the ocean, but my mother did for one of her pregnancies…

  56. Sara. R. says:

    I had no MS for either of my pregnancies. A doula friend of mine is vegetarian and had HG so badly that she is choosing not to have any more children. It makes me sad that the bad conventional dietary advice is contributing th towards miserable pregnancies for many women.

  57. […] via April Robinson on […]

  58. Diana says:

    I can’t remember if I’ve already replied, so I’m going to reply again! Thank you so much for this article! It is awesome, as is the other one on morning sickness. I get HG with my pregnancies, so after reading this I am working like a maniac on building up my magnesium stores – kelp, Mg/Ca/Zinc tabs, liquid Ca/Mg, epsom salts, mineral drops, whatever. I’ll let you know how it goes next time! Here’s an interesting thing – with my first (and worst, because unmedicated) pregnancy, I had severe and constant Braxton-Hicks contractions, starting extremely early in the pregnancy (8 weeks) – and contractions are often caused or worsened by magnesium deficiency! There you have it! :)

  59. Bex says:

    Well written, interesting, informative and so helpful! Going to share this on our facebook page tomorrow. Beautiful work! -Bex

  60. kaley says:

    well i am a little to late reading this…as i am 7 weeks 3 days preg. but wow, so makes sense! i knew my body was missing something prior to being pregnant. when i would sweat, i would stink so bad..i have never needed to use deoderant before, and after my second child there was nothing i could do to mask it. and now im 24/7 nauseous!:( after my first pregnancy i developed postpartum depression and when i went to see my natural path, calcium magnesium was on the top of my list of things to get and add to my diet. anxiety and depression were gone so fast….not masked, GONE!

  61. […] on the other hand, mostly contain magnesium, a mineral which it thought to improve sleep quality, prevent morning sickness in many cases, and is often used to treat migraines and depression. Use whichever you happen to […]

  62. […] full of nourishing nutrients like lauric acid (from the coconut oil), magnesium (from the kale-great for morning sickness, preggo ladies!), high quality protein (from  the eggs and chicken), and much more! And it’s […]

  63. […] which would not be too lovely during a migraine.) *Magnesium oil is also a great way to combat morning sickness during […]

  64. lexi says:

    This is the most unscientific assessment I have ever seen. You provide no research-based evidence and no logical reasoning for your conclusion that it is caused by magnesium deficiency.

    Also, you say: “A hundred years ago, it was easy to get enough magnesium.” Um, a hundred years ago, one of the most common cures for hyperemesis was pregnancy termination! A hundred years before that, opium was a common treatment. My point is that morning sickness has been a part of pregnancy for millennia, even in the halcyon days when everyone had enough magnesium.

  65. […] was to head off any morning sickness that I may experience with my current pregnancy.  I had read research that magnesium deficiency was the real underlying cause of morning sickness.  With three small […]

  66. […] number of articles (Wellness Mama, Mommypotamus, Modern Alternative Mama) suggest that morning sickness may be (among other things) the consequence […]

  67. Kelly says:

    I had my 1st child 16 years ago. I had hyperemesis for 7.5 months. I’ve had nausea and vomiting with each child. I’m now 26 weeks pregnant w/my 5th and I’m 43. With each child there have been food and scent triggers for vomiting. I’ve been on a whole foods/Nourishing Traditions way of eating for 6 or 7 years now. I take raw food vitamins, supplement, super foods, bee pollen, get plenty of sun etc, but I still have nausea and vomiting, even w/this pregnancy. I can not allow myself to become hungry and there are certain foods I can’t smell….esp our grass fed beef! Blech! I can’t eat grapes or drink my home canned grape juice. There are a few others. Yes, my N & V gets better with each pregnancy, but it is never completely gone!

  68. Leah G says:

    Hi Heather, so I am not currently pregnant. I am almost 14 mo PP with my second child. I just got my second cycle yesterday. I am wondering if you can point me in the right direction? I started my cycle back at 12 month pp and the day before it started I had a rush of nausea. now again the same thing. I’ve even woken up with nausea at 2AM. my cycle was 50 days long but since its just starting back and I am still nursing a lot I figured it would be crazy. My concern is the nausea. My google voyage hasn’t turned much up. am I missing some nutrients? I have been taking at least 2 Tbsp of FCLO x 3 days of my cycle in addition to my normal 1 tsp. We eat a WAPF diet with lots of pastured eggs and raw milk etc. Any ideas? BTW I had horrible morning sickness with both pregnancies to the point of hospital fluids and medications.

  69. Tonia says:

    I wonder if anyone has researched increased gastric acid production as a cause of morning sickness. In nursing evidenced based practice has indicated that when the body its stressed the body increases gastric acid production. The body is stressed during pregnancy, so I wonder if research would find that to be true. In that case would a simple proton pump inhibitor or h2 receptor antagonist help defeat morning sickness?

  70. Aimee says:

    There may be something to the increased gastric acid thing but I do not think a proton pump inhibitor or h2 receptor is best. I tried taking the h2 receptor for the awful acid reflux that accompanied my vomiting and morning sickness. It did not help. And protein pump inhibitors are known for increasing the susceptibility to harmful infections, disrupting calcium levels, b vitamins, elevating liver enzymes and so forth, for those reasons I would not recommend a PPI for a pregnant woman.

  71. Laurel says:

    If a person already has a loose and runny stool is there any other way to determine wether that person has reached their maximum of magnesium? There must be another way.

  72. Andrea says:

    Regarding vitamin D and Magnesium absorption. I live in Alaska, therefore almost no vitamin D reaches us due to the angle of the sun AND it’s colder here so not going out in a bikini anytime soon. Do you recommend tanning beds or full spectrum lights as an alternative?

  73. Orielwen says:

    Lexi: Here’s a study comparing women with and without morning sickness that found that (amongst other things) magnesium intake is lower in women with morning sickness.
    Obviously this could be effect as easily as cause, but it’s a start. There are several studies suggesting that magnesium supplementation may have other beneficial effects, such as reducing the chance of pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, and newborn babies needing intensive care. Unfortunately they aren’t high quality (and neither are the couple of studies suggesting magnesium has no such effects), so more research obviously needs to be done.

  74. […] are also getting plenty of calcium either through diet or a supplement like coral calcium. {UPDATE: Heather at Mommypotomus has more info on the magnesium and I’m going to follow her advice next time […]

  75. Kierstan says:

    So I’m pretty dense with all this health stuff, and have been learning so much over the last few years. I had horrible all day sickness with my first baby and it felt like I was hungover for 3 straight months. My friend was seeing a homeopath before she got pregnant and he told her that morning sickness isn’t normal, and with his help, she never felt one day of it. So I started googling the magnesium deficiency and came across your amazing site, so thank you :) I was wondering if you might be able to help me figure out how much magnesium, B6 and B12 and sunlight I should be getting and for how long before I start trying for baby #2. What happens with the whole sunlight (vitamin D) issue during the winter (I live in Colorado complete with lots of snow :) Thanks!

  76. Joanne says:

    hmmm, I don’t know. I was trying to conceive for 18 months and during that time I took good quality magnesium citrate nightly, as well as a pre-conception multi-vitamin. So I would have thought my Mg stores were ok…better than most. I still suffered terrible sickness and vomiting (which then made it impossible for me to take my supplements).

    • karen says:

      I have to wonder too. I have always taken mag because my very first ob/gym recommended it for Pms and Pms migraines. Another recommended for IBS. I know when I am deficient. I can feel a difference in mag levels after a few days. I had children much later than most women. Took mag with both. Had horrible HG that I only had 2 children. I was sick of constant er visits and the only relief was zofran which was another horrible curse. I was taking even more mag to counteract zofran constipation. After the second child and trying accupuncture, chiro, b6, b12 shots, probitocs, wristbands and whatever else available the only thing that worked for me or anyone else was probiotics. Keep in mind being older I have had all sorts of blood test…never had liver issues before. I ate very healthy especially with my second..all soy nothing packaged only gained 18 pounds. Was even sicker with my second. And she has multiple food Allergies. Go figure. Anyway…I think its a disservice to claim one thing can help. My mom had 5 kids…2 are less than a year apart. If she were to have Ms it would be with the one she got pregnant 3 months after giving birth. Nope.

  77. Elizabeth says:

    This is really good to read. I’m currently on my second pregnancy but our first born and she’s due in April. The first pregnancy was already starting hard when it ended in miscarriage… now with this pregnancy, the morning sickness has been so bad, we really aren’t sure that I could go through another pregnancy once our baby gets here- bedridden, nauseated/getting sick 24/7 while caring for an infant, how can I care for her when I’m constantly hugging the toilet? :/ We want more kids naturally, so I’m hoping that tips like this will really help. If we can find a way to overcome the morning sickness for the next pregnancy, it’d be a lot easier to convince my husband.

  78. Megan says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have been incredibly sick during my pregnancy. I’m now about 26 weeks and it wasn’t until about two weeks ago, reading the explosion of blog posts about magnesium, that I figured out for myself that that’s why I’m still sick. The real aha moment was when I realized I was ‘craving’ chocolate. I wasn’t really ‘craving’ it like, I’m going to rip your arm off if you don’t share with me- crazy, but I’m just not a chocolate person and suddenly it’s one of my favorite foods. However, it was reading about the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, like craving chocolate, that helped me realize what my body needed. I made magnesium lotion and have been using it for about two weeks and while I’m still having some trouble it’s definitely getting better! Thank you again!

  79. […] a great addition to my bath ritual and are loaded with health benefits.  Supposedly can help with morning sickness in pregnancy too! Thinking about updating my bathroom with one of these soaking tubs from […]

  80. […] The first couple of weeks I experienced some nausea and fatigue. I remember thinking that it was going to take forever to get through the first trimester, but it didn’t. lol. There were a couple of times when I did puke, but I realized later that they were all connected to sugar which I ate the night before. Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea helped me feel better, along with applying Magnesium Oil on my belly and taking baths with Magnesium Flakes. Read more about the real cause of morning sickness, here. […]

  81. Marie says:

    First, I want to say, if you have hyperemesis, the forums at will help you enormously. Second, I have had a breakthrough with my fourth hyperemesis pregnancy. I am currently 11 weeks, which would normally just be going into the very worst phase for me. But everything changed two days ago (the day after I had to get IV fluids for dehydration!) when I saw a doula I know post on Facebook that she was making her own magnesium spray, and she linked to an article about magnesium and pregnancy. Before I get into the article and my results, I want to say, I’ve followed a WAPF style super healthy diet the last two years and the last two pregnancies have been somewhat easier. But still, it’s months of bedrest, at least two, because I am too sick to move, zofran and b6/combo and battling dehydration. We lost baby 3 because of dehydration, IMO.

    The article said that magnesium does not absorb all that well when taken orally, and is much more bioavailable when taken through your skin, PLUS you can’t overdose because your body self-regulates just like it does with Vit D from the sun. So that night, the day after I had to have an IV (which didn’t work out at all because I fainted a few minutes in and they had to pull it out), I took an epsom salt bath. I felt so good while in the bath, and I was able to drink a glass AND A HALF of water! This is a huge amount for me in one sitting, I’m lucky to drink that in 8 hours. I went to bed that night with no nausea or vomiting. The next day I took another bath, and set out to get the magnesium spray that is more pure and is a lot easier than taking a bath constantly. I started using the magnesium oil spray later that day and I have started being able to get dressed and even went to church today. I am going to a super bowl party tonight, I hope. As soon as I start feeling nauseus I spray, and then it goes away! I am shocked that I have not heard about this over at the forums, but I’m going to post it there now. Good luck HG gals.

    Here is blog posts about magnesium and the skins superior method of absorbing it.

  82. Annie says:

    Hey, great post! I have been making bone broths for some time now, but I came a across this article about lead contamination from the bones:
    Have you come across much info on this and/or know how true it is? Not sure what to think!

  83. Keri Hessel says:

    The magnesium spray totally worked for me. It got rid of my morning sickness, and it never came back during my pregnancy. My question is how long did it take for you to replenish your magnesium supply after you had your baby? I have a one month old now, and I was wondering if the hormonal levels in my body still prevent normal magnesium absorption, (because I am breastfeeding.) I know that pregnancy hormones interfere with absorption. Should I keep spraying, or switch to magnesium citrate pills, (I have both). What worked for you, (since you didn’t get sick during your second pregnancy). Thanks.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Kari, I’m so glad it worked for you! I don’t use many supplements, but the magnesium spray is something I plan to use long-term. Our food and water just doesn’t have as much as it used to so I personally think it’s beneficial on an ongoing basis.

  84. Stephanie Thornton ( says:

    I have been using the Magnesium oil spray for a little over 2 months now, and we are currently TTC. I had nausea the whole first trimester with the first, and I’m currently attending school full time, so I can’t afford to be sick at all this time around! I’m REALLY hoping that this Magnesium oil spray will help me to not become sick at all this time!

  85. […] doctors and midwives that seemed to support the idea (or at least promote it as not harmful) and this post from Mommypotamus that talked about her experience with Magnesium. (I always love finding other actual pregnant women […]

  86. Jennifer says:

    I have read that morning sickness is a sign of dehydration. I drank large amounts of water from the beginning of both of my pregnancies and never got morning sickness. Great book that shares this information Your Bodys Many Cries for Water by Md F. Batmanghelidj

  87. Kisha Majors says:

    Was Micah a girl or a boy?

  88. […] broth helps by both attacking causes of morning sickness-  magnesium deficiency, protein deficiency, imbalanced hormones, etc. as well as being soothing right away through the […]

  89. Wee Wee says:

    Hi thanks for the interesting article…

    Was just wondering if an overdose of magnesium could also cause nausea? I was supplementing with magnesium whilst nursing my #1 and now am pregnant with #2. I noticed that on the days when I take a supplement with magnesium in it, I actually end up with worse nausea than normal. I’m not taking tons of it, maybe about 400mg at max.

  90. I often would get nauseated when taking an oral magnesium supplement. Even if I am not pregnant or nursing. I find getting magnesium through the skin is much more effective for me.

  91. Andrea says:

    If it is caused by a deficiency, why does it go away for so many women after the first trimester? You still have pregnancy hormones and are likely still deficient.

  92. Firstly, to Andrea (comment above), because the hormones are not fluctuating as much for most women.

    To mommypotamus, I do agree that Magnesium can play a big part in morning sickness if mom is deficient. I personally believe that morning sickness can come from ANY kind of vitamin deficiency or hormone imbalance. If hormones were imbalanced before pregnancy, mom will have a difficult time during the first trimester and sometimes her whole pregnancy. Same with nutrition. If she is deficient, she can suffer during pregnancy. For some women it may be magnesium. For some, vitamin B.

    I personally found relief from morning sickness with natural progesterone cream. Through my own research, many women have low progesterone in early pregnancy (very low progesterone can cause miscarriage). After suffering from months of morning sickness with my first two pregnancies, I suffered only a week’s worth with my 2 subsequent pregnancies after using natural progesterone cream at the onset of morning sickness symptoms. Now, if you could find a link to progesterone and magnesium deficiency, I would be sold!

    • Andrea says:

      Vanessa, thank you for replying with your interpretation as to why the morning sickness would go away after the first trimester. =)

  93. Mellissa says:

    I wish I would have known this when I was pregnant with our children. I had HG and it got worse with each pregnancy. I had my tubes tied after my 3rd child as he landed me in the hospital so severely dehydrated I gained 7lbs in fluids the first day in the hospital. After I left the hospital I lost ALL of the weight and my Dr threatened to hospitalize me until I gained weight. I lost 15lbs with first child, 20lbs with 2nd and 30lbs with the 3rd child all before 8 weeks of pregnancy. I was on anti-nausea medications with all 3 pregnancies. My 3rd pregnancy I was on 4 different medications around the clock. If I ran out of medications I would have to run to the pharmacy otherwise I was getting so insanely sick again. This went on for ALL 3 pregnancies taking medications all 9 months. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

  94. Jane says:

    WOW! This post gives me SO much hope for the future! What a relief to think that there’s even a chance that I might not have to go through another debilitating pregnancy! I also had severe HG for my entire pregnancy (from week 6 to the delivery room) , had to go on IV therapy and almost had to get a PICC line put in because it would take 45 minutes to an hour to get a vein each time due the dehydration. And I had to do this 3 times a week. Finally at 5 months, we discovered that Zofran worked for me, but if not taken every 4-6 hours, vomiting would ensue. We will be trying for baby #2 this summer, and I will do or try just about anything to make sure this pregnancy isn’t as miserable as the first!
    I was on a progesterone treatment during my first trimester, so for my case, I don’t think that’s what was missing. However, I will definitely be buying or making the magnesium spray!!!!

    • I interact with hundreds of moms in my parent/child music classes and this is a hot topic! Thanks so much for this excellent post!

    • Genni says:

      Well you must know by now that it doesn’t work with hg! I’ve been supplementing in topical magnesium for a year now, taking bone broth daily, having enough D vitamine (I live in Australia) and eating very well for the last 10 years… I knew I was a hg mumma (had it for 2 previous pregnancy that I miscarried) and here I am, 13 weeks pregnant with massive hg. I have been hospitalised and bed ridden since week 6, no meds are working, cannot keep anything down. We cannot compare morning sickness and hg, they are very different things!

  95. […] processed foods out of my diet. I'm also working on beefing up my Vitamin A and Magesium stores.…ning-sickness/ I actually have a whole pinterest page dedicated to preconception. It's important stuff, yup. :: […]

  96. Lin says:

    Interesting theory. I was not sick at all with my 10lb heffer of a son, but almost the entire 9 months with my daughter. I”ve heard of other mom’s having similar problems with the girl fetus but honestly..cant remember that far back to know what vitamins I took or not. Just thankful for the past 15years of joy from them both.

  97. AImee says:

    Mine was opposite, very mild pregnancy symptoms with my daughter, very severe with my son.
    So I don’t think its just a girl fetus that is the issue, although Im sure there is some type of hormonal link.

  98. Tami says:

    I had HG with my first child, I had been on zofran but it just didn’t stop the throwing up enough so I had to go to he ER to by hydrated. With my second child they doubled the dose of zofran and I think I was eating healthier at that point; so I didn’t have HG again but I did throw up. With my third child I didn’t have to take the zofran at all, I had been taking “calm” magnesium for about a year before I got pregnant and didn’t realize till later that it may reduce morning sickness. I was nauseous but never threw up. So I do feel that my body was lacking magnesium because of the drastic difference.

  99. Steff says:

    Okay, I’m a little disappointed. First a bit of background: I am not pregnant, nor do I wish to ever be for the following reason; I am allergic to oestrogen- this is the cause of my morning sickness btw. I know this because I used to use the pill and I constantly had morning sickness. I am crazily allergic to oestrogen, though some women aren’t at all… sucks for me. My mum said she had really bad morning sickness when she was pregnant and I know that I never want to go through that. After reading this I was like, I’ll try it. First I went to get my Mg levels checked, I was not deficient, in fact I have high levels of Mg apparently. So I guess I’m just going to adopt, seems like a better option than being sick for 9 months and bringing a child into this over populated world when there are plenty in need of love and support already. I am disappointed that this article failed to address other reasons for morning sickness.

  100. Amy says:

    I went to your resource link to find the brand you recommend for Magnesium Oil and can’t find it. Did I miss something? Thanks!

  101. anonymous says:

    I realize this is an older post, and people may not see this.

    But I wanted to make a note that the state of one’s *liver* is of much importance with regard to anything that causes nausea, including morning sickness.

    There is usually, almost always, more than one cause for anything. Take a love-based, Holistic approach to wellness.

    – Best Regards

  102. Grace says:

    It was gluten intolerance that caused my morning sickness. I didn’t have any morning sickness with my 4th child, and I went gluten-free before pregnancy.

  103. Rebecca says:

    Before I was pregnant, I started using a lot of whole food, raw, organic vitamins, eating lots of raw nuts, eggs, free-range chicken, veggie-based protein, etc…and had almost no nausea at all when I got pregnant 2 months later. 2 of my friends, who did NOT follow a regimine anywhere close to that, had extreme morning sickness for months. And even took medication for it! All three of us are having boys! So it isn’t necessarily a gender thing. One of my friends was fine with her first child, and it now very sick with her second. I think mom’s need to enrich their diets a LOT more than they realize and this Mg thing may be largely to blame. Perhaps with child #1, you were fine…but you depleted your stores and now with baby #2 you’re sick. It is so important to stay as healthy and strong as you can. Obviously, there’s a lot of variables like allergies, income to afford certain foods, etc. But in general, I think women just need to focus a bit more on their nutrition and it shouldn’t be as bad as they think.

  104. Jaime says:

    I never had morning sickness during any of my 4 pregnancies, but did suffer from a variety of other pregnancy discomforts. Each pregnancy had a personality of its own, even though they were all boys. A friend of mine suffered horribly with morning sickness during each of her pregnancies, to the point that she weighed less when giving birth than she did before she became pregnant and began gaining weight immediately after giving birth. During her 3rd pregnancy, she found something that made a world of difference for her – milk thistle. Here’s her post about it:

  105. Patti says:

    I had HG with all five of mine. I do have to say that I did try to take loads of mag before my pregnancy but it did not help. I was on 2 anti nausea medication just to keep fluids down. I wish something this simple would have helped.

  106. […] The REAL Cause of Morning Sickness (magnesium deficiency), Mommypotamus […]

  107. […] taking a magnesium supplement before and during pregnancy would have helped with liver function and reduced the chance of morning sickness. I wish I had known that a magnesium supplement would also have reduced my chances of having […]

  108. Tracey says:

    After reading this post I ordered the magnesium oil thru your link to The oil is torture for me, I don’t know why but my skin gets extremely itchy for the twenty minutes your supposed to leave it on. And one day I got bloches all over my stomach area. I always have to jump back in the shower and rinse it off. Do you recommend a trusted oral magnesium supplement instead?

  109. […] In no way do I wish to come across as rude, especially to those who have suffered from morning sickness, but I don’t want to have to say “wasn’t I lucky” any longer – I feel like I tried really hard to make my body for pregnancy, I spent many nights spraying on magnesium oil or drinking vile cups of fizzing magnesium in an attempt to ward off morning sickness (magnesium deficiency has been linked to morning sickness). […]

  110. Vonnie says:

    A lot of us certainly agree on the “wish I knew now what I didn’t know then” idea. With my first child, nothing helped other than prescription meds, which I hated taking, but I couldn’t keep getting dehydrated either. With my second one, I craved Pop Tarts terribly! Eww, right? If I ate a Pop Tart, it would relieve the morning sickness for a few hours. The problem was that in my first few weeks, I was overseas in a country where they weren’t available. I tried all kinds of foods to substitute, but nothing worked. Fruit? No. Sweetened pastries in general? Nope. When I returned to the U.S., I ate one every morning for about six weeks (though after that, even that didn’t work and I ended up in the hospital). I checked to see if Pop Tarts contain a lot of magnesium, but that isn’t it either. To this day, I still wonder what it was that my body needed that it thought it could get from Pop Tarts! I’m not proud that I ate so many of those when I was pregnant, but sometime you gotta do what you gotta do!

  111. Julie says:

    I am so thankful for this post! I’ve always had “all day sickness” to some degree with all 9 of my pregnancies. I read this post a few months back, made my own oil, and am now morning sickness free with baby number 10! It seems almost too good to be true. It’s like I’m not even pregnant. Thanks so much!

  112. anonymous says:

    It is a disservice to say any ONE THING is THE cause.

    I think this author, and many bloggers, are trying to do well. And perhaps they are able to help some people some times.

    I think this blogger was having trying keeping her Calcium and Magnesium in the right proportion likely due to her Oxidation Rate, like most people.

    PLEASE read some of Dr. L Wilson’s articles regarding Morning Sickness and Nausea. He is an MD, A nutritional specialist, a Nutritional Balancing scientist, and has collaborated with many other pioneering nutritional researchers. Here are just a few of his articles. I think his information is the most sound, and truly individualised and helpful, I have come across.

  113. DeDEE says:

    You do realize that magnesium overdose is a very real thing. And will happen long before “loose bowels”. Frequent urination, nausea, sleepiness, lethargic, fatigue, (sounds a lot like pregnancy symptoms too) breathing difficulties, low blood pressure, abnormal cardiac rhythms (that could be mistaken for low iron) . While you mention foods, it is very easy to overdose on supplements. And I am not sure I understand this ‘magnesium stores’ thing – if you don’t eat enough, it shows up, that is why people are deficient. Now we suddenly can “store” is in reserves buy eating enough during a certain period. There is a special magnesium deficiency during pregnancy? That should work with iron too? They are both minerals. We can up our iron stores and then no one would get anemia during pregnancy.

    As for 100 years ago there was no morning sickness? Queen Victoria had morning sickness (well documented, that is why I used her as an example). So much they prescribe cannibas for her pregnancies (she was Queen from 1837) My grandmother who lived on a farm had morning sickness with all 8 her kids. She also had all 8 of her kids at her home. If anyone knew of a simple remedy for morning sickness, I think it would have been passed down through her midwives.

    Again this is another thing that puts the onus on the mother – you have morning sickness, well, YOU did something wrong. Next time do it right. Same thing with needing c-sections, your child having food allergies, autism, ADHD. That is all the mother’s fault, from what she ate, to what she gave her child, to using certain drugs during birth, having a c-section SHE could have prevented if she knew what she was doing. (oh WAIT YOU DO cover ALL this, on a PAID site….wow) If magnesium helped people, then midwives would be promoting it. In my years knowing doulas, midwives, LLL leaders, no one has ever mentioned this.

    I assume you are trying to help people, but because something worked for you, does not a theory make. I notice that the link to this ‘article’ that your friend backs up this magnesium theory is a paid site? And you are a paid affiliate for Radiant Life? Like the other poster said – saying ONE thing is the cause is a disservice and preventing people from getting the correct help they need. Cover other reasons for morning sickness, with information on how to help, from mild to severe HG. I feel bad for those people who take magnesium and it doesn’t work – do you then say “well you didn’t take the right kind?” or “you didn’t take enough?”

  114. Christy says:

    I could not find the magnesium supplement on your resources page. Looked for quite a while ???

  115. Arwen Fowler-Jonsson says:

    I had hyeremisis with all 4 pregnanices. My last 2 I had to take magnesium –for the RLS–and it helped with that but nothing helped with the throwing up. I threw up from about 4 weeks all the way up to the c-section. I recently lost a baby at 12 and a half weeks and I am separated and 38 so I believe my days of having babies are over even though I would love more. Just in case I will start upping my magnesium now in case it helps. My 5th pregnancy where I lost the baby was unplanned and I never got sick once and I knew something was wrong even after seeing the baby growing and the heartbeat twice. I just knew my body was acting differently and unfortunately I was right.

  116. Sara says:

    I discovered this post right after finding out I was pregnant. Morning sickness started to rear its ugly head last week and I immediately ordered some Magnesium Oil. It came in on Friday afternoon, and I immediately started using it. Saturday I had my most miserable morning yet, but since then I haven’t had the least bit of nausea. I’m hoping that the lack of magnesium is what was causing it and that I can keep it under control now! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

  117. Leah says:

    Hi there,

    I am really interested in this article as with my first and only (so far) baby, I had morning sickness for multiple weeks to the point where I couldn’t do hardly anything. At that time, I was told to supplement with Vitamin B6, which I did every morning first thing, and it did seem to help a little bit. Although I plan to start including the foods rich in magnesium, Vitamin B6 and B12 more into my diet, I was wondering if it would ALSO be beneficial to use magnesium oil. I tried clicking on your resource link above to see what trusted brands you recommend, and it took me to the Village Marketplace. Does that mean all the brands on that site can be trusted? Also, are there other ways to get more magnesium such as through bath salts or certain essential oils? I’d be interested in reading more about this. I just received “Beautiful Babies” from a friend, and I am so excited to start this new journey towards good health and happiness for myself and my family. PS: I really enjoy your blog. I’m thankful for people like you who I believe truly want to help people:)

  118. Aliky says:

    I loved reading this article. I never experienced morning sickness fortunately. I was already taking Blue Ocean Minerals for years prior to falling pregnant and informed/safe superherbs/foods, but the main thing I craved during the first trimester was actually increasing my minerals, so I went with my body’s signals and presto, never ever once experienced morning sickness, or other symptoms for that matter. I was on the other hand coping with a husband who turned into someone I didn’t know after he learned I was pregnant and the minerals also helped me with my mental, nervous system and cellular nourishment at such deep levels. I am still a single mother and moved on reasonable well. I love these Minerals …. Such vibrant minerals from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. My son who is 2 also loves them and has enjoyed them for his entire existence + they are super hydrating during breast feeding and those sleepness nights …. More info here

  119. If magnesium is the issue, I just don’t understand because not only was I eating the mentioned foods more before this third pregnancy (I was maybe nauseous a few times with the first few) but I was eating loads of magnesium-rich dark (made with stevia, unsweetened chocolate, coconut oil) chocolate for several months before pregnancy. I also occasionally supplemented with magnesium to keep “regular”. This was my first pregnancy in which I experienced almost non-stop nausea ( no vomiting). I can’t figure! Perhaps it’s an absorption issue?

  120. I’m so glad to see magnesium getting more attention! I spent most of my childhood with random muscle pain and spasms that kept me from playing with the other kids, fatigue, and and just feeling “off” most of the time. My mom thought I was being a hypochondriac until I was a teenager and all my symptoms got worse to the point where I could barely get out of bed. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a severe chronic magnesium deficiency. It turns out that the medications I’d been on most of my life for my severe asthma had seriously depleted the magnesium in my body. Shortly after I started taking a high dosage magnesium supplement, I started to improve. Now I very rarely have any of the symptoms. You don’t realize just how bad you feel until you finally feel good!

  121. Emma says:

    this got me thinking…Im 8 weeks pregnant and am actually feeling pretty good. I have mild nausea in the morning when I wake up which goes away as soon as I eat (I found the trick is to never get hungry) But I didn’t understand why so many women were suffering when I didn’t vomit once.
    So I was suspecting it could be because of the supplements I had been taking prior to becoming pregnant, in order to get pregnant. I was supplementing alot on b6 and b12 and had daily green smoothies.

    I also have a thought about hormone level tolerance. before TTC, I didn’t suffer from hormonal mood swings or fatigue caused by progesterone. When I started my supps and vitamins, my post ovulation phase would wear me out and would even get me sick at times. So I’m wondering if this was because my body was finally producing enough progesterone. And now pregnant, my body is used to all these hormones and is not causing much reaction.

  122. mary says:

    These suggestions definitely didn’t help me! severe HG for 6+ months, and I had lots of magnesium, bone broths, b-vits, etc.

  123. Sweta Sonulkar says:

    This helped me a lot and got to know so many things and tricks to prevent morning sickness ,but well magensium can be got through eating Banana a day which helped me a lot through my first pregnancy.

  124. Anne says:

    Ohhhh I am so glad that this is public information now, and yet it isn’t public enough. Magnesium/calcium supplements are the way to go- I am now in my 2nd trimester with my 3rd child, and I’m 31. Dear Lord, this pregnancy was awful! Every smell drove me insane, and I never actually vomited though I desperately felt like doing it. I could eat very few foods, despite already cutting out caffeine, dairy, gluten, beef, artificial flavors & colors, cane sugar, nightshades, etc. I couldn’t eat poultry or eggs, which gave me horrific gas, further limiting me, and the texture of leafy greens made me nauseous too. My mood swings were ridiculous and I was constantly starving. It wasn’t until my little sister said one day, “you may a magnesium deficiency” that I realized it may not be this baby causing all the upset. I had decided this time to not take prenatal vitamins, but instead use a healthy diet and real food supplements (healthforce’s vitamineral green & real vitamin C powder, with the addition of Flavay Plus -for vitamin B and DHA) instead of the ascorbic acid and mostly artificial vitamins in prenatal pills…. And as soon as I began taking 2 of the KAL calcium citrate + magnesium vitamins, holy crap I have no problems at all! I’m still tired, of course, that is a given, but no nausea, no overly active nose, no mood swings, and even the gas has subsided on foods I need to eat and haven’t been able to. I’m taking 800mg of Magnesium every morning with my other vitamins, and it is a 180° difference. I recommend getting much more of many of these prenatal vitamin requirements. Vitamin C should be 1000 mg or more per day, not 300 or whatever the “recommended” amount is. And speaking with my doctor didn’t help me a lick – she had no idea how to help my nausea, she offered me artificial drugs. Uhhhh no thanks. I ended up going to an acupuncturist specializing in pregnancy because my OB knew nothing about healthy alternatives. Even after acupuncture, I didn’t notice any difference in how I felt until that 800mg of magnesium was my morning buddy. I will recommend it highly to everyone. Magnesium IS a miracle!

  125. Sheila says:

    Heather-I had a hard time finding the magnesium oil on the link listed. Would you mind sharing the brand?

  126. Lisa Marie says:

    My crunchy mama friend Chris (strict garden-of-Eden-Vegan) had morning sick so bad it literally almost killed her and her babe. She did tons of research and tried loads of natural alternatives – what ended up saving both of them was
    DIATOMACEOUS EARTH : : a light friable siliceous material derived chiefly from diatom remains and used especially as a filter

  127. Amy says:

    I LOVE reading your blog!!! I could sit here for hours! So thank you for all of the information you put out for us:-) I have never had a baby before, but hubby and me are thinking about trying for one in about a year so I am going through Kristen’s e-course right now to prepare. I just have a question, I have gluten intolerance and some other stuff that makes me think I am already deficient in magnesium, so I have a magnesium spray and just wondering how I can know if it contains mercury? We don’t have much money right now so it wasn’t anything expensive, but the bottles ingredients just say 100% pure magnesium chloride brine from the ancient Zechsien seabed in the Netherlands and nothing else. So hoping it doesn’t!!! Thanks again!!

  128. JRM says:

    hmmm…I am currently 9.5 weeks preggo and I have had horrible morning sickness however I am gluten free exclusively and was Paleo for 3 years before adding some gluten free grains in to flex my diet and have supplemented with magnesium for 3 years prior to getting pregnant as well as take it now and unless I were to develop HG were I to go off it I am not sure that seems like the only cause. A factor sure, but not the complete solution other wise I would be flying high instead of feeling like crude. However I do agree magnesium is such an essential nutrient for so many functions!

  129. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this article, can someone please tell me how much to supplement with? Like, is it a certain number of squirts from the bottle, on a certain area of the body? I’ve never used this kind of supplementation before, so I’m clueless! Also, any recommendations for good brands at a fair price? And finally, I read on the Ancient Minerals web site that creating your own spray at home using the flakes is subpar to their mineral oil, & that you should just buy their mineral oil instead. Is this true, or are they just trying to get you to buy their product? Here’s the link I’m referencing:

  130. […] have also heard that taking up MAGNESIUM before you get pregnant makes a huge difference for morning […]

  131. Tamara says:

    I tried this. I had 4 full months to eat healthfully and supplement with Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil. I knew it was helping because all of my PMS symptoms went away except for sore breasts. I am now 8 weeks pregnant and as sick as a dog. I have just as bad morning sickness as my previous 3 pregnancies. I am sad it didn’t work for me. I was really hoping to find something that would help.

  132. Kristin Schilling says:

    Nope, morning sickness is NOT caused by magnesium deficiency. I built my stores up 4 months before getting pregnant, hoping that I wouldn’t have the nausea that I had with my first 2. But, no luck!! Morning sickness is caused by multiple things, hormones playing the largest role. Everyone’s body is chemically different, so what works for one person is not going to work for everyone, and some of us just have very overactive hormones that will always cause morning sickness no matter what. And even every pregnancy can be different, so you may not always be sick. Just do your absolute best to eat a whole foods diet and not have any deficiencies to start out with and you and your baby will be the healthiest you can be!

    • mary says:

      Me too! I did everything right and still had severe morning sickness/HG. :(

      • Kristin says:

        I’m prego with baby #3 and all 3 have been different. With my first, a boy, I threw up for 7 months straight. I was never to the point of needing IV’s or anything because I could always eat at times throughout the day and have it be in my system long enough to absorb the nutrition. My second, I was nauseous a lot, but only threw up once or twice. And now with the third, was nauseous and throwing up for 2 months, but after hitting the 2nd trimester am feeling pretty good! I have always been a whole foods healthy eater, only changing or adding small things as new info became available, and lead a pretty healthy lifestyle. After training in becoming a Doula and some Midwifery training, I’ve really been shown that every pregnancy is different for every woman. Our bodies are always going through changes and we are always being exposed to different environmental changes, so it’s difficult to truly pinpoint a lot of things. A lot of doctors, and even some midwives, will rely on history of preg and labor as to how they will proceed with the present pregnancy, which can totally get them in trouble if they rely to heavily on it. A woman might’ve been slow with a first birth, but then had a fast and steady birth with the next, all the while the professionals are scratching their heads saying “well, she went slow on the first, so I just assumed this one would be the same.” But, they never take into consideration her fear and anxiety with the first birth, slowing it down, and now with the second she is ready for the birth and KNOWS she can do it! Birth is truly one of life’s greatest gifts! Ok, I’lll stop rambling now. :-)

    • Marisa says:

      I built up my stores for at least two years before getting pregnant, and had an absolutely awful time with morning sickness. I believe magnesium is important, but everybody is different, and there is definitely more to the situation than just magnesium deficiency.

  133. […] reading about morning sickness on Mommypotamus’ blog, I was convinced that I had magnesium deficiency, especially since my morning sickness has gotten […]

  134. Amberlee says:

    Hey I was just wondering when you found out you were pregnant did it show up on a HPT? I heard of taking magnesium before getting preg would help so I started about a year ago, and then fell off the band wagon for like 4 months. I then talked to my Dr. and got a magnesium shot this last month, and then for this month I was going to start back into my old routine of magnesium supplements and fish oil. Long story short last month (the month I got the shot) is the month I missed my period which has NEVER happened (I’m on a 28 day cycle, very regular). I have only been late once in my whole life like 10 years ago.
    Me and my husband have been trying for 9 months to get preg. So anyways I have not felt morning sickness at all, but my breasts were tender for like a week, and I feel stretching pain in my abs and lower stomach periodically throughout the day. It’s nothing too painful. All my HPTs have been negative? So what I’m asking is did your HPT show positive right away when you took magnesium?

  135. Sabrina says:

    This is the post I chose to share for the cast iron giveaway.

  136. Savanna says:

    I just saw your having a baby right now! Congrats!
    I just had a baby girl. She is five months today. I am getting MAD baby fever…but the sickness is what is stopping me. I couldn’t get out of bed for about 4 months. I could hardly move without throwing up. I couldn’t eat anything. I was dehydrated. Went to the hospital. Etc. I was still throwing up the last day of my pregnancy! Although not as bad. I am more terrified of the sickness being like it was than labor (I had a pretty hard labor as well..especially without any medications lol.) which I think really says how severe it was. But I want MORE BABIES and so does my hubby. :( I think right now since I’m so young I’m in my prime and can handle having lots of babies so close in could change when I get older. I just want to know how well the magnesium seemed to work?? I take fermented cod liver oil and desiccated cow sounds like I’m missing the magnesium though..I’m really hoping if I take all three of those with a really healthy diet it might help with the sickness.

    :( Idk, I’m just really scared..any tips?! gah!!!

  137. […] reading about morning sickness on Mommypotamus’ blog, I was convinced that I had magnesium deficiency, especially since my morning sickness has gotten […]

  138. […] Vegan Cal-Mag Plus | I recently read an article on magnesium. It’s EXTREMELY difficult to absorb while pregnant, but research points to a lack of magnesium […]

  139. Sonja says:

    I wish this was something I would have known. I had 4 children was sick, sick ALL nine months with ALL 4 pregnancies, I lived in the bathroom or the clinic with IVs. My blood tests right now show that I am low in vitamin D and magnesium even after 1 year of supplements…… I wish I knew how to fix this!

  140. Fiona Hamm says:

    Love this article. useful information! I’m pinning this!

  141. Erica says:

    WOW, what a lot of info! For anybody who claims magnesium won’t help or didn’t help them, take into consideration the TYPE, form, & brand all matter and vary GREATLY!! If you take a non-bioavailable form, it will not help you… some can even harm you or make things worse. And, since we are all so unique, it is def possible that magnesium deficiency may not be the cause for all MS, but it certainly can be the culprit for many since so many are depleted.

    Some people mention fluoride & I can agree that it is not good at all, but I have had severe hyperemesis even with private well water. & no fluoride in anything else. I am now working on building up my magnesium in case we ever are blessed again. Hang in there to anybody w/MS & HG!!

  142. Sara G says:

    Hi Heather,
    How did you know how much of the magnesium oil to spray on youself daily? I have that spray and use it daily however in prepatation for baby # 2 I am unsure how much I should be spraying to get the needed amount. Any pointers?

  143. Angela M. says:

    The magnesium oil you use and recommend, is it consumed or just absorbed through the skin? I was reading it on amazon and it seems to only be put on not swallowed. Dumb question I know but just wanted to be sure. I’m wanting to get pregnant within a few months and wanted to get a head start on my magnesium intake like you say, to prevent morning sickness. Any other suggestions would be appreciated as well.

  144. AnRene` says:

    this is super interesting. I had morning sickness the typical times…right when I woke up or hadn’t eaten in a while. I craved orange juice all the time with calcium (magnesium too maybe to help it absorb…is that even possible?) I thought it had two things added to the juice…but I would puke after drinking it. Always. I didn’t think my body could handle the acid, but now I’m thinking after reading this that I couldn’t absorb it while pregnant and it was winter, so there was minimal sun vitamin D to help. My first pregnancy was also very stressful, my freshman year of college, newly married… I think there is a lot of truth to the stress hormones not being regulated as well. I can’t remember ever being more stressed than those first few months of school and pregnancy.

  145. anacarina munoz says:

    Well this is very interesting and helpful, the only bad thing is i should have read this 4 months ago lol. I am now pregnant with my first child and am desperate to find a solution to my morning sickness problem. Its not so bad, but I hate feeling nauseated and I hate vomiting. This will be helpful on my second baby in another 6 years hopefully.

  146. Lindsay says:

    I use Life-Flo Magnesium oil. I found one source that said it is free of mercury. Wondering if you have heard that this is a good brand. I can always call the company as well but thought in all your research you might have already figured out is this a good go to brand. Thanks!

  147. […] so I knew that wasn’t it. A quick search in my favorite crunchy granola mom blogs and I saw m/s can be caused by a magnesium deficiency. That totally rang a bell and I quickly purchased a top notch bottle of magnesium oil. I applied […]

  148. Ashley says:

    Okay, I did some research after reading a few articles like this one. All the things I have craved this pregnancy are high in magnesium. I had morning sickness up until week 20. Once I could start getting these foods in me it went away. Who would have known? I wish I had when I started this pregnancy! I’m happy to know that my body can still tell me what it properly needs. Haha. Thank you for the information!

  149. ellen says:

    I know in this article you said to use the magnesium spray before you are pregnant, but is it safe to use while pregnant? I’m having terrible morning sickness right now and would try anything to make it better!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Ellen, I am not a doctor and cannot recommend supplements for anyone, but I will say that after researching magnesium I personally felt completely comfortable using it while pregnant. I have used it with three pregnancies :)

  150. […] seems to be a strong argument for magnesium deficiency as the culprit that causes morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum. It’s likely that with three pregnancies in a little over 4 years, […]

  151. Bri says:

    So can I take mag while pregnant or will it not get absorbed?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Bri, I personally chose to take magnesium while pregnant. While I cannot say what anyone else should do, I felt it was beneficial because even though my absorption would be lower than usual I would still get some. Hope that helps!

  152. Shana says:

    How do you recommend taking the Mag oil? Internal? Is it specified on the label? I have saved an article on making the spray, wasn’t sure if that would be sufficient for someone TTC. Thanks much. Love your blog!

    • Heather says:

      Yes, there are directions on the label. It is to be used externally. Making your own is a great idea, but it is not as concentrated as store bought so you may find that you need to use more to get the same effect.

      • Erica says:

        I had no idea it isn’t as concentrated… why not (I mean that in an inquisitive way, not a challenging way ;))?? How can we figure out just how concentrated it is to get the proper dosing?? I don’t want to mess with anything I am not sure of while pregnant.

  153. Gina says:

    Oh my gosh, Mommypotamus, you changed my life. I’m out of bed 4 hours earlier than everyday this week because I am so much more alive! I forced myself to eat protein and all that jazz and it is working miracles already. I ordered the magnesium and having it rushed. Oh thank GOD there is actual help out there….

    thank you!

  154. Lindsay says:

    So once you are pregnant is it useless to keep using the oil? You said magnesium can’t be absorbed once you are pregnant but does any little amount get absorbed to make it beneficial to keep using it?

    • Heather says:

      It is my understanding that absorption is reduced, but still possible. I supplemented with magnesium through all three of my pregnancies and felt it was beneficial.

  155. […] my own need for magnesium till I became pregnant with my third and happened to stumble upon an article about morning sickness and how it can be caused by a magnesium deficiency! I immediately started taking epsom salt baths […]

  156. […] away while I’m outside in the sun!) 4. Get plenty of Magnesium (found a great post on that here) The following are some of the suggestions from my […]

  157. […] I read something that has changed my view of what causes morning sickness forever.  Check out this post by Mommypotamus!  Apparently the cause of morning is a lack of magnesium.  Now, I have used magnesium to […]

  158. Katrina says:

    That’s a nice idea for when you are trying to conceive but what about those of us who just happened to get pregnant? I’m so nauseous i want to die can’t eat or sleep feel as if I’m spinning. I started drinking alkaline water, it has magnesium in it too. But are you saying this won’t help because I’m already pregnant? Not everyone PLANS you know!

    • Erica says:

      Wow, sorry you feel so awful… I have been through it too for many pregnancies the entire 9 months… & my babies were planned (one wasn’t exactly planned, but being adults we sure knew what could happen so I can’t say baby was unplanned either; I’ve also battled infertility for 19 years so it was still a shock even being fully aware of what COULD happen when we were told it simply would NOT happen on our own). I believe for some women that our bodies react (or maybe overreact?!) to certain hormonal changes much more violently & drastically than others do.

      I do believe nutrition can & does affect it, but I also know I am far more healthy now than w/my 1st pregnancy 14 years ago & the hyperemesis is just as awful, & even worse in some regards. This time I also have experienced dizziness/spinning, which is new for me, yet I have eaten the best in my life prior to this pregnancy. My last pregnancy I had horrendous reflux in the middle of the night I would wake up gasping for breath because of it, so I had to sleep sitting up, & even then it was still terrifying.

      I was using magnesium prior to my current pregnancy, though I haven’t had enough time to really build up reserves. I did use some homeopathic remedy to help heal my adrenals & I have NEVER had so much energy during pregnancy as I have now. It used to be painful to get out of bed, but now I bounce out of bed like my usual self (puke bucket in tow.. which I sleep next to ;)).

      Recently I forgot to use magnesium oil for a few weeks & my hyperemesis seemed to go from a 10 (being the worst) to an 8. While that is far from great, I will take what I can get. The past couple of days I have been sicker than ever, & you know what?! I have been using the magnesium oil again, which I have now stopped again. Perhaps it is coincidence but I am going to take a break & see if it settles back down a tad again before I use it again.

      I know for some women the magnesium & mag oil work wonders, but for some of us, it doesn’t & may even have the reverse affect?! I don’t know for sure, but I am not about to endure 9 months of non-stop hyperemesis if I don’t have to.

      You won’t absorb as much magnesium while pregnant, but you will still absorb some. I sure hope you have found some relief!! Hang in there, it will get better… I think my dizziness eased up around week 12 when I could drink more water & raspberry leaf tea (not the fake fruity flavored stuff most places sell… that stuff totally makes me even more nauseous). Whether a baby is planned or not, hyperemesis is NEVER easy!

  159. Marisa says:

    First off, I love your blog and all your info! I recommend to anyone who will listen :) I have a question, though: I knew about this post well before getting pregnant, and of the benefits of having enough magnesium for health in general. I had been faithfully supplementing internally with liquid ionic magnesium daily, as well as using the Ancient Minerals magnesium spray on my skin daily for at least two years before getting pregnant. I assumed that because of that, I’d have a fairly easy time with morning sickness. Well, fast forward to a couple months ago, as I’m now pregnant with our first child: I had a horrendous time with nausea! I tried everything I knew: eating small amounts often (very hard, as I could barely eat anything during the worst weeks!), *trying* to eat more fat and protein, etc. I have had been any sicker, I would have had to look for medical help. I did notice that upping my dose of fermented cod liver oil (which I’ve already taken daily for years) helped me some, but it’s only now, getting close to the 14th week, that my nausea symptoms are really starting to lessen. I kept up with the transdermal magnesium through this, and either took the liquid ionic or the “Natural Calm” magnesium powder internally in water. I just feel that there has to be more to the situation than magnesium deficiency, since I don’t see how I could have been deficient, yet had a really rough time. I stick to a real food, WAPF diet, make everything at home from scratch, emphasize healthy fats, etc. Do you have any ideas? Thanks! :)

    • Whitney says:

      I was just remembering that I’d have to stay in an Epsom salt bath for a whole hour before feeling better. Also, I too was early pregnant this time of year, and got painfully nauseated when we visited a farming area where pesticides were in use. I think detoxing the pesticides was depleting magnesium. Just a thought! I kinda doubt magnesium deficiency is the sole cause of morning sickness. But I know it was an issue for me after years of WAPF eating, and that I needed lots of magnesium before seeing a glimmer of light.

  160. Whitney says:

    I was remembering this post with my sweet baby in my arms, and thought I’d take a moment to say thank you! Magnesium, alongside faith God would help me be the mom to my toddler that he intended, got me through! There were many times magnesium carried me from painfully nauseated to able to eat. Amazing!! After so many WAPF years, I’m amazed to still be magnesium-deficient–but hope to correct that before the next baby (never again!!!). Super thankful for this article, and planning to keep sending it along to fellow pregnant mamas!

  161. Sarah says:

    I had hypermesis gravidarum with both of my pregnancies. I took/take prenatal vitamins as my multivitamin for years prior to the conception of my first child to ensure adequate levels of folic acid. I was on EVERYTHING that was baby-safe to treat my “morning” sickness, including acupuncture, all to no avail. I was still vomiting during labor. I honestly think that it’s just the body’s response to hormones, especially progesterone. Since pregnancy, I am still sensitive to my post-ovulation progesterone surge, nearly to the point of vomiting.

    • Erica says:

      You make me feel not as bad that we couldn’t afford to try acupuncture too, along w/every other remedy we tried to treat my hyperemesis. Your experience sounds like mine & I also puked in labor. I’ve also gotten extremely nauseous (very close to losing it) during 3rd stage while delivering the placenta. Once the placenta is out, I am a new mama w/ZERO sickness and can eat, drink, etc. w/no issues.

  162. Divya says:

    I’m terribly sorry if this has been asked already in the comments but is there a difference between the benefits of magnesium citrate and magnesium bisglycinate for reducing morning sickness? I’ve heard too much of the citrate variety can cause loose bowel movements whereas the bisglycinate form is a much more potent and superior product. Thoughts?

    p.s. This is my first comment on the site but I’ve been a fan of Mommypotamus for many months now! Thank you for sharing all the excellent and essential information :)

  163. trisha says:

    would taking trace minerals work as effectively as the magnesium oil? i have been adding ConcenTrace to my water and foods for awhile…

  164. […] You’ve probably heard “that cortisol (the stress hormone) can cause weight gain, but did you know that’s because one of it’s main functions is to increase blood sugar? Yep, excess cortisol in your system takes your blood sugar through huge spikes and crashes, resulting in fatigue and nausea (aka morning sickness).  Normally, magnesium balances cortisol levels by cleaning the excess from our blood. BUT – Pregnancy hormones inhibit our ability to absorb magnesium! This can lead to a vicious cycle in which excess stress hormones cause nausea, which causes stress, which we can’t fully remedy because the very thing we need we can’t fully absorb, and then you get this → Ugh!” From […]

  165. Ashley C says:

    I read this post when it first came out and kept it close. I went above and beyond to prepare my body for my third, and we ended up TTC for 1.5 years so I had lots of time to work on it (And each birth is spaced by 3.5yrs so no back to backs sucking my stores dry). I had all my blood work done shortly before I finally conceived and it looked the best it ever has. Even my anemia was gone, a first in over a decade! So I was super excited that the magnesium might allow me to avoid morning sickness (as it was horrific with my first two. Looking back, I should have been diagnosed with HG). Sadly, my morning sickness this time around has been MUCH worse and lasted MANY more weeks. Luckily my care provider this time at least takes it serious and after trying every trick in the book I accepted a prescription for medication. Which still didn’t help. So then a second medication, and it took the edge off enough to survive each day with two kids on my own (husband is deployed) and leave the house on a desperate trip to get groceries every 2-4 weeks. I am 15 weeks now, still sick but a bit better aside from a few days ago when I vomited violently every half hour all day and nearly drove myself to the ER. :( I hope this helps many women though, or that something out there does. Because nothing has truly helped me and I’ve decided this will be our last biological child because of it. If only there really was a simple explanation and solution for it and every woman. *sigh*

    • Marisa says:

      I’m glad to hear others post their experiences, so I know I’m not alone. There is definitely more to it than magnesium deficiency.

  166. […] to articles from Heather of Mommypotamus (The REAL Cause Of Morning Sickness) and Katie of Wellness Mama (How I Avoided Morning Sickness) , magnesium is the main […]

  167. […] body’s low level of magnesium can contribute to nausea.  Mommypotamus did a great post about it here.  To help raise my levels and also help detox, I took Epsom salt baths about every other day.  I […]

  168. Megan says:

    Hi heather! Thanks so much for this information. I know that you described your stools being the indicator of the proper amount of amount of magnesium, but I’m wondering if you can overdose yourself without diarrhea? Or have adverse effects on your baby if you’re already pregnant? Tia!

    • Amanda @ Mommypotamus Support says:

      Megan, I am not a doctor and therefore cannot say much regarding dosages, but based on the information that has been relayed to me stools are considered a pretty reliable indicator.

  169. carrie says:

    I just bought the ancient minerals magnesium oil to help with my terrible morning sickness. How many sprays do you recommend? The bottle says 8 sprays gives approx 100mg of magnesium. Also how much time in direct sunlight do you suggest to help with the absorption?

    • Amanda @ Mommypotamus Support says:

      Carrie, I am unable to recommend dosages fro specific situations, but I believe Ancient Minerals has some recommendations.

  170. trisha says:

    What is the difference between the magnesium delivered by the Ancient Minerals oil and the magnesium in trace mineral drops, like ConcenTrace? (not in dosage, but in source or effectiveness) Thanks!

    • Amanda @ Mommypotamus Support says:

      Trisha, It is Heather’s understanding that magnesium is not optimally-absorbed in the digestive tract. However, she uses both, because frankly it’s just easier to put a few drops in water instead of rubbing it all over and waiting to dry before she goes to bed :)

  171. Christie says:

    I have been taking a calcium/magnesium supplement daily, for years. (It really keeps pms symptoms away)
    But still, pregnant the 5th time and I have Hyperemesis gravidarum.

    It is true that I cannot tolerate sugar at all either.
    So this is an interesting theory.

    • Christie says:

      also, I don’t think you should title this article as the REAL cause or cure. It misleads people, without backup. I read another one that blamed it on h.ployri bacteria and really got my hopes up because it was also title the ‘cure’. Didn’t work. :(
      You’ll need some studies to back up that claim. ;)

      • Heather says:

        Agreed. Based on what I’ve learned since I wrote this post I would have chosen a different title :)

        • Erica says:

          No matter what you titled it there will always be people something will work for & there will always be people it doesn’t, simply because we are all uniquely created individuals.

          I have HG again (5th time) though it does seem to be lessening some days at random for the 1st time ever. I am always 100% constantly extremely nauseous, but I am not 100% on the verge of losing my lunch (& breakfast & dinner… etc.) as I have been for my previous pregnancies. I’d say it is now maybe 75-80% which is a huge miraculous change for me. I stopped my mag spray for a couple of weeks or so & then started using it again & I was super sick again right away. I haven’t used it since & am feeling the mild reprieve… go figure!

          I am just going to enjoy any reprieve though it would be really nice to know WHY I have it randomly so I could keep it going more constantly.

          This pregnancy HG has also been very brutal come 2:30-3:00pm until bed time, which is also new for me. Not that it isn’t bad ALL day, but it is even worse once the afternoon rolls around… the evening is the worst of all though. I have boys & girls, so I can’t say that I suspect the opposite gender now.

  172. […] I have a friend that is expecting her baby number 2. She is only a few weeks a long though and hasn’t yet entered the stage where symptoms come into play.  We were talking about the morning sickness she had during her first pregnancy and whether she would get it again this pregnancy.  That of course let to what actually causes morning sickness. I have never really thought much on it before and spouted off the typical scenarios/reasons that most people do. Then I of course looked into it and found that there may be more to that morning sickness. Mommypotmus gives us the real cause of morning sickness. […]

  173. […] an article discussing the benefits of magnesium and a homemade magnesium oil recipe. And, here is an article discussing the real cause of morning […]

  174. Susie says:

    No doubt magnesium is a big player in morning sickness, but I think the bigger picture is adrenal function, which you touch on, but magnesium alone may not be enough to support the adrenals.

    In addition to making cortisol, your adrenals are a secondary source of sex hormones. In the first trimester when you’re making all those lovely hormones, it’s your ovaries and adrenals that are responsible, until the second trimester when the placenta takes over. The extra burden of making all those hormones is too much on the adrenal glands, and they prioritize making the hormones over making and regulating cortisol, therefore your blood sugar peaks and craters, resulting in morning sickness (as you mention). But it isn’t too much cortisol (if anything, it’s not enough), and it might not be that there isn’t enough magnesium to regulate cortisol (although that’s a consideration), it’s that your adrenal glands are tired and otherwise occupied! Magnesium DOES play a big role in adrenal support and blood sugar regulation, but the deeper problem is adrenal fatigue rather than a simple mineral deficiency.

    Also, the biggest sign of low adrenal output is fatigue! Hence, first trimester fatigue. I’ve heard it mentioned that progesterone is the culprit for first tri fatigue, but how does that make sense if your progesterone levels only continue to rise throughout the pregnancy?

    I mean, don’t we all know someone who eats terribly and manages to not get sick or tired in the first trimester? Or that person who is a WAPF poster child, but still gets sick? Some people defy logic and can eat terribly, but still have adrenals of steel. Conversely, someone can have a stellar diet, but maybe work a stressful job or have other lifestyle stresses that drain their adrenals.

    He doesn’t mention pregnancy specifically, but I love James Wilson’s book on adrenal fatigue.

  175. […] or a host of other symptoms, you’re probably deficient.  It’s also been shown to reduce morning sickness (your levels would need to be adequate before becoming pregnant to see a decrease in […]

  176. Rebekah says:

    Hi Heather, can you use Magnesium Oil during pregnancy? We’re trying to get pregnant for the second time (we had a miscarriage last year) and I am wondering about trying to get my magnesium levels up! Thank you!

    • Heather says:

      I personally feel comfortable with using magnesium oil during pregnancy, and have not come across any contraindications regarding its use for pregnant women in my research. I used it during my last two pregnancies :)

  177. Elizabeth says:

    I have to say, when I first saw this post it was after my first baby and I was desperate for help. I’d been sick the whole pregnancy with undiagnosed hyperemesis gravidarum (our first doctor should have seen this but was incompetent and careless, we switched at 34 weeks). Anyway, I became obsessed with upping my magnesium levels and began immediately taking supplements and eating magnesium rich food and I could see a difference quickly. However fast forward a year and a half later and my morning sickness is worse than ever. It starts just before 5 weeks and tends to last the whole pregnancy. I really thought that my better diet, focus on increasing my mineral levels and taking better care of myself would eliminate it but apparently HG is different. I’ve heard theories that HG is because of a certain type of bacteria (h. Pylori) in the intestin but haven’t confirmed it. This could be why morning sickness sufferers fare better with magnesium than those with HG. Just my experience, hopefully in the future we’ll be able to find something for those of us struggling with this, because I’d love to have more children but have no idea how we’d ever manage through another pregnancy this sick again.

  178. Anna says:

    Hi :) I just wanted to leave a comment, just in case it might help someone else figure out what’s going on with their body and pregnancy. I started having severe morning sickness at about 8 weeks pregnancy that lasted until I found out the cause (for me) 9 weeks later. I was COPPER DEFICIENT. I still can’t believe it, but it was absolutely horrendous and even now if I think I can skip a dose of copper with my prenatal I will get paid back for it and the symptoms immediately come back. I am taking Garden of Life’s Prenatal with added chelated copper (2 or 3mg a day; no more than 3 and no less than 2). The results from the added Copper were, for me, absolutely MIRACULOUS and almost instantaneous.

    I am SO SO SO SO thankful that I was a biology major for part of my college career and was so studious (I made all As in the pre-med program at my school, but ended up changing because I ended up knowing that wasn’t the route I was supposed to ultimately take).

    After experiencing nearly all-day morning sickness, having literally everything smell absolutely horrible to me, and then eventually becoming extremely irritable (I had to stop working all of this got so bad… I am lucky that financially my husband and I are able to handle this. I really don’t know how I could have functioned otherwise…) I started experiencing symptoms similar to MS. I would have nerve pain/slight tremors, started developing spider veins/beginning varicose veins (a symptom of copper deficiency) and even slight twitching.

    Once all this happened I woke up one morning absolutely KNOWING I was having damage done to my Myelin Sheaths. It was like the word Myelin Sheath sang itself in a mantra inside my head -yelling at me to get online and do the research I needed to do to fix what was going wrong.

    In between trips to the trash-can and/or toilet (because I was throwing up bile at that point -I would throw up with absolutely nothing in my stomach) I researched online. I KNEW I didn’t have MS. I just knew that was not the case. I knew there was something going on — and all the research I did pointed to Copper Deficiency like a bright and shining arrow.

    I am supplement junky (seriously I am, I have enough herbal/vitamin supplements to fill up a very large kitchen drawer) and found out that I’d bought some copper a while back and decided that this was something I was absolutely going to try. I took about 4mg that day (the upper limit is 10mg, but taking that much is not something I’d advise unless your doctor recommends it, even if your deficient as I was/am).

    The results literally were almost instantaneous. By the end of the day not only did my all day “morning sickness” go away, but I could actually walk around without everything smelling incredibly strong and incredibly disgusting inside my own house and outside in my yard and neighborhood. I started to FEEL different as well. It was like Copper Deficiency affected the way I saw and felt about absolutely everything.

    These days SO MANY vitamins, including the high quality vitamins, have far more Zinc than Copper in them. If you eat a fortefied cereal chances are it contains far more zinc than copper. If you eat eggs (which are AWESOME for your growing baby, lots of good B vitamins, minerals, choline, etc) they contain a lot more zinc than copper.

    Before I conceived (and for the first few weeks) I was taking Megafood’s Women multivitamin. This is a whole food vitamin that is very reputable… After I found out I was pregnant I switched to Garden of Life’s Prenatal. I also took plenty of Magnesium (Natural Calm), Calcium (Swanson’s Coral Calcium), DHA (Garden of Life’s Prenatal DHA) and a small amount of Organic Spirulina to help chelate some of heavy metals that seem so prevalant in our food.

    I really thought I was doing everything so perfectly… But I really believe taking vitamins that have zinc/copper imbalances (more zinc than copper) for years probably contributed to my copper deficiency. Finding out what exactly it was causing my morning sickness has been an absolute MIRACLE. And I still believe I am somewhat copper deficient because I absolutely cannot take my prenatal (GoL’s prenatal is 3 pills a day) without Copper. I have small 2mg pills that I usually break in half and take that way. If I think I can get away with less copper my morning sickness and all the symptoms immediately start coming back.

    I’ve written a book here it feels like! But I seriously hope I can help someone else. If you are experiencing what I’ve experienced the conventional advice will NOT help you. Taking vitamin B6 (as recommended by my OB) only made my morning sickness Worse, which makes sense because taking B6 will only exacerbate a Copper Deficiency. Copper Deficiency can also cause problems for your baby. I am thankful that I caught mine when I did and believe part of my severe symptoms were because my body was giving all the copper in my prenatal (not very much) to my baby instead of to me (which of course I am glad of!).

    If you are experiencing traditional morning sickness with depression like symptoms, irritability, and then experience ANY kind of nerve pain or tremors you could be Copper Deficient, as I was. I stumbled on this page in googling the connection between mineral deficiencies and “morning sickness” and definitely am living proof that a mineral deficiency can cause severe morning sickness. I’m not sure what prompted me to write all of this, but I sure hope it ends up helping someone! My baby (boy) has been nothing but active and healthy in my only two ultrasounds, so I’m thinking my body gave all my dietary and prenatal copper to him, leaving me with the severe morning sickness and eventual more serious symptoms.

  179. Soni says:

    I love this article, Heather. Your research is always spot-on. I experienced a premature birth (delivery at 32 weeks) due to a yeast infection essentially caused by severe morning sickness. I hope women take the advice you’ve given here to help prevent morning sickness so they can avoid a premature birth, which is actually more common than many people realize. I wrote about it here:, and I cited this post in my article as well. Thanks again.

  180. Heather, many people are citing this post on the internet but I cannot find solid scholarly research to back up the idea that low magnesium causes morning sickness. Will you please show me where you found this info: “Pregnancy hormones inhibit our ability to absorb magnesium”. In my research I have only been able to find that morning sickness may cause vomiting causing a depletion in magnesium levels.

  181. Jenny D. says:

    Hi Heather, I use coconut oil topically every morning and night. Do you know if I could add magnesium oil to the coconut oil, and apply the blend? Thanks!

  182. sck says:

    Can you talk more about applying this supplement? Should you put it all over your body like you would body lotion, or are certain areas more important? Also do you recommend 1 x day? or more frequent? TIA

    • Skarlet says:

      I’m just another reader here, but I just survived the HG in my last pregnancy (just gave birth 2/10/15 to a beautiful 6pd 4oz daughter!), so I thought I’d share my thoughts.

      I tried the magnesium spray, all over my body. I didn’t do it more than once a day, because it tended to make my skin feel dry afterwards. Anyway, I personally found no effect from it.

      What worked for me (I initially lost 20 pds during pregnancy, but then was able to overcome the morning sickness and gain it back) was cocolaurin 3x a day.

      Of course, my morning sickness was so bad, I also had to be on Zofran just to keep it down, but after taking cocolaurin for over a month, the vomiting was gone, I didn’t need any medication, and I was able to start gaining back weight. It was a life-saver!

      • Whitney says:

        Wow! Great info, and it really fits with my own experience (I KNEW yeast and other infections in my stomach were an issue!). Congrats on your new addition, and thank you for sharing!

  183. Jennifer says:

    I was having horrible all-day morning sickness. Anyway, based on your recommendations, I started taking both topical magnesium and Calm (just 1tsp initially) on the same day. The next day, I felt a little better – my nausea was definitely much better in the morning, but by evening (the worst time of day for me) I was back to feeling awful. So, the second day I upped my dose and my symptoms improved a little more by Day 3. At around 500 mg / day, my nausea was 90% gone, I wasn’t vomiting, and my bowels starting moving again — but, nothing normal in that regard. And, still no appetite. I’m now at about 1000 mg / day, which I get through a combination of Ancient Mineral Oil, Calm, and a chelated magnesium. I also supplement with B-6, and Vitamins D and calcium (but I’m doing the minimum on calcium supplementation and try not to take it at the same time as the magnesium). Anyway, my nausea is virtually gone, no vomiting, my appetite is much improved, and I’m regular again (this is why I don’t think I’m overdoing it – no stomach upset as of yet). My point is, it took a lot more than the magnesium recommended RDA of 360 mg for a woman of my age to start feeling better. In fact, at that dose, I basically felt no better. I also have to say, now that I can stomach healthy food again, when I eat high protein / lower carb I feel much better – both that day and the next. It’s not my natural style of eating, as I’m mostly vegan. But, recently in pregnancy I’ve started eating eggs and dairy to try to up my protein intake. I still can’t let my stomach get too empty or I suffer the consequences: nausea. But, even then it’s so much more mild than what I experienced before supplementation. Anyway, this has changed my life! I’m exercising again and I can stomach whole, healthy foods – and I’m still in the first trimester. I feel almost like my old self! Thank you!!!

  184. morgan says:

    Not sure if I missed something in the article but if a person is deficient wouldn’t they continue to be sick past the 12wk mark? With my girls my morning sickness stopped at 12 wks. With my boys it stopped at 16 wks.

  185. Diane says:

    Had severe “all day sickness” for 3 pregnancies. (My Mom had same thing for all 3 in the 50’s – she had to go to doctor’s office weekly back then for vitamin B shots). Although my first trimesters were the roughest – I stayed nauseated until my babies were all born. I didn’t find any relief from my low energy and nausea and vomiting until a friend asked her chiropractor about my issue – ( she felt so bad for me). He sold all natural vitamin pills – and he told her to have me take the B vitamin pills he sold – I was to take one on the morning and one in the evening. She was so anxious to help me ( even though I was 5 months pregnant with my 3 rd child at the time) . I took that pill – which was more “wafer sized” – and tan colored – and all natural. Within about 30 minutes – a tremendous change came over me – My nausea level dropped from a 10 level to a 2. I got a burst of energy that I hadn’t felt for months! When my husband came home from work – instead of finding me lying on the couch trying to keep the nausea down – he found me vacuuming the carpet and dinner ready! I was 37 years old at the time – and I can’t tell you how good that vitamin was for me. I tool it faithfully – once in the morning and once in the evening. Several weeks later – I tested my need for it – and skipped the morning supplement – Boy! What a mistake!! In a very short time my body went right back to where I used to be! Severe first trimester nausea was coming back! I never made that mistake again. I kept taking it until the birth. I don’t know about the Magnesium thing – since it was the B vitamin only that I took. It’s been so Long ago – That I cannot remember if the pill was B6 only or all the B’s. Since it was so big ( horse pill size) – it must have been all the B’s. I wonder if that tablet would have worked in the first trimester. I tried to take prenatal vitamins then – but immediately thre them up – but I think the very small amount of vitamin B in those things wouldn’t have done anything for me. I remember throwing up 6 times before lunchtime – I remember about 4 months along with my third baby – sitting down to the table one night with my two sons (ages 13 and 11) and crying – They all asked – what’s wrong? I said – What’s the use of eating this dinner – I’m just going to lose it right away! ( a definite low time). Well – I’m an old Grandma now and so far my 2 daughters in law have not suffered much morning sickness – and my youngest son’s wife is about 6 weeks pregnant with no sickness yet – so I can’t test the theory of whether a higher dose very natural organic B vitamin complex would work for early morning sickness or not. But one thing I can say to all of you who are pregnant – take it one month at a time – I used to tell myself – ok – you got thru one month – now 2 months – now 3 months – the 9 months will be here and gone before you know – and the pregnancy issues will be a distant memory. But try the vitamin B complex – especially B6 and B12 – if it helped me – it will help anybody! :)

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