Motion Sickness in Pregnancy: Reasons, Symptoms, and Remedies

Motion Sickness in Pregnancy

Motion sickness is a sensation you often feel when you are in a moving body like a car, train, plane, boat, or even an amusement park ride. Not just that, but women also complain about motion sickness in pregnancy. It is the feeling you get when the movement you are watching before your eyes does not match what the senses within your consciousness are perceiving. It includes uncomfortable feelings like nausea, dizziness, or feeling lightheaded. The main cause behind experiencing motion sickness is that your body, the inner ear, and your eyes, which are all sensory receptors are sending conflicting or contradictory messages to your brain.

Reasons for Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

Even though car sickness while traveling during pregnancy is not that much of an uncommon experience, the constant movement or the feeling of suffocation in a car could be irritating for some people. Therefore, getting motion sickness when pregnant is a pretty common thing, but if you still find yourself wondering why motion sickness in pregnancy happens, we have got your back:

Racking up on Calories

A person is more likely to feel motion sickness in pregnancy especially after they have eaten a large meal or eaten large amounts of food in a very short time.

Misbalancing of Ear

If you have been moving constantly at an unchanging gradual speed then the equilibrium in the interior of your hearing system gets disturbed. This may result in motion sickness and pregnancy could worsen it since some women are more sensitive than usual during this stage.


Another factor that could contribute to making you car sick while pregnant is the quality of air in the urban areas and especially on roads. The streets of the urban cities most of us reside in are congested and overcrowded with motor vehicles. These automobiles release many harmful gases and substances into the atmosphere that can add to the suffocating effect one might feel in motion sickness.

Brain Lag

The most scientific and plausible explanation of why pregnancy motion sickness occurs is the communication gap that exists between our senses and neurons. Our brain receives mixed signals about the actual movement happening in comparison to the rate of motion it is anticipating. This is what is responsible for pregnancy car sickness.

Transmission Failure

Another possibility related to pregnant motion sickness is when two neurotransmitters are unable to work in the that they are supposed to.

Memory Retrieval

This may sound a bit absurd, but it is also possible that car sick pregnancy is not a thing for you at all! Maybe you feeling car sick during pregnancy is one of the many experiences from the earlier stages of your life that your brain tries to recreate or reenact when you are expecting. Think of how some women crave foods they used to love as kids while expecting. Similarly, you getting motion sickness in pregnancy could simply be the revival of a problem you used to suffer with, which has now resurfaced as your body is in a more vulnerable state.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness When Pregnant

Symptoms of Motion Sickness

There could be multiple hints that could give away that you are going through motion sickness during pregnancy. Some of these indicators are:

  • Dehydration due to the lack of moisture content in your body which is a result of frequent vomiting.
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Increased production of saliva in your mouth
  • A heightened irritability towards a few unpleasant smells
  • Absence of general enthusiasm and interest in your mood
  • Sped up breathing rate
  • Inconsistent breathing patterns
  • Decrease in your hunger or cravings for food
  • Headache
  • Feeling sleepy most of the time
  • Expiring warm or hot flushes randomly
  • Your skin tone being lighter than its usual shade
  • Struggling to focus on things.

Treatment of Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

Now that you have identified what your problem is and why it is happening, it’s time for us to get to how we can solve this ordeal for you to make your pregnancy journey healthier and happier.


You can consume some extra nutrients in the form of supplements that would make it easy for you to steer clear of your motion sickness during pregnancy. Ingesting B-6 supplements would help significantly in this regard.


These are drugs that serve the purpose of curing allergy symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. Since these symptoms are typical of pregnant motion sickness as well, you can take them in reasonable dosages to reduce the effect of your unwanted symptoms. Commonly used, over-the-counter medicines could be Dramamine (containing dimenhydrinate) or Benadryl (containing diphenhydramine). The risk factor for pregnant women is low when it comes to these medicines but one should still confirm with their doctors before taking them.

Change Your Seat

If the air feels too stuffy and you have difficulty breathing, then what you can do to help with your inconvenience is that you sit in the car where there is ample supply of fresh air and some space for you to relax and breathe comfortably in. get the window seat in a plane or a train. When traveling in cars, opt for the passenger seat as it would be the most comfortable for you.


It is a highly effective technique that targets specific points in your body to relieve physical problems. This technique has been incorporated into some products which are quite popular in the market for curing motion sickness in pregnancy. Buy acupressure bracelets that would apply force on some parts of your body which will provide you instant relief from nausea.

Make Ginger Your New Best friend

Ginger is a natural ingredient known to have great medicinal and nutritional properties. It boosts your metabolism and is a cheap and natural remedy for nausea-related problems such as motion sickness for pregnancy. You can include ginger in your diet by drinking ginger ale, sucking on ginger lollipops, or sipping on some refreshing ginger tea. However, expecting women are advised to keep their intake to about 1 gram daily.

Tips to Prevent Motion Sickness Without Medicine

  1. FACE THE DIRECTION YOU’RE MOVING IN: no matter what moving object you are in, one easy method to help with this conundrum is to keep your head sight fixated in one direction and a singular point. This will give some comfort to your disoriented brain
  2. CHANGE POSITIONS: we know it is already hard to work in mobility especially when you are pregnant. But if you keep your body in an active state even through minor movements such as shifting in your seat, it is going to make a huge difference.
  3. KEEP ON MUNCHING: stimulate your mouth by chewing or sucking on some light snacks so it does not allow the contents inside your stomach to come out.
  4. KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED: making sure that the water content in your body is sufficient is very important in pregnancy anyways. Taking extra care of yourself in this department would help compensate for any moisture lost during previous throwing-up sessions.
  5. KEEP YOUR MIND ENGAGED:  the issue that you are facing at this time is mainly due to your brain struggling which later causes physical irregularities as well. So instead of letting your brain go into panic mode and wreak havoc on your stomach, try to distract yourself in some engaging conversation with your travel partner. If you are riding solo, plug in your earphones and let your mind sink and relax into the music.

Bottom Line

Summing up, there are many methods for you to experiment with to solve the problem of motion sickness in pregnancy. However, since you are not only responsible for your own health but the well-being of your child as well, make sure that you keep your gynecologist in the loop throughout whatever you try. If the problem exceeds to an extreme or unbearable extent, immediately seek medical attention in order to avoid any risks or unfortunate accidents.


Is Motion Sickness Harmful for Babies During Pregnancy?

Experiencing motion sickness is part of a normal pregnancy and does not have a direct negative impact on the health of the baby. However, if experienced in intolerable ways, it could cause great discomfort or complications for the mother.

Is Motion Sickness Caused by Walking in Pregnancy?

There is no direct correlation between walking and motion sickness. But do make sure that you are not over-exerting yourself or walking in an abnormally mechanical manner as it can make matters worse for you.

Is Motion Sickness a Sign of Pregnancy?

Yes, feeling motion sickness for the first time or getting it more than usual could be a symptom of pregnancy as you feel more nauseous.

When Does Motion Sickness Start in Pregnancy?

It starts around 6 weeks and the effects could get more intense until 9 weeks, so you will likely feel it more during the first trimester.

Is Car Sickness a Sign of Pregnancy?

Yes, but is often tricky to figure out whether the nausea you’re feeling is due to motion or pregnancy-induced.

Is It Safe to Take Medicines for Motion Sickness When Pregnant?

OTC medicines have a good track record when it comes to pregnant women but for maximum safety do consult your doctor before you start any medication.

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