Expert Reveals Whether Or Not Giada De Laurentiis' Morning Sickness Cure Actually Works

They should really come up with a better name for morning sickness. The affliction, which involves a lot of nausea and vomiting, and affects many pregnant people in their first trimester (or throughout their entire pregnancy), is not actually limited to morning hours, according to the Mayo Clinic. Morning sickness can actually stay with a pregnant person all day long, leaving an already tired expectant parent a bit more fatigued and dehydrated. Not to mention, the thought of eating holds little appeal for the queasy, which can make it hard to stick to a meal routine.

But never fear, Giada De Laurentiis is here. The celebrity chef and host of "Bobby and Giada in Italy" told First We Feast that when she was pregnant with her daughter Jade, she experienced terrible morning sickness. "I had to get up early and be in hair and makeup," De Laurentiis explained of those early days in the first trimester when she worked on the "Today" show. "I had a hard time getting up and actually functioning," she explained. Enter a dark horse of the food world: the pumpernickel bagel. "Every morning I would down half a pumpernickel bagel, and I felt like a rock star for the rest of the day," De Laurentiis claimed. And while no one is here to argue with a pregnant person, Mashed spoke with Dr. Felice Gersh, OB/GYN, author of "PCOS SOS Fertility Fast Track," and founder/director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, to find out more about this alleged miracle breakfast food.

Could a pumpernickel bagel really help with morning sickness?

Healthline maintains that there is no one cause of morning sickness. However, factors from fatigue, to low blood sugar, to expecting multiples could all be at play, and emotional stress or excessive travel is not going to help matters, either. But, as Dr. Felice Gersh explained, it all comes back to those charming pregnancy hormones in the end. "There is slow stomach emptying in women with morning sickness, as well as a central, brain-initiated state of nausea, related to the hormones of pregnancy," Dr. Gersh said. Avoiding fatty foods that might further slow the digestive system could certainly help, she said, but what about those pumpernickel bagels?

"There is no data on the efficacy of pumpernickel bagels for morning sickness, so it is simply educated guesswork that would explain why it proved helpful to [De Laurentiis]," Dr. Gersh explained. That said, Dr. Gersh admits that pumpernickel bagels, especially of the low-fat, unprocessed variety, have a lot going for them: "Pumpernickel is a powerful natural food ingredient, with antioxidants and vitamins, and high fiber," she said. "All of which may contribute to the nutritional status of the woman and may improve stomach emptying." So there you have it.

Other foods and drinks to turn to if you have morning sickness

While it might not sound appetizing to eat more when you're already feeling sick, Dr. Gersh advised snacking often for those experiencing morning sickness — small, frequent meals will serve you better than two or three larger ones. This might be one of the perks Giada De Laurentiis experienced with her pumpernickel pal: "I had never really been a huge breakfast person," De Laurentiis told First We Feast, "because breakfast, for Italians, is something really small, like a croissant or some toast." Once she realized that half a pumpernickel bagel helped keep the morning sickness at bay, though, De Laurentiis was on board with the regimen. "Pumpernickel bagels followed me around for the first three or four months of my pregnancy," she admitted.

Even if pumpernickel is not your jam, pushing through the nausea and eating a little something can really help. Dr. Gersh advised: "It is best to start the day with some light, low-fat foods, to maintain nutritional status and potentially help with the state of morning sickness." She recommended watermelon, for its kick of sweetness, easy digestibility, and hydration factor. "Adequate hydration is especially important," Dr. Gersh emphasized. "Drinking ginger tea can be helpful, as can chewing on ice chips." Above all, don't give up hope, pregnant people! Healthline reminds expecting parents that their doctors can recommend preventative measures (or medication, if necessary), and that morning sickness usually subsides after the first three to four months of pregnancy. If you had a (pumper)nickel for every time you heard that, right?