Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

September 22, 2011

imageMorning sickness or nausea and vomiting can be one of the first signs of pregnancy. Approximately 70%-85% of pregnant women experience bouts of nausea. About half of all pregnant women experience bouts of vomiting. Pregnancy related nausea generally begins after about 5 weeks of gestation.

Although it is often referred to as morning sickness, nausea can occur at any time of the day or around the clock. Nausea during pregnancy can be triggered by an empty stomach, so mornings are often a particularly bad time of the day.

If you are one of the lucky ones who does not experience nausea, there is no need to worry. Not having nausea is normal and is not a sign that something is wrong.

Coping With Nausea and Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

  • Try to always keep something in your stomach. An empty stomach can trigger nausea or cause it to intensify, so try to snack regularly.
  • Don’t eat big meals. Just like not having enough food can trigger nausea, having your stomach too full can cause nausea.
  • Ask your doctor about taking Vitamin B6. 10-25 milligrams can be helpful in alleviating nausea.
  • Try to avoid displeasing smells.
  • Favor protein meals. They help keep your blood sugar more balanced and can minimize nausea.
  • imageAvoid Caffeine.
  • Eat dry toast or crackers in the morning before you get out of bed.
  • Avoid heavy or greasy foods.
  • Try eating cold foods. They give off less odor than hot foods.
  • Don’t drink lots of fluids at once. Sip fluids a little at a time throughout the day so as not to fill your stomach all at once.
  • Often a dilute apple juice or adding a little lemon to water can be easier to keep down than pure water.
  • Try eating yogurt.
  • Ginger has been found to suppress and alleviate vomiting. Try drinking ginger tea, eating ginger cookies or candied ginger. (Ginger ale doesn’t actually have ginger in it most of the time, and probably won’t help.)
  • Try sipping on bouillon. Warm beef, chicken or miso broth can be soothing
  • Be sure you are getting enough sleep. Take a nap if you are tired. Fatigue can make nausea worse.
  • Acupressure wrist bands, such as the ones for preventing sea sickness can often be found at pharmacies and are helpful for some women.

Occasionally some women have such severe nausea and vomiting that they are unable to keep anything down. If vomiting is so frequent and severe that you are losing weight and cannot keep anything down including water, juice, liquids, food and prenatal vitamins for 24 hours you may be suffering from a more severe kind of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.

If you suspect you have hyper emesis gravid arum call your doctor or go to the emergency room. Hyperemesis gravidarum causes dehydration and malnutrition which can be harmful to you or your baby.

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