• Morning Sickness

  • It is not clearly understood why morning sickness occurs. We know most women experience nausea and at least one third experience vomiting. It:

    • Usually begins between your first and second missed period.
    • Typically eases by the end of your third month and occasionally lasts throughout pregnancy.
    • Can occur anytime and can last a few minutes to many hours.
    • Does NOT mean there is something wrong with your baby.

    What causes morning sickness?

    Experts believe a combination of factors contribute to nausea. For example:

    • Women have heightened sensitivity to sights, smells, motion, temperature changes, fatigue and stress during pregnancy.
    • Abundant pregnancy hormones and low blood sugar increases your risk of developing nausea.
    • Pregnancy related changes to your digestive system may cause nausea.
    • Routine medications such as prenatal vitamins and iron may cause nausea.

    What can you do about it?

    Do what works for you! Discovering what triggers your symptoms and making some changes may help you feel better. For example:Avoid or decrease sights, sounds, smells that produce symptoms

    • Avoid or decrease sights, sounds and smells that produce symptoms
    • Get out of bed slowly and avoid sudden movements.
    • Eat saltines and whole wheat crackers before getting out of bed in the morning, at bedtime and when making a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
    • Try taking your prenatal vitamins and iron before going to bed.
    • Adjust room temperatures to a cooler setting and have good airflow to reduce odors.
    • Go outside for some fresh air.
    • Get adequate sleep and rest.
    • Practice relaxation techniques.
    • Talk to your provider about unconventional measures (acupressure wristbands, acupuncture or hypnosis).
    • Get help and “budget your energy”; ask friends or family to help until you feel better.
    • Notify your provider if you lose weight, vomit more than three times a day and cannot keep anything down.

    What about eating and drinking?

    • Eat small, frequent meals every two to three hours
    • Carbohydrate foods such as crackers, toast, potatoes or cereal tend to digest easily and can help ease nausea
    • Consume food either very warm or very cold
    • Avoid greasy or fatty foods
    • Try small amounts of a single food – add variety as you feel better
    • Avoid highly seasoned food – lightly season and salt to taste
    • Weak tea, ginger tea, very cold carbonated drinks, fruit juices and crushed ice or ice-pops, may sit easier on your stomach
    • Try not to eat or drink at the same meal, sip fluids between meals
    • Sit upright after meals
    • Consider taste (salty, sweet, sour, bland, bitter) – one might be easier to tolerate than the others
    • Consider texture (soft, hard, smooth, lumpy, crunchy, wet, dry) – one might be more appetizing to you
    • Keep a food diary – you may find that eating certain foods at certain times of the day will help you  break the cycle of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy 

    What medications are used to manage nausea and vomiting of pregnancy?

    Several different medications are commonly prescribed to treat nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Your physician will discuss the risks and the benefits of these medications. Some of the more common drugs are:

    • Doxylamine Succinate and Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (DICLEGIS)
    • Promethazine (PHENERGAN)
    • Prochlorperazine (COMPAZINE)
    • Metoclopramide (REGLAN)
    • Ondansetron (ZOFRAN)


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