Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
Nausea and vomiting commonly occur during the first three months of pregnancy. However, the severity may vary with each pregnancy. The cause is believed to be related to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. Changes in diet may not fully eliminate the symptoms. However, some relief may be found by following these recommendations:
- Before getting out of bed in the morning, eat a few crackers, a handful of dry bread or toast. It is best to place these items next to your bed the night before so that you do not have to move around to get them in the morning.
- Get up slowly and avoid making sudden movements. Set your alarm clock earlier to cut down on rushing and stress in the morning.
- Avoid long periods between meals – eat small, but frequent meals.
- Drink fluids between meals rather than with your meals. Try to eat solid food every 2-3 hours and then wait 30-60 minutes to drink your liquids.
- If nausea develops between meals, try small amounts of apple or grape juice or carbonated beverages. These juices are easier to tolerate than a juice with a pulp, such as orange or grapefruit juice. Small amounts of flat cola or soda may help.
- Ginger products have also been shown to be helpful. Try ginger ale (such as Canada Dry), ginger tea, ginger snaps or ginger root. If you do not like the taste of ginger, you may try ginger capsule: 500 mg twice daily.
- Avoid greasy or fried foods as well as extra margarine or butter, gravy or salad dressing.
- Avoid excessive use of pepper, garlic, and chili. Eat lightly seasoned foods.
- Allow plenty of fresh air in the kitchen when cooking and in your bedroom when sleeping.
- If nausea and vomiting prevent you from keeping food down for 24 hours, call our office.
We may advise the use of Vitamin B6 (50 mg) and /or UNISOM (an antihistamine) twice a day. Phenergan suppositories are occasionally prescribed on a short-term basis.
If all of the above measures do not help, hospitalization may be required for severe cases of dehydration.
Morning sickness generally subsides by the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy.