- By Micah Dorfner
10 Tips To Help Survive Nausea During Pregnancy
Positive pink line on pregnancy test? Check. Small flutter on early ultrasound? Check. Nausea and vomiting? Double-check.
Often the constant feeling of nausea, which is accompanied by vomiting, soon overshadows the excitement of early pregnancy. Approximately 50-90 percent of women experience nausea and vomiting in their pregnancy, and 5 percent of women have the same symptoms throughout the entire pregnancy, per The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
"The term 'morning sickness' is misleading; nausea can occur any time of the day," says Emily Linklater, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health System OB/GYN physician. "For most women, the nausea ends sometime in the late stages of the first trimester. Nausea may also be worse — or better — in one pregnancy versus another."
Unfortunately, science hasn’t proven the exact cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. The elevated pregnancy hormone, BHCG, and elevated estrogen have both been hypothesized as contributing to symptoms.
What can an expectant mother do? Here are some tips for surviving nausea and vomiting:
- Eat several small meals a day, and don’t skip breakfast. Many women need to have a few saltine crackers before getting out of bed in the morning.
- Avoid triggers. If the smell of chicken makes you nauseous, avoid the smell when possible.
- Don’t lie down after eating.
- Plan small snacks throughout your day to avoid long periods of time without eating.
- Avoid spicy and fatty foods.
- Consider using anti-nausea wrist bands. These bands are placed on your wrist to trigger pressure points that may alleviate nausea.
- Think about consuming ginger — either ginger ale, ginger candies or ginger tea.
- Increase your intake of vitamin B6, which has been shown to help decrease nausea.
- Change the time of day you take your prenatal vitamins. Take your prenatal vitamins in the morning, afternoon or night. Consider gummy vitamins if the traditional large pills trigger nausea.
- Try to get plenty of rest.
If over-the-counter options do not improve nausea and vomiting, then it’s wise to speak with your health care provider about anti-nausea prescription medications. Many prescription medications are safe in pregnancy and can relieve severe symptoms.
Can nausea and vomiting cause a miscarriage or hurt your baby? The answer is no. However, it’s important to monitor yourself for signs of dehydration. If you’re losing weight, have decreased urination, or are unable to eat or drink for more than a day, you should see your health care provider.