Nausea and vomiting often occur during the early months of pregnancy. The majority of women in pregnancy have some degree of nausea with or without vomiting. Although these symptoms are frequently referred to as “morning sickness” they can occur at any time of the day or night. The symptoms may start as early as 5 weeks, often times peak at about 9 weeks, and resolve in the majority of cases by 14 weeks gestation.
- Avoid an empty stomach which often triggers nausea. Try to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. Meals and snacks high in protein or carbohydrates are generally better tolerated than those high in fat. Eating a small snack such as a few crackers or dry cereal before getting out of bed may decrease nausea.
- Get adequate sleep. Fatigue makes nausea worse.
- Get out of bed slowly. Avoid sudden movements.
- Separate liquids from solids. Sometimes the combination of food and liquid will trigger nausea. Drinks that are cold, carbonated and tart are often better tolerated. Sipping liquids tends to be better tolerated as well. Sometimes getting liquids through frozen juices or popsicles is helpful because it allows a slow intake of the liquid.
- Avoid greasy, fried, and spicy foods.
- Aromatherapy with mint, orange, or lemon is often times helpful.
- Some patients find ginger helpful in decreasing nausea. Ginger can be eaten fresh or found in foods such as ginger snap cookies, ginger ale, or ginger chews. The foods must contain real ginger to be effective.
- Vitamin B6 (50 to 100 mg) daily may help decrease nausea.
If you cannot take in oral liquids/food due to severe nausea or vomiting there is a risk of dehydration and you should contact your doctor.