Morning sickness is a common problem, but it can sometimes take away the excitement of being pregnant. Here are 12 tips for fighting off morning sickness while it lasts.
12 tips for fighting morning sickness
- Eat often: Keep dry snacks such as almonds or crackers at hand and eat frequently to avoid getting too hungry.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help you prevent nausea. Avoid sugary drinks or soda. If you get sick of water, try adding lemon or fruit slices to enhance the flavor.
- Get plenty of rest: Morning sickness doesn’t necessarily happen in the morning. For some women, it can happen at any time of day. To mitigate symptoms, make sure you are well rested and take naps throughout the day if needed.
- Identify triggers: You may notice that certain smells or tastes trigger your morning sickness. Keep a food diary so that you can figure out which meals or drinks tend to make you more nauseous.
- Keep moving: Maintaining a regular level of activity, such as walking or engaging in light exercise, can help keep morning sickness at bay. Avoid lying down after meals.
- Avoid strong odors: Going outside to get fresh air can help avoid odors that make you feel sick. Keep your windows open when cooking, use a fan if you feel too warm, and avoid cigarette smoke.
- Wait to brush your teeth: After eating, wait to brush your teeth. Brushing can trigger a gag reflex that may make your nausea worse.
- Try ginger: Ginger has long been used as a home remedy for nausea and is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for mild morning sickness.
- Acupressure: Acupressure, which, involves applying pressure to a particular area of the wrist, has been shown to help alleviate moderate morning sickness symptoms.
- Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine: The ACOG recommends vitamin B6 as a first-line treatment for mild morning sickness. Talk to your doctor about whether this treatment is right for you.
- Antihistamines: According to some studies, antihistamines may have modest benefits in reducing nausea and vomiting symptoms. Most doctors recommend taking an antihistamine with vitamin B6.
- Prescription medications: If other methods do not work, talk to your doctor about prescription medications for medications. Anti-nausea pills and corticosteroids are among prescription drugs used to treat severe morning sickness. However, it is unclear how safe corticosteroids are for the fetus.
How long does morning sickness last?
Symptoms of nausea and vomiting usually appear around weeks 5-6 of pregnancy and resolve around weeks 12-16. However, some women experience morning sickness all throughout their pregnancy until birth.
Symptoms can appear at any time of day and may include:
- Dry retching
- Sensitivity to smells or the sight of certain foods
Not everyone experiences morning sickness in the same way. Some expectant mothers feel nauseous but never vomit, while others may vomit occasionally or frequently.
What causes morning sickness?
Morning sickness is typically caused by a combination of factors, including:
- High levels of pregnancy hormones (hCG and estrogen)
- Blood pressure fluctuations
- Metabolic changes
- Physical and physiological changes
Risk factors that can make you more susceptible to morning sickness include:
- Empty stomach
- Stress or anxiety
- Body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher
- Sensitivity to strong smells
- History of motion sickness
- History of contraceptive use
- First pregnancy
- Family history of nausea in pregnancy
- Multiple pregnancies, such as twins or triplets
When to call a doctor about morning sickness
If you are vomiting and unable to keep any food or drink down, you may become dehydrated or malnourished. Contact your doctor if you notice the following symptoms:
- Very dark-colored urine
- No urination for more than 8 hours
- Inability to keep food or fluids down for 24 hours
- Severe weakness, dizziness, or fainting
- Severe abdominal or back pain
- Fever of 100.4 F or above
- Vomiting blood
- Blood in urine
Some women experience hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy, which is a severe case of nausea and vomiting associated with dehydration and weight loss. This condition might require hospitalization.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
WebMD. Doing battle with morning sickness. https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/battle-morning-sickness
BetterHealth. Pregnancy - morning sickness. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-morning-sickness
American Pregnancy Association. Morning Sickness Remedies. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/morning-sickness-remedies/
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Morning Sickness: Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/morning-sickness-nausea-and-vomiting-of-pregnancy
Smith JA, Fox KA, Clark SM. Patient education: Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/nausea-and-vomiting-of-pregnancy-beyond-the-basics
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