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Managing Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

Managing Nausea & Vomiting During Pregnancy

Nausea can be a normal symptom in pregnancy. It is often related to the increases in pregnancy hormones. It is important for you and your baby to receive adequate hydration and nutrition in spite of the nausea. Most nausea decreases considerably after the first trimester (12 weeks), but may persist throughout pregnancy. We try to limit prescription medications in the first trimester, but if you are getting dehydrated, they may be necessary. If, after trying the following, you remain unable to keep any fluids in your stomach after 24 hours, please call your health care provider.

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Dietary Guidelines:

  • Small frequent meals.
  • Place crackers next to your bedside to nibble on before getting up.
  • Low fat proteins are easier to digest (such as low fat milk, lean cuts of meat, broiled or baked fish or poultry). Avoid the skin of poultry.
  • Carbohydrates are easy to digest (such as rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, crackers, etc). 6. Avoid highly seasoned or spicy foods.
  • Avoid foods that give you gas (such as cabbage, broccoli, onions, beans, and possibly dairy).
  • Eat a protein-rich snack before going to bed (such as peanut butter or low-fat cheese).
  • Peppermint tea, ginger tea, Gatorade®, 7-Up®, and ginger ale can be soothing.
  • Guard against dehydration. Drink lots of water!

General Recommendations:

  • Get plenty of fresh air and plenty of rest!
  • Remove odors from surroundings.
  • Rise slowly from bed; give yourself a few minutes to adjust.
  • Wear non-restrictive clothing.
  • A heating pad or hot water bottle can soothe sore abdominal muscles if vomiting a lot.
  • Acupuncture may be very effective in combating nausea and vomiting.

Non-invasive Devices:

  • Acupressure bands
  • ‘Sea bands’
  • Copper wrist bands (available at most pharmacies)

Medications

  • DO NOT take any anti-nausea prescription medicines without consulting your health care provider.
  • Over-the-counter safe medications include:
    • Vitamin B-6, 25mg, one in the morning, one in the evening
    • Unisom, ½ tablet (at bedtime as it is very sedating)
    • Crystallized ginger
    • Papaya enzyme pills
  • Many prenatal vitamins can be nauseating. You may find taking your vitamin at bedtime, with food, or changing brands may help to keep the nausea to a minimum