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Coping with Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting is common during pregnancy. More than half of pregnant women feel queasy or throw up. ‘Morning sickness’ can happen at any time of day. It does not mean that you are having an unhealthy pregnancy. But nausea and vomiting can be hard to cope with and make it difficult to do your daily activities. Importantly, nausea and vomiting do not usually harm you or your baby. And there are many things that you can do to feel better. Talk to your maternity care provider about your choices.

It usually starts by the 6th week of pregnancy. For most women, the symptoms go away around the 14th week but can last up to the 20th week. For a few women, nausea and vomiting last throughout their pregnancy.
 

No, nausea and vomiting are usually not harmful to your baby unless your symptoms are severe. Talk to your maternity care provider if you are concerned.

 
Keeping your stomach satisfied and your blood sugar steady may help with feeling nauseated. Here are some additional tips that should help you feel better.

  • Drink small amounts of liquid often.
  • Eat small, frequent meals or snacks instead of three large meals a day.
  • Try eating dry toast or crackers in the morning before you get out of bed.
  • Try ginger: ginger ale made with real ginger, ginger added to chai or other types of tea, ginger capsules and ginger candies.
  • Avoid smells that bother you.
  • Try to get plenty of rest as nausea is worse when you are tired. 
  • If multivitamins make your nausea worse, take them with food or just before bed. If this does not help, talk to your maternity care provider about changing to a folic acid pill.
  • Wearing a motion sickness wrist band or receiving acupressure/acupuncture may help with nausea.
 

Eating bland or plain foods may help. The "BRATT" diet - bananas, rice, applesauce, toast and tea - is low in fat and can be less irritating to your stomach. 

 

About 1% of pregnant women suffer from ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’, a serious form of nausea and vomiting. Frequent vomiting may result in dehydration (a loss of water from your body) and a shortage of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) for you and your baby. Contact your maternity care provider if you cannot keep any food or liquids down for 2 or more days in a row. 

 
If you are concerned about taking medication for your nausea and vomiting, ask your maternity care provider about your options.  

If food and lifestyle changes do not help, or if you have severe nausea and vomiting, you may need medical treatment. There are safe medications you can take to treat your nausea and vomiting. 

  • Diclectin is a prescription medication that is a combination of doxylamine (an antihistamine) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Health Canada has approved it as a safe (for you and your baby) and effective medication to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
  • Additional medications can be prescribed if Diclectin does not help your nausea and vomiting. 
  • Talk to your maternity care provider before taking any medications, over-the-counter treatment or herbal remedies.
 

SOURCE: Coping with Nausea and Vomiting ( )
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