What Can I Do About Morning Sickness?

Expecting mom

Unlike its name, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can happen at any time of day.  It is a normal (although unpleasant) side effect of some pregnancies that is most common in the first 16 weeks.  About half of all pregnant women experience it.  While we do not know the cause, it seems to be related to the rising levels of the pregnancy hormone hCg which peaks at about 8-10 weeks gestation. 

Most morning sickness can be treated or made more bearable with some simple dietary steps:

  • Try to eat smaller more frequent meals, having snacks about every 2-3 hours. 
  • Drink plenty of water. 
  • Try dry toast or crackers at the first hint of nausea.
  • Avoid greasy, spicy or strong smelling foods.
  • Sucking on a peppermint or chewing mint gum can calm the stomach.
  • Drink beverages containing ginger, like ginger ale or ginger tea.
  • Avoid dairy products while nauseated.
  • If your prenatal vitamin makes you feel nauseous, try taking it right before going to sleep.  If it still is problematic, ask your midwife or doctor if you can stop taking it until the morning sickness improves.

If these measures don’t seem to help consider:

  • Motion sickness bands or “seabands” are simple bracelets that put acupressure on the inside of your wrist.  They help with nausea caused by travel and also with morning sickness for some people and are completely safe for the baby.
  • Ginger capsules can be purchased at most health food stores. The dose is one 250 mg capsule four times per day. 
  • Vitamin B6 supplements have been shown to calm nausea for many pregnant women. The usual dose is 50mg per day.  Always ask your midwife or doctor before beginning any vitamin supplement.

If all else fails and you are still troubled with nausea and vomiting you may need to consider medication. There are many that are safe for your baby and your midwife or doctor can prescribe one for you.

Always call your midwife or doctor if your can not keep any food or liquids down for 24 hours, if you have abdominal pain, fever, or trouble urinating. 
 Click here to learn more about midwife services at Kennedy.

Sarah Appleby-Wineberg MSN, CNM is a nurse midwife practicing in Sewell, NJ.  Patients may call the Rowan University SOM Doctors and Midwives at 856-218-0300 for an appointment.