by Justine Deputy, RN, BSN
Nausea and vomiting is one of the most common complaints of women during the first trimester of pregnancy. The majority of pregnant women experience some form of nausea and some also experience vomiting. Although it is often referred to as morning sickness, the nausea and vomiting can occur at any time of day. Nausea and vomiting usually peaks between eight and 10 weeks, and for most women will go away between 12 and 16 weeks (American College of Nurse-Midwives, 2016).
Potential causes include a high level of estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) (adapted from The Birth Center Client Manual). Women whose mothers experienced morning sickness and women with a history of motion sickness or stomach problems may also be more likely to experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (American College of Nurse-Midwives, 2016).
What can you do?
(Adapted from The Birth Center Client Manual)
- Eat small frequent meals with protein.
- Eat soda crackers before rising in the morning.
- Decrease intake of greasy and spicy foods.
- Increase B6 intake in foods.
- Take B6 50 mg. tabs, up to 200 mg. daily if needed.
- Drink liquids between meals rather than with them.
- Ginger, peppermint, acupressure, wristbands, and Sea Bands can also help.
- If none of the above recommendations are helping, speak to a healthcare provider.
More information about nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can be found here.
Birth Center Mama Experience
“I remember I could barely be in the kitchen during weeks six through 12. Nothing sounded good, nothing tasted good, and everything made me want to vomit. My husband and I love to cook and all I wanted was bland foods in small amounts. I hosted Thanksgiving that year, and needless to say I wasn’t able to help with any of the cooking. Thankfully my husband and parents pitched in to make a delicious meal. At work, I always had Preggie Pop Drops. The perfect “congratulations you’re pregnant!” gift from my best friend. There were times I had to step out of patients rooms and breath. Breathing really helped. The hardest part, when you are dealing with all the not so fun symptoms, is that it is the time period where most people do not know you are even pregnant. I remember thinking I would experience this the entire pregnancy. How would it ever end? My body was growing a human. But, it did. Suddenly between weeks 12 and 13, the nausea and vomiting just stopped. I was back to scrounging the refrigerator for anything and everything. :)” ~ Justine Deputy
American College of Nurse-Midwives. (2016). Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 61(2), 293-294. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmwh.12451/epdf