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Understanding Morning Sickness: Relief and Treatments


· Morning sickness is stomach upset, nausea, or vomiting that often happens during pregnancy.

· Treatment can include medicine and IV fluids prescribed by your healthcare provider to reduce nausea and vomiting.

· Taking small sips of fluids, sucking on ice chips or Popsicles, or sipping peppermint tea may help with replacing fluids.


What is morning sickness?

Morning sickness is stomach upset, nausea, or vomiting that happens often during pregnancy.

Nausea can feel like stomach upset and can be the feeling you have just before you vomit. Sometimes you may feel nausea without vomiting.

Many pregnant women experience morning sickness during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Morning sickness is misnamed as it can occur at any time of the day.

If you have severe morning sickness, it can cause problems for you and the baby. You could lose weight and lose too much fluid from your body.

You and the baby may not get enough nutrients, or your body’s chemicals may get out of balance.

What is the cause?

It is not well understood why some women have morning sickness and others do not. Women with high levels of pregnancy hormones tend to have morning sickness.

It is also more common when a woman is pregnant with multiples, like with twins.

Morning sickness tends to be worse during your first pregnancy.

For some, they can see relief by about the 14th week of pregnancy, when the level of certain pregnancy hormones is lower.

What are the symptoms?

Mild symptoms include nausea, queasy stomach, and vomiting 1 to 2 times a day. Symptoms of severe morning sickness may include:

· Repeated vomiting soon after you eat or drink anything, including water

· Weight loss

· Dark-colored urine

· Dizziness or lightheadedness

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine you. Tests may include:

· Blood tests

· Urine test

If you have severe morning sickness, you may need other tests or scans.

How is it treated?

Severe morning sickness may be treated with:

· Medicine prescribed by your healthcare provider to reduce nausea and vomiting

· Staying at the hospital and getting IV fluids instead of eating or drinking for 1 to 3 days, then slowly adding liquids and food back into your diet

Tips for managing morning sickness

Things that you can do that might help relieve morning sickness include the following:

· Eat snacks that are high in protein, such as cheese, a glass of milk, or low-fat yogurt.

· Eat small meals often (4 to 6 times a day) instead of 2 or 3 larger meals.

· Avoid strong odors and greasy or spicy foods.

· Eat more foods with vitamin B6, such as green, leafy vegetables.

· Eat dry toast or crackers or a couple slices of apple before you get out of bed.

Movement on an empty stomach often makes morning sickness worse.

· Wear acupressure wrist bands, like the wrist bands used for motion sickness.

· Take vitamin B6 pills or get B6 shots if recommended by your provider.

A dietitian can help you plan a way to eat a balanced diet.

Because you are losing fluids when you vomit, it’s important to drink fluids. Even if liquids stay down just an hour, your body will absorb a lot in that time.

Try sucking on ice chips or Popsicles. Take small sips often rather than drinking a whole glass of fluid at once. Some women find that drinking small sips of peppermint tea, ginger tea, or ginger ale relieves their symptoms.

Hypnosis or acupuncture may help. Check with your healthcare provider before you try any natural remedies or alternative treatments.

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