Introduction

For many women, the toughest part of
early pregnancy is morning sickness. If you are suffering from nausea,
vomiting, or both, you need safe measures that will bring you some relief. Your
best course of action for managing morning sickness is home treatment. By
following a few proven guidelines, you are likely to gain significant relief
from nausea and vomiting. Home treatment for morning sickness
can include:

  • Changing what, when, and how much you
    eat.
  • Taking ginger or vitamin B6.
  • Avoiding foods and
    smells that make you feel sick.
  • Trying acupressure, which seems to work for some
    women.
  • Taking doxylamine by itself or with vitamin B6. Talk to your doctor about this medicine.

If you have severe, persistent nausea and vomiting, see
your doctor or nurse-midwife immediately. This uncommon complication of
pregnancy can lead to dehydration and malnutrition, sometimes requiring
prescribed medicine or hospitalization.

How can I manage morning sickness at home?

The
following are safe, proved treatments for morning sickness. Still, few women
gain complete relief from morning sickness treatment.

  • Certain antihistamines like doxylamine or
    dimenhydrinate, taken as your doctor advises, may relieve morning
    sickness. If one of these antihistamines alone does
    not relieve your morning sickness, you can try taking it with vitamin
    B6.footnote 1
  • Ginger, taken
    regularly as a powder in a capsule, grated fresh into hot water for a tea, or
    in syrup or crystallized form, may relieve morning sickness after
    a few days of treatment.footnote 2
  • Vitamin B6, taken regularly as your doctor advises, may reduce nausea and
    vomiting.
  • Acupressure, firmly placed on the P6 point (the inner
    side of your arm, in line with your middle finger and one-sixth of the way
    between your wrist and elbow), relieves nausea for some women.

Follow these guidelines for minimizing nausea and vomiting
during pregnancy.

  • Keep food in your stomach but not too much. An
    empty stomach can make nausea worse. Eat several small meals every day instead
    of three large meals.
  • For morning nausea, eat a small snack (like
    crackers) before you get out of bed. Allow a few minutes for the snack to
    digest, then get out of bed slowly.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of
    fluids. Try a sports hydration drink, as well as water, broth, or
    juice.
  • Eat more protein, and cut your fatty food
    intake.
  • Avoid smells and foods that make you feel nauseated. Citrus
    juice, milk, coffee, and caffeinated tea commonly make nausea
    worse.
  • If you are taking iron supplements, ask your doctor if they are necessary. Iron can make nausea worse.
  • Get lots of rest.
    Stress and fatigue can make morning sickness worse.

Contact your doctor immediately if you vomit more than 3
times a day or are unable to take fluids, especially if you also have pain,
fever, or both.

References

Citations

  1. Kelly TF, Savides TJ (2009). Gastrointestinal disease in pregnancy. In RK Creasy et al., eds., Creasy and Resnik’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice, 6th ed., pp. 1041-1057. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
  2. Festin M (2014). Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. BMJ Clinical Evidence. http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/x/pdf/clinical-evidence/en-gb/systematic-review/1405.pdf. Accessed June 23, 2014.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD – Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMarch 16, 2017