Morning sickness refers to nausea experienced by many women early in pregnancy. Although some women feel worse in the morning, the symptoms can occur any time or all day long. The nausea is probably a reaction to changing hormones levels and it is usually a sign of a healthy pregnancy. Emotional factors can make the symptoms worse. Some women have very mild symptoms and other have more severe nausea and vomiting. The good news is that it usually goes away by the end of the third or fourth month.
There are certain things you can do to minimize your symptoms. It is important to keep food in your stomach all the time. Eat small, frequent meals and nibble on some kind of snacks such as soda crackers. When you eat, eat slowly and try to stay relaxed. Limit the amount of liquid you take with meals and instead drink between meals. If you are especially nauseated in the morning, try eating a small protein snack before you go to bed (e.g., peanut butter, frozen yogurt, or cheese), and then nibble on some crackers in the morning before you get out of bed. In general, try to eat bland, easy to digest foods such as baked potatoes, broiled chicken, fruit, crackers, peanut butter, pudding, etc.
You may also want to try wristbands for seasickness that are available in most drug stores, You and your baby will not be harmed by the nausea and vomiting unless you become severely dehydrated. If your vomiting is severe or persistent, you should call your doctor immediately. Although it is important to supplement your diet with prenatal vitamins and iron during pregnancy, you can wait until these symptoms subside before you start the vitamin supplements.
If the above is not helpful, the following have not been FDA approved for pregnancy, but have been used extensively and are not known to cause birth defects:
- Unisom (doxylamine) - 25mg at bedtime and 12.5mg in the morning and afternoon
- Chlor-Trimeton - 12mg once a day
- Benadryl - 25mg every six hours
- Emetrol - as directed on the bottle (AVOID if you are diabetic)
- Ginger capsules - 250mg 4x/day
- Vitamin B6 - 50mg in the morning and before bedtime