Making it through morning sickness



So, you’re excited to be pregnant. You’re supposed to be glowing, but instead you look kind of green. If you feel nauseous or you just threw up, it’s probably morning sickness.

Jade Elliott spoke with  Hannele Laine, here an OB/Gyn from Intermountain Healthcare To help you know how to make it through morning sickness.

Morning sickness is common and may be under-treated

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 50-80 percent of pregnant women experience nausea and 50 percent experience vomiting or retching.

Morning sickness may be undertreated. It often begins prior to the first appointment, so women sometimes wait for the appointment rather than asking for help. In addition, women may not seek treatment because they believe it is common and usually temporary or because they’re concerned about the safety of taking medications while pregnant.

What causes morning sickness?

The specific cause of vomiting during pregnancy is not known. One hypothesis is that it due to the change in hormones levels during pregnancy.

Common myths about morning sickness:

1. It only occurs in the morning. False: You can have morning sickness any time of day.

2. It’s resolves after the first trimester. False: A few women have it last into the second and sometimes even into the third trimester.

3. It harms the baby. False: Typical morning sickness does not harm the fetus.

What increases your risk of severe morning sickness?

Severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is called hyperemesis gravidarum. It is more likely to occur with these risk factors:

• A twin or triplet pregnancy.

• A previous pregnancy with nausea and vomiting.

• In women who have family members with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.

• A history of motion sickness or migraines.

• Being pregnant with a female fetus.

Simple ways to help reduce morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals, every 1-2 hours to avoid a full stomach and to avoid hunger.
  • Eat bland, dry foods like crackers, cereal, toast or baked potatoes.
  • Eat some protein with every meal.
  • Avoid spicy or fatty foods.
  • Eat something before you get out of bed. Keep crackers on your nightstand.
  •  Take prenatal vitamins at night after a meal or switch to folic acid alone.
  • Avoid unpleasant smells as they may trigger nausea.
  • Try ginger capsules or candies, ginger ale or tea made with real ginger.
  • Wristbands that put pressure on or electrically stimulate a pressure point on the wrist may help.

How to prevent morning sickness from becoming severe:

  • Avoid getting dehydrated. Try taking little sips all day of something like Gatorade.
  •  Seek treatment early to prevent severe symptoms requiring hospitalization.
  •  Talk to your provider about how to manage your morning sickness and review possible medications that can help.
  •  Keep your prenatal visits and call if you are having trouble between visits.

When to call or see your provider:

• If nausea or vomiting is severe

• You pass only a small amount of urine or it’s dark in color

• You can’t keep liquids down

• You feel dizzy or faint when you stand up

• Your heart races or is pounding

• You’re losing weight

• If nausea or vomiting begins after nine weeks of pregnancy

Severe nausea and vomiting could be caused by something else:

Warning signs that your nausea and vomiting may be due to another cause:

• abdominal pain or tenderness

• fever

• headache

• thyroid enlargement or swelling on the front of the neck

• nausea and vomiting that occurs for the first time after nine weeks of pregnancy.

If you have severe nausea and vomiting, your provider may want to do additional tests to evaluate other causes of the symptoms. Some medical conditions can cause nausea and vomiting during pregnancy such as an ulcer, food-related illness, thyroid or gallbladder disease.

For more information visit: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/women-newborn/

For additional information, click here.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.


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