Treating nausea and vomiting during pregnancy

Morning sickness is one of the most common symptoms during pregnancy. Ask any woman who has ever been pregnant though, and she’ll tell you that nausea and vomiting can come at any time of the day. Morning sickness varies, but a majority of women report some level of nausea during pregnancy, especially between 6-16 weeks. Some women may feel sick throughout their entire pregnancy, while others report no nausea or vomiting at all.

Every woman is unique, and regardless of the length or degree of sickness you might feel during pregnancy, Hancock Regional Hospital offers some common techniques that may help ease your symptoms.

Timing & sizing of meals

Instead of three heavy meals a day, try eating smaller meals and snacks more frequently throughout the day. Eat something every few hours so that your stomach is never empty. That’s when nausea is most likely to strike.

Keep light snacks like crackers at your bedside. Eat a few before bed and when you awake in the morning. Simple snacks can also help if nausea wakes you up in the middle of the night.

Foods to enjoy

Women can have some pretty strange food cravings during pregnancy. Make sure you have these foods on hand when they appeal to you. From salty pretzels to crunchy pickles and cold ice cream, making a list of treats that offer different eating sensations will help you quickly satisfy those cravings and treat nausea as soon as it sets in.

Foods to avoid

Hypersensitivity to smells is a big factor in nausea and vomiting among pregnant women. Fatty, greasy foods take longer to digest and their smells can upset the stomach. Other digestive irritants include heavily seasoned and spicy foods. Food tends to have a stronger smell when it’s served hot, so try and eat more bland-tasting foods served at room temperature.

Don’t mix eating & drinking

Drink most of your fluids between meals, not with them. It’s also important not to drink too many fluids at one time, because it can trick your stomach into feeling full. Sipping on fluids throughout the day will help keep you hungry for solid food when it’s time to eat.

If you’re vomiting a lot, drinking a sports drink can help replace lost electrolytes.

Trust your senses

Just like food smells, other smells and sensations can make you feel sick. Hot air, heavy perfumes, bright lights – even a bumpy car ride – can trigger nausea and vomiting. Avoiding these triggers can make your pregnancy more comfortable.

These sensations tend to be worse when you’re tired, so make sure you allow plenty of time each day and night to sleep, rest and relax.

Try alternative treatments

They may not be supported by hard science or modern medicine, but countless women swear by alternative treatments. Acupuncture, hypnosis and herbal remedies like ginger root have all been shown to relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Alternative treatments don’t work for everybody, and costs can range from very affordable to extremely expensive, so doing research can help you decide what’s right for you.

Just about everyone has a solution for morning sickness. Treatments can be found in books, online and from family and friends. Before making changes during pregnancy, talk to your doctor about what techniques are generally safe, along with things that may pose a risk to you and baby. And remember, contact your provider immediately if you haven’t been able to keep solid foods or liquids down for more than 24 hours.

Hancock Regional Hospital’s Andis Women’s and Children’s Department provides quality healthcare and compassionate maternity care. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our personalized services, call us at (317) 468-4485.

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