Nausea in Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Nausea

"It can feel like a queasiness that surfaces at any time during the day or night"

Nausea during pregnancy is typically one of the most experienced and complained about symptoms that women report. It is known to be an early sign of pregnancy and some women feel nausea even before they’ve received their free pregnancy test. It is most often experienced between 7 weeks and 12 weeks of pregnancy. The cause is usually associated with increased hormone levels of the pregnancy, but it has not been found to affect the growing fetus.

 It can feel like a queasiness that surfaces at any time during the day or night, despite being known as “morning sickness“.  Strong smell aversions, acid reflux, or a metallic taste in the mouth can also accompany this nausea.

Here are some ideas to help ease symptoms you may be experiencing:

    • Smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Try not to have an empty stomach by always having something small available to nibble on.
    • Drink liquids in between meals, instead of with your meal.
    • Allow extra time to digest—rushing tends to aggravate nausea.
    • A high protein diet with complex carbohydrates (ex. peanut butter on wheat toast). Avoid greasy or processed foods.
    • Numerous studies have shown that ginger really does reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. You may find even the smell of fresh ginger calms an upset stomach. Stock up on staples made with real ginger (check the label; many prepared foods don’t contain the real deal), such as ginger snaps, ginger ale, ginger tea, ginger candies, ginger biscuits or crystallized ginger. Use fresh ginger when you cook, or add it to hot tea.
    • Cool fresh air and rest.
    • Take your prenatal vitamin to compensate for any nutrients you may not be getting, at whatever time of day you’re least likely throw it back up. You may want to try taking it right before bed.
    • If your symptoms are particularly rough, ask your practitioner about switching your prenatal vitamin for one with more B6 and less (or no) iron, which can be particularly tough on a sensitive tummy. Also, ask whether you should take an additional vitamin B6 supplement or the antihistamine doxylamine (found in Unisom SleepTabs).

Remember that this phase of pregnancy is not usually prolonged, and some healthy distractions of daily life can provide relief. Maintain hydration and enough sleep, and allow time for the baby to grow.  Certainly, prolonged vomiting or inability to keep liquids down should be evaluated by a physician. This is an exciting time and filled with hopeful anticipation.  At Alcove Health we want to support you through this time by providing helpful community resources, medical referrals, and material needs.  Please call us to schedule an appointment today!

By Meg, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager

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