Women's wellness: Should I be worried about morning sickness?

September 12, 2017 by From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network

Dear Mayo Clinic: I'm 15 weeks pregnant and have had horrible morning sickness from the beginning of the pregnancy. I've lost weight and worry that will affect the baby's health. I didn't experience any morning sickness with my first pregnancy. Is this normal? What can I do to get back to eating while feeling nauseated all the time?

A: Nausea and vomiting during - whether it happens only in the morning or lasts all day - can make you feel bad. It also can be worrisome, especially when it causes . For most pregnant , though, morning doesn't pose a health threat. And it usually goes away as a pregnancy progresses. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to ease morning sickness.

Morning sickness is most common during the first trimester, but it can linger throughout pregnancy. Exactly what causes morning sickness is unknown. It's likely related to the hormones hCG and estrogen, which are high during pregnancy. As in your situation, it's not unusual to have different levels of nausea with each pregnancy.

Women who have significant morning sickness often lose weight early in pregnancy. Only in rare circumstances does this cause problems. The nausea usually subsides over time. As that happens, most women are able to catch up and gain a healthy amount of weight by the end of the pregnancy.

Although morning sickness is hard to prevent, you may be able to make it less bothersome. Nausea tends to be worse when your stomach is completely full or empty. So rather than eating three large meals a day, eat smaller amounts more often. You can eat whatever foods appeal to you and don't cause nausea. Some women find snacking on soda crackers or dry toast can quell feelings of queasiness. Ginger also can help. Try ginger ale, ginger tea or ginger lollipops.

Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, but don't drink too much at one time. Some women find drinking beverages with a meal makes nausea worse. If so, take in solid foods and liquids separately to see if that helps.

The smell of certain foods, especially during cooking, can be a problem. Avoid those foods if you are preparing meals, and ask someone to help make meals if cooking triggers nausea.

Pay attention to when and how you take your prenatal vitamins. Taking them in the morning can sometimes makes nausea worse. If that's the case for you, try taking them in the evening instead. Taking your vitamins with food also may help. If those changes don't make a difference, try a vitamin that has low iron or is iron-free until you feel better.

Acupressure and acupuncture seem to reduce morning sickness for some women. Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles into the skin at strategic points on the body. Acupressure wristbands are available without a prescription in most pharmacies.

If nausea continues, your doctor may suggest over-the-counter medications. Anti-nausea medications and medications to reduce acid production can be useful. A combination of doxylamine succinate, a sleep aid, and vitamin B6 may be recommended to decrease symptoms. If that doesn't work, a prescription medication may help.

A small percentage of women develop serious nausea and vomiting during pregnancy called hyperemesis gravidarum. Women with this disorder often become dehydrated and lose weight. If it isn't treated quickly, may require hospitalization. Rarely, it can lead to premature birth or .

If you notice symptoms in addition to , such as lightheadedness, dizziness, faintness, a fast heartbeat, or inability to keep food or fluids down for more than 12 hours, contact your . You may need additional evaluation or treatment.

Keep in mind that, although it's certainly not a pleasant part of pregnancy, for most women, resolves with a combination of self-care and time, and without any lasting problems.

Explore further: Preemptive treatment of severe morning sickness decreases suffering for moms-to-be

8 shares

Related Stories

Preemptive treatment of severe morning sickness decreases suffering for moms-to-be

February 11, 2013
`In a study to be presented on February 14 at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in San Francisco, California, researchers will present data showing the effectiveness of preemptive ...

'Morning sickness' linked to lower miscarriage risk: study

September 26, 2016
Morning sickness is linked to a lower risk of miscarriage, according to research out Monday that suggests a woman's nausea and vomiting early in pregnancy may have protective effects for the fetus.

Opinion: What can you eat to help ease 'morning' sickness in pregnancy?

August 29, 2016
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is mistakenly known as "morning" sickness. Mistakenly, because it doesn't occur only in the morning. One Canadian study reported 80% of its sample of pregnant women experienced nausea that ...

ACOG: Best evidence for rx of nausea, vomiting in pregnancy

August 20, 2015
(HealthDay)—In a practice bulletin published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, recommendations are presented for the management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.

Hyperemesis gravidarum: no ordinary morning sickness

December 4, 2012
For anyone who has had hyperemesis gravidarum, the pregnancy-induced vomiting that has caused Prince William's wife Kate to be hospitalised, the term "morning sickness" is way off the mark.

Study finds no evidence linking anti-nausea drug to birth defects

May 9, 2016
Women suffering from extreme morning sickness often take Zofran (ondansetron) to combat their debilitating nausea and vomiting. However, two studies have found that the drug may increase risk of heart defects and cleft palate ...

Recommended for you

RNAi therapy mitigates preeclampsia symptoms

November 19, 2018
A collaboration of scientists from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Western Sydney University, have shown that an innovative new type of therapy using small interfering ...

New blood test detects early stage ovarian cancer

November 19, 2018
Research on a bacterial toxin first discovered in Adelaide has led to the development a new blood test for the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer—a disease which kills over 1000 Australian women and 150,000 globally each ...

Human Cell Atlas study reveals maternal immune system modifications in early pregnancy

November 14, 2018
The first Human Cell Atlas study of early pregnancy in humans has shown how the function of the maternal immune system is affected by cells from the developing placenta. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Newcastle ...

Soy formula feeding during infancy associated with severe menstrual pain in adulthood

November 9, 2018
New research suggests that infant girls fed soy formula are more likely to develop severe menstrual pain as young adults. The finding adds to the growing body of literature that suggests exposure to soy formula during early ...

A major role for a small organ in the immune response during pregnancy

November 9, 2018
The immune system of a pregnant woman is altered during pregnancy, but not in the way previously believed, according to results from a study at Linköping University, Sweden. This study, published in the Journal of Allergy ...

Mailed HPV tests can help find women at-risk for cervical cancer, study finds

November 7, 2018
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have found that mailing self-collection kits to test for high-risk human papillomavirus infection has the potential to boost cervical cancer ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.