Dr. Suzanne Trupin is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. She graduated from Stanford University and completed her medical training at New York Medical in Valhalla, New York. She received her residency training at the University of Southern California Women's Hospital in Los Angeles, California. She is Board-Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
As miserable as it may seem, nausea and vomiting are usually part of a healthy pregnancy. The misery typically goes away by the middle of the second trimester. You can try home remedies to reduce your symptoms, and if these do not work, your doctor can help.
No single treatment works best for every woman with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Different techniques work for different women. You will have to discover what seems to make your symptoms better. Many women have found the following suggestions helpful:
Eat small amounts of food frequently so that you are never too hungry or too full.
Avoid spicy and fatty foods, and foods with odors that bother you.
Try eating simple carbohydrates, such
as saltine crackers, unbuttered toast, plain baked potatoes, white rice,
gelatin desserts, broth, pretzels, popsicles, herbal or decaffeinated tea with
sugar, or non-diet ginger ale.
Combine these simple carbohydrates with a serving of protein, especially right before bed to minimize swings in blood sugar that may contribute to nausea.
Drink liquids between meals and not during meals to minimize nausea and
Keep crackers at the bedside table to help with nausea in the morning.
If you find that your prenatal vitamin seems to worsen your nausea, take it with food instead of on an empty stomach. If this does not help, talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching to a different vitamin. Chewable vitamins are
sometimes easier to tolerate.
Some evidence suggests that pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) supplements help reduce nausea and vomiting. The suggested dose is 25-50 mg every
eight hours, and it can be given as an injection up to 200 mg. There are no known harmful effects of vitamin B-6 taken at these doses. Some prenatal vitamins are formulated with extra vitamin B-6.
Stimulation of the P6 (Nei Guan) acupressure point on the wrist (on the inside of the wrist about where a watchband is worn) has been suggested as a method to reduce nausea and vomiting.
You can press on this area with your finger or thumb or buy an acupressure band. These bands are often sold as motion sickness treatments, so check with a local drug store or auto club.
glucose, fructose, and phosphoric acid are available over-the-counter. These solutions may reduce muscle contractions in the wall of the stomach and intestines. The normal dose is 1-2 tablespoons every 15 minutes for no more than 5 doses. These solutions cause no known harmful effects on the fetus.
Two over-the-counter antihistamines, diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), have been shown to improve nausea and vomiting. Although both are generally believed to be safe in
pregnancy, you should discuss the risks and benefits of these medications with your doctor.
Powdered ginger is used fairly commonly in Europe as a nausea remedy during pregnancy.
The usual dose is 250 mg, three times daily.
The effect of ginger on the fetus has not been extensively studied.