Although they call it morning sickness, it can come at any hour of the day. Important business meetings. Grocery shopping. Even brushing your teeth can induce a run to the nearest bathroom. Morning sickness can begin to feel more like all-day sickness. You may even find it varies from one pregnancy to the other.
Thankfully, nausea during pregnancy doesn’t typically last forever and there is a prize at the end of it: a beautiful baby. Here are five ways you can help relieve your tummy and decrease your time in the bathroom.
1. Use ginger
One of the oldest anti-nausea tricks in the book seems to work – at least a little bit. Research has shown that ginger is an effective and safe treatment for nausea and vomiting. Try adding a slice of ginger to your drink or sip on flat ginger ale. While ginger might help milder cases, it may not work for women who can’t keep any food down. Often the only relief, in this case, comes from medication.
2. Take Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and Doxylamine Succinate
If you want to try and avoid prescription medications, Dr. Michael Bradfield, MD, Banner Health family medicine physician at North Colorado Family Medicine, says a combination therapy of B6 supplement and doxylamine succinate, like Unisom, may be a good alternative.
“Studies suggest that taking vitamin B6 and doxylamine for morning sickness greatly improves nausea,” Dr. Bradfield says. “They are low-risk, very affordable and don’t require a prescription but speak with your doctor first before taking anything.
3. Stay hydrated
Getting your eight glasses of water a day can feel monumental when your stomach is no bueno. Despite that, it’s essential to stay hydrated. It not only benefits you, but it also benefits the baby—helping form the placenta and the amniotic sac. If getting water down is tough, chew on ice chips.
4. Get your rest
“Your body has a lot of increased metabolic demands, so sleep, meditation and relaxation are vital while pregnant,” Dr. Bradfield says. “Nausea tends to increase with fatigue and stress.”
Try lying down, closing your eyes and taking deep breaths. Many doctors and women have said sleep is the best way to overcome queasiness. There are also some approved over-the-counter sleep aids, but check with your doctor before taking anything.
5. Ask for a prescription
If you are having a difficulty keeping anything down and believe you may be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and electrolyte disturbance, Dr. Bradfield recommends you speak with your doctor.
"Women with persistent vomiting should see their doctor or go to the emergency room to assess if they need fluids and electrolyte replacement and to have their nausea and vomiting managed with medications,” Dr. Bradfield says.
When should you ask for help?
Morning sickness can really bring discomfort, but don’t ignore unusual symptoms. If you believe you are suffering from HG or any of the symptoms below, seek immediate care from your treating physician:
- Inability to keep food/drink down for 24 hours
- Weight loss
- Vomiting blood or bile
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty urinating due to dehydration
Have concerns? Contact the Banner Health Nurse on Call for free health care advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 844-259-9494.