Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy affects approximately three quarters of pregnant women in the first trimester. About half of all pregnant women experience both nausea and vomiting, one quarter experience nausea alone, and one quarter luck out all together. Symptoms usually start around 6 weeks, and most commonly ease up around 14 weeks gestation. For some women nausea and vomiting can be worse in the morning, while in others they might experience the symptoms on and off all day.
The most well known theory for the cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is thedramatic rise in the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This rise in hCG is the most dramatic in the first trimester, and then eases off in the second and third trimester.
If you’re suffering from nausea and vomiting, try these 15 easy tips to help ease your symptoms. And if in doubt contact your local naturopathic physician!
Identify the foods that you can tolerate and focus on those. Consume solids and liquids separately (by at least an hour).
Eat a little and often, it helps to keep something in your stomach, and gives the stomach juices something to work on.
Try to limit eating sweet foods and refined carbohydrates as sugar problems can worsen symptoms.
Have a protein snack before bedtime. This may reduce morning sickness.
Avoid excess fats (ie. fried foods) as they can make foods harder to digest.
Have some dry crackers within reach – by your bed for early morning and in your bag at work. Have a nibble of dry cracker before getting out of bed in the morning.
Sip on low sugar fizzy drinks.
Try ginger capsules, 250mg four times per day.
Try oral vitamin B6, 25mg three times per day.
Talk to your local naturopathic doctor (ND) about vitamin B6 and B12 injections. Injections by-pass the digestive tract, and offer quicker relief then oral supplementation. Vitamin B12 offers an additional boost to your energy during the first trimester.
Wear acupressure wristbands.These are available at drugstores. They are worn to avoid seasickness (SEABANDS).
Try in office acupuncture treatments with your local ND or acupuncturists. Appointments are recommended weekly or bi-weekly throughout the first trimester.
Get exercise and fresh air on a regular basis.
If your nausea is severe, talk to your ND or GP about taking a medication called Diclectin. Diclectin is the most studied medicine for use in pregnancy. It’s a vitamin B6 and antihistamine-based combination.
Contact your healthcare provider if you are unable to keep any food or fluids down for 24 hours or feel that you are dehydrated.
In health and happiness,
Dr. Meghan van Drimmelen | Naturopath Victoria BC