Q: Is there anything I can do about morning sickness?
If you’re having morning sickness, you’re not alone. More than half of pregnant women report suffering through some amount of nausea or vomiting. While most people experience pregnancy nausea in the first trimester and it usually subsides by the early second trimester of your pregnancy, a few people may experience a resurgence of nausea in the third trimester. While it’s common to wake up nauseated, it can actually affect you at any time of the day, so the term “morning sickness” can be misleading.
There are things you can do to reduce or minimize your symptoms. Pregnancy nausea is usually worse on an empty stomach, so eat five or six small meals throughout the day, rather than three big ones. Eat dry, bland foods like dry toast or saltine crackers to settle your stomach and avoid foods that are spicy or greasy. Avoid smells that make you feel sick, and sip soda water, tea, or water, or suck on ice chips when you feel nauseated. Ginger and ginger supplements can also help ease symptoms of nausea. If you find your prenatal vitamins worsen your nausea, try switching to a chewable or gummy form until your nausea abates. Some people find that acupuncture helps with symptoms.
If your symptoms are severe to where you’re vomiting multiple times a day or are losing weight because you can’t keep down foods or fluids, talk with your doctor about whether you should take an anti-nausea medication.
Trina Chakravarty, MD