10 tips to survive nausea during pregnancy

Posted by Emily Linklater, D.O.
April 06, 2015

Emily Linklater DOPositive pink line on pregnancy test? Check. Small flutter on early ultrasound? Check. Nausea and vomiting? Double-check.

Often the constant feeling of nausea, which is accompanied by vomiting, soon overshadows the excitement of early pregnancy. Approximately 50-90 percent of women experience nausea and vomiting in their pregnancy, and 5 percent of women have the same symptoms throughout the entire pregnancy, per The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The term “morning sickness” is misleading; nausea can occur any time of the day. For most women, the nausea ends sometime in the late stages of the first trimester. Nausea may also be worse — or better — in one pregnancy versus another.

Unfortunately, science hasn’t proven the exact cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. The elevated pregnancy hormone, BHCG, and elevated estrogen have both been hypothesized as contributing to symptoms.

What can an expectant mother do? Here are some tips for surviving nausea and vomiting:

  • Eat several small meals a day, and don’t skip breakfast. Many women need to have a few saltine crackers before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Avoid triggers. If the smell of chicken makes you nauseous, avoid the smell when possible.
  • Don’t lie down after eating.
  • Plan small snacks throughout your day to avoid long periods of time without eating.
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods.
  • Consider using anti-nausea wrist bands. These bands are placed on your wrist to trigger pressure points that may alleviate nausea.
  • Think about consuming ginger — either ginger ale, ginger candies or ginger tea. 
  • Increase your intake of vitamin B6, which has been shown to help decrease nausea.
  • Change the time of day you take your prenatal vitamins. Take your prenatal vitamins in the morning, afternoon or night. Consider gummy vitamins if the traditional large pills trigger nausea.
  • Try to get plenty of rest.

If over-the-counter options do not improve nausea and vomiting, then it’s wise to speak with your health care provider about anti-nausea prescription medications. Many prescription medications are safe in pregnancy and can relieve severe symptoms.

Can nausea and vomiting cause a miscarriage or hurt your baby? The answer is no. However, it’s important to monitor yourself for signs of dehydration. If you’re losing weight, have decreased urination, or are unable to eat or drink for more than a day, you should see your health care provider.

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Comments (7)

I would have never thought to avoid spicy and fatty foods during pregnancy. Knowing what foods to avoid to help with nausea is really helpful. Keeping track of what you eat and what makes your nausea kick in is also a good idea.

Kendall Everett - 06/15/2016

When I was pregnant with my second child, the nausea was insane! It's hard to get plenty of rest as you suggested when you have another youngster running around that needs your attention. I, for one, can vouch for the benefits of the anti-nausea wrist bands; those were life-savers when I was pregnant! All of your other suggestions were spot-on as well; food can be such a trigger for nausea if you're not careful with it. It was great to see this article, and I will definitely be giving these suggestions to any expecting mothers that are having trouble with nausea!

Hazel Owens - 02/26/2016

Thank you for the help. My wife is is almost three months pregnant and is experiencing a lot of nausea. It sounds like eating in moderation is really key. If she does not have a major appetite, should I try to find a way to encourage her to have some small snacks at least, as you suggested? http://bayviewobgyn.com/services.html

Justin Knox - 02/05/2016

I am glad to know that there are so many ways to avoid nausea that gynecologist's recommend. I had no idea that you could get anti-nausea band to help reduce pregnancy nausea. Thank you for sharing your advice on what you can do to reduce sickness! http://www.southorangegyn.net/gynecology-services-monroe-ny.html

Annie Mark - 01/12/2016

I completely agree with the tip to eat lots of small meals throughout the day. I never felt more sick than when I didn't eat frequently enough! Another thing that helped me a lot was to keep some small snacks next to my bed and to eat something before even sitting up in the morning. If I didn't do that, simply the action of sitting up would sometimes make me nauseous!

Veronica Marks - 10/16/2015

I'm doing a little research for my wife as I she's feeling pretty miserable right now. So far during her pregnancy, certain smalls of food induce nausea at the flip of a switch. I'll let her know of this and I think she'll appreciate any little tip she can get to feel better when this comes up. Thanks for the helpful post. http://anchorageob-gyn.com/

Cohen Jacobson - 10/02/2015

My morning sickness got worse a couple of weeks ago, so any answers that will help relieve my nausea would be great. Avoiding lying down after eating seems like a possible solution to my problem. I've been eating meals late at night, after I found out I was pregnant, so that would explain why my nausea got worse. It seems like I should feel fine as long as I eat smaller meals throughout the day and avoid going to bed with a full stomach. Thanks for the tips! http://www.nflwc.com/services/obstetrics-in-tallahassee/

Deanna R. Jones - 09/21/2015

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