What to do about morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy is usually called “morning sickness,” even though you may feel sick at any time of the day or night. Most women experience morning sickness during the first three to four months of pregnancy, and most cases are mild — causing no harm.

This results in many women not gaining weight; some may even lose a little weight during their first trimester. Hormonal changes during pregnancy probably contribute to morning sickness, but the exact cause is unknown. What we do know is that emotional stress, certain smells, and some foods can worsen the nausea associated with morning sickness.

So what helps with morning sickness?

  • Take prenatal vitamins at conception and during the beginning of pregnancy. This may help reduce the severity of symptoms.
  • Eat smaller but more frequent meals comprised of bland foods (such as white rice, applesauce, or toast), and avoid rich, spicy, or fatty foods. Try to eat what you can, even if it doesn’t add up to a well-balanced diet. When you feel better, you can eat healthier. Eating crackers before getting up in the morning or eating a light snack before bedtime may also reduce symptoms.
  • Drink more fluids. Small sips throughout the day are better than a lot at one time. Supplements that may help include ginger (teas, candy, or soda) and vitamin B6.

Fortunately, for most women, mild nausea and vomiting goes away after 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Extra sleep, acupuncture, and motion sickness wrist bands may also offer some relief. But you have tried all of these tips and are still experiencing symptoms, your doctor may be able to recommend safe and effective medications to take during pregnancy.

Call your provider if you experience nausea, vomiting, the inability to hold anything down, significant weight loss, or vomiting blood. Women with these symptoms are often hospitalized for IV fluids and medications.

Are you a first-time mom who is currently at 28 weeks pregnant or less? You may be eligible for our new Nurse Family Partnership program.

Nurse-Family Partnership is a free program for women who are pregnant with their first baby. When you enroll you will be connected to a registered nurse who will provide the support, advice and information you need to have a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby and be a great mom.

Through your child’s second birthday, your personal nurse will support you to:

  • Have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
  • Become the best mom you can be.
  • Learn and practice things that make you more confident as a mom, like breastfeeding, nutrition, child development, safe-sleep techniques and much more.
  • Get referrals for healthcare, childcare, job training and other support services available in your community.
  • Continue your education, develop job skills or follow your dreams for the future.

Who can enroll in Nurse-Family Partnership?

  • Anyone pregnant with her first child and is currently 28 weeks or less,
  • Meets income requirements, and
  • Lives in Hamilton County.

To learn more or to see if you qualify for a free personal nurse, call or text 423-218-6101.