Nausea and vomiting can make the otherwise joyful event of pregnancy intolerable – just ask anyone who’s had it.Since pregnancy-associated nausea is very common(see yesterday’s post for 15 things you should know about this condition), most of us will need to use some of the helpful interventions listed below. If you cannot keep down any food or drink for any 12 hour period, you should contact your health care provider. You may have the more dangerous condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
Everything you need to do about nausea and vomiting during pregnancy – but were too sick to ask:
- Avoid strong odors in general (coffee, spices, food cooking, chemicals, perfumes); get to know your personal triggers so that you can avoid them.
- Avoid motion. If you must be in a car, ride in the front seat, crack the window, and look at the horizon.
- Avoid visual triggers can include flashy lights, flickering TV or computer screens, car lights at night.
- Avoid heat and humidity – get out the window fans or turn on the air conditioner.
- Avoid over-exertion and fatigue – slow it down, exercise moderately, take naps.
- Avoid spicy foods and fatty foods.
- Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Eat food high in protein and carbs.
- Drink clear and carbonated fluids, cold is better than warm. Find what agrees with you.
- Brush your teeth after meals, chew mint gum or suck on mints.
- Eat ginger. Try ginger ale, non-alcoholic ginger beer, ginger bread (my personal favorite), candied ginger, ginger lollipops, ginger tea.
- Surround yourself with smells you like. Fresh or artificial mint and citrus (orange, lemon, and lime) can be appealing. Consider an aromatherapy consult.
- Talk to your health care provider about using anithistamines or antinausea medications. Diclegis (called Diclectin in Canada) is approved for N&V during pregnancy. Benadryl is over-the-counter, phenergan and others are available through your doctor.
- Acupressure wrist bands, acupuncture treatments, and hypnosis work for some women.
- Take your vitamins. Vitamin B6 can reduce nausea. If you think your prenatal vitamin is making the N&V worse, try taking them at night, try taking one that does not contain iron, or speak to your health care provider about stopping your vitamins until the N&V resolves. But you must replace it with 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid through the first 14 weeks to help avoid neural tube defects.
- Get professional help. IV fluids can be given in your doctor’s office or the ER; tube feedings may be needed in severe cases. Hospitalization may be warranted.
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