Nausea and vomiting aren’t the most desirable pregnancy symptoms, however, they are fairly common. Between 50 and 90 percent of women experience some degree of nausea, with or without vomiting during pregnancy. Typically nausea will subside by week 14, but symptoms can continue longer depending on the severity. Although it is often referred to as ‘Morning Sickness’ these symptoms are more likely to be present throughout the day.
Severe cases of nausea and vomiting are referred to as Hyperemesis Gravidarum. This diagnosis is given when vomiting and nausea are occurring daily and in some cases, several times each day. During Hyperemesis Gravidarum a person may lose more than five percent of their pre-pregnancy body weight.
Less severe cases of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy usually do not require medical treatment. However, medical advice should be sought if you are concerned or would like to explore medication to help with the symptoms. Some signs and symptoms that should always trigger a call to your medical provider include any sign of dehydration, dizziness, dark-colored or infrequent urination, vomit containing blood, fever, abdominal or pelvic cramps, inability to retain food or drink, or a decrease in weight greater than five pounds.
There is no single explanation for the cause and severity of nausea and vomiting. Factors believed to play a role include genetics, previous pregnancies with nausea, gastrointestinal issues when not pregnant, or having multiples. For people who experience nausea in the morning and then feel better the rest of the day that may be caused by the peak of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) also referred to the ‘The Pregnancy Hormone.’ HCG is the hormone that urine based pregnancy tests are looking for; when it is detected the test reads positive.
If you are experiencing symptoms of nausea and vomiting there are some changes you can make to try and ease the nausea. Overeating or hunger can cause cause nausea. Eating well balanced meals and snacks throughout the day can minimize the symptoms. Studies have shown that ginger helps to diminish nausea when compared to a placebo. Ginger chews are widely available and might make a good snack. Avoiding triggers, such as food and odors that make you nauseous. The iron in your prenatal vitamin may be upsetting your stomach but taking it at night will make nausea less noticeable. Your provider may also suggest a prenatal vitamin with no iron until the symptoms are behind you. Vitamin B6 is thought to help in decreasing nausea. After eating, try taking a walk before laying down. Smelling fresh lemon, mint, or orange or using an oil diffuser with these scents may also be useful as it not only combats nausea but can also enhances mood and emotional balance, cover offensive odor, and boost the immune system. Many women have also found relief through acupuncture. If you find other tips and tricks that help ease your symptoms, share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.