Original Article Published on www.gynogroupie.com
Nausea during pregnancy is very common, affecting more than 50% of pregnant women. Though commonly called ‘Morning Sickness,’ the symptoms can occur on any day. Nausea of pregnancy usually improves by 14-16 weeks but can continue throughout the pregnancy for some women. Nausea during pregnancy is generally not harmful to your developing baby. Still, it may become more problematic when associated with consistent vomiting and weight loss.
The cause of Nausea in Pregnancy is not well understood. It may be caused by the elevated hormone levels of pregnancy and their effect on slowing overall gut motility. The GI tract usually is constantly moving food and stomach acid from the stomach through the GI tract. Slower gut motility can result in nausea after eating a large (you’re standard sized) meal, where food isn’t moving out of the stomach at the same rate. With slower gut motility, stomach acids aren’t moving out of the area at an average rate either, potentially also causing a feeling of nausea when we go 3-4 hours without eating.
As much as it may seem like not eating is the best option for nausea, feeding your system (causing your stomach and stomach acids to churn) is the best way to relieve nausea. Smaller, more frequent meals are what is recommended. Although this feeling of ‘grazing’ for eating (small, frequent meals, instead of a large meal with long breaks between eating) may feel unnatural to some, it may help to relieve nausea.
Here are some other tips that may help:
- Eat meals slowly and in small amounts every 1-2 hours to avoid a full stomach.
- Avoid long periods without eating, as the buildup of stomach acids may also increase the feeling of nausea.
- Take in a snack before getting out of bed in the morning.
- Take in fluids in small amounts between meals.
- Try fluids that are cold, clear, and carbonated or sour (ginger ale, lemonade, pop sickles).
- Try small sips of liquids taken in by a straw.
- Try a morning snack before brushing your teeth.
- Avoid smells that bother you.
- Try bland foods, like the ‘BRAT’ diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast).
- Try ginger supplements like ginger ale made with real ginger, ginger teas, or ginger capsules.
Find more helpful information on Nausea of Pregnancy at the ACOG/FAQs here: www.acog.org