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For many women, the toughest part of early pregnancy is morning sickness. If you are suffering from nausea, vomiting, or both, you need safe measures that will bring you some relief. Your best course of action for managing morning sickness is home treatment. By following a few proven guidelines, you are likely to gain significant relief from nausea and vomiting. Home treatment for morning sickness can include:
- Changing what, when, and how much you eat.
- Taking ginger.
- Avoiding foods and smells that make you feel sick.
- Trying acupressure, which seems to work for some women.
If home treatment does not work for you, talk to your doctor about medicine that may help relieve your symptoms.
If you have severe, persistent nausea and vomiting, see your doctor or midwife immediately. This uncommon complication of pregnancy can lead to dehydration and malnutrition, sometimes requiring prescribed medicine or hospitalization.
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How can I manage morning sickness at home?
The following are safe, proved treatments for morning sickness. Still, few women gain complete relief from morning sickness treatment.
- Acupressure, firmly placed on the P6 point (the inner side of your arm, in line with your middle finger and one-sixth of the way between your wrist and elbow), relieves nausea for some women.
- Dimenhydrinate is a non-prescription anti-nausea medicine. When taken as your doctor advises, it may relieve morning sickness.
- Ginger, taken regularly as a powder in a capsule, grated fresh into hot water for a tea, or in syrup or crystallized form, may relieve morning sickness after a few days of treatment.footnote 1
Follow these guidelines for minimizing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
- Keep food in your stomach but not too much. An empty stomach can make nausea worse. Eat several small meals every day instead of three large meals.
- For morning nausea, eat a small snack (like crackers) before you get out of bed. Allow a few minutes for the snack to digest, then get out of bed slowly.
- Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of fluids. Try a sports hydration drink, as well as water, broth, or juice.
- Avoid smells and foods that make you feel nauseated. Citrus juice, milk, coffee, and caffeinated tea commonly make nausea worse.
- If you are taking iron supplements, ask your doctor if they are necessary. Iron can make nausea worse.
- Get lots of rest. Stress and fatigue can make morning sickness worse.
Contact your doctor immediately if you vomit more than 3 times a day or are unable to take fluids, especially if you also have pain, fever, or both.
Current as of: May 29, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
Current as of: May 29, 2019