Nausea in pregnancy

Morning sickness (all day sickness ...) is one of the most common symptoms in pregnancy.  It usually begins at around week 6 and resolves by about week 12-14, however for a few women, it remains for the whole pregnancy (and improves after the baby is born, thankfully!)

There is a lot that women can do to relieve morning sickness, and if all else fails, there are some effective and safe medications that can be prescribed by your midwife or doctor.

Some women experience nausea only, while others experience vomiting, too.  Sometimes this is only once or twice a day, however other women have a complication called hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a more severe form of vomiting that often requires hospitalisation for fluids and medications to treat the vomiting and prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Nausea in pregnancy is actually a really positive sign, as it indicates high levels of pregnancy hormones that help to sustain and develop a healthy pregnancy.  That said, if you are fortunate to experience no morning sickness, please don't take that to be a bad sign: you probably have other pregnancy symptoms such as bloating, breast and nipple tenderness and tiredness.

Managing morning sickness day-to-day

Morning sickness can be difficult to cope with day-to-day, but there are many things that you can do to make things easier.  Most commonly, extra rest and more frequent, carbohydrate-rich snacks will be very helpful in keeping nausea and vomiting at bay.

Spicy, hot foods will make morning sickness worse, as will large, heavy meals.  Many women cannot eat protein-based foods without an increase in morning sickness, and instead prefer carbohydrate-based foods.  Go with what your body needs.

Vitamin B6 and ginger supplements can also be helpful, as can peppermint tea, homeopathic remedies, acupressure, reflexology and acupuncture.

Melissa Maimann is an endorsed eligible midwife in private practice in Sydney.  One of the first eligible midwives in Australia, Melissa now offers a range of care options for women including private midwifery care, antenatal shared care and birth support.  Visit Melissa's website to learn more about her services.