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Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a common condition during pregnancy and despite its name, it can happen at any time of the day. It is generally worse during the first couple months of pregnancy and then in most women it either improves or resolves completely. Unfortunately, for some women it can continue throughout the pregnancy.

The hormone most associated with pregnancy is progesterone which the body produces to help support your growing baby. It is likely that the increase in this natural hormone is at least partially responsible for the nausea and vomiting that women experience during pregnancy.

Just as every pregnancy and every woman are unique, so are the foods that may trigger morning sickness. It can be helpful for you to notice if the symptoms of nausea and vomiting are worse after eating certain foods. Many women find it helpful to stay away from spicy or fried foods and not to lie down flat for at least 30 minutes after a meal.

If symptoms are mild and you are able to keep some food and water down there are a few things that you can try to ease the discomfort. Sipping ginger ale, inhaling peppermint oil and vitamin B6 pills are sometimes helpful. However, you should discuss your symptoms with your provider if they do not resolve because nausea and vomiting can be related to liver or thyroid disorders.

There are a few medications that may help, and your provider will know what is most appropriate. It is very important that you stay hydrated. If you are not keeping fluids down, are running a fever, your urine is dark in color, or you are lightheaded and dizzy you may be dehydrated and need of intravenous fluids.

This can be done at your provider’s office or a nearby emergency room. In rare instances nausea and vomiting of pregnancy advances to something that is called hyperemesis gravidarum and must be managed with IV fluids hospitalization.

Dr. Cheryl Sharp, Chief Content Officer
Cheryl is a midwife and women's health nurse practitioner who has been caring for women, newborns, and families more than 30 years. She views the opportunity to journey with women through their pregnancy and beyond as a sacred privilege.