Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is caused by hormonal changes that typically occur in early pregnancy (week 6 - 8, reaching the peak at week 12 - 14, and improving at week 22) until the body is able to adapt to the increased production of the hormones. Nausea and vomiting may occur all day, but may be worse in the morning because the stomach is empty or if the mother does not eat in the sufficient portion. Nausea and vomiting usually occur in 80-85% of pregnancies during the first trimester, with 52% disturbing vomiting symptom.
- If vomiting is a problem in the morning, eat dry foods such as cereals, bread, or crackers before getting out of bed in the morning, or try to eat high protein snacks like cheese before going to bed (protein takes longer time to digest).
- Eating snacks every 2-3 hours is better than 3 large meals. Eat slowly and chew food completely.
- Eat foods that contain a lot of liquid. Avoid large amounts of fluid intake at a time. Try cold drinks, fruit juices such as apple or grape.
- Avoid spicy foods, fried foods, or greasy foods.
- If the pregnant woman is disturbed with pungent odor, eat cold foods at room temperature and avoid the disturbing odor.
- Contact your doctor for Vitamin B6 or other drug therapies.
- Contact your doctor if vomiting occurs continuously so that no food or drink can be consumed. This may lead to dehydration (lack of fluid) and should be treated as soon as possible.
A pregnant woman should be informed that nausea and vomiting during pregnancy will get better by itself at week 16-20 of pregnancy. Therefore, the drug therapies in the first trimester are not recommended unless the condition gets worse. When the woman is asking for or considering a therapy, the treatments given to reduce the symptoms are stated as follows :
- Traditional medicine : ginger, P6 acupressure
- Drugs : antihistamines (allergy), Vitamin B6 is rather effective but should consider the side effects, Vitamin B12 is effective to reduce nausea and vomiting although its safety has not been proven.