What To Do About Nausea in Pregnancy

Nausea is no fun, but it is one of the most common experiences pregnant women report having, especially in the very beginning of their pregnancies (1). In today’s blog, we are going to dive into what we know about nausea, helpful tips and tricks to combat it during pregnancy, and under what circumstances you should go see your OB/GYN, urgent care, or emergency room for further evaluation.

Where does nausea come from?
Unfortunately, there is not a short and sweet answer to this question, but several sources agree that nausea during pregnancy is often a result of a hormonal change in your body. When you become pregnant, your body starts producing the hormone, HCG, which is short for human chorionic gonadotropin. This is the hormone that is tested for in urine and blood pregnancy tests, and can start being detected between 10-14 days after conception (when sperm and egg meet to form a unique set of DNA). HCG levels rise in the beginning of pregnancy, telling the body to prepare to host a growing baby. This rise in HCG has been linked to the nausea and fatigue women experience in pregnancy, especially in the first trimester (1). Other hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, as well as prostaglandins that are produced by the placenta also shift when pregnancy begins and could be potential culprits for the nuisance of nausea (1).

Morning Sickness….doesn’t necessarily happen in the morning

It is important to note that the nausea, vomiting, and/or fatigue that many women (75-80%) experience in pregnancy is often called “morning sickness”, but this sickness does not solely strike in the mornings (2). Nausea, vomiting, and/or fatigue may occur at any point in the day, as each woman’s body adjusts to hormonal changes or environmental factors during their pregnancy differently. The best thing is to try different tips and tricks out and see which works best for you specifically.

Tips and Tricks to Fight Against Nausea (3)
Avoid greasy and fried foods
Fresh air in the room where you sleep
CARBS. Keep crackers, dry cereal, toast, or popcorn by your bed. Eat some before you get out of bed, and then every 3 hours after
Get up slowly in the morning and sit on the edge of the bed. Avoid sudden movements
More sleep and relaxation
Drink fluids IN BETWEEN meals, rather than with meals
Eat 5 or 6 small meals vs. 2 or 3 bigger ones. Make sure each meal includes a protein and a complex carb, and never go long periods without food if you can help it
Eat lightly seasoned food, avoid pepper and garlic as they can be common nausea triggers
When cooking, open windows or use exhaust fans to limit odors in your kitchen
Ginger root, natural ginger ale, and ginger tea can reportedly help reduce nausea for some women

When to seek medical attention for nausea/vomiting
While nausea is a common symptom associated with pregnancy, it has the potential to become severe enough that it affects the nutritional status and health of you and your baby.

Seek OB/GYN, urgent care, or emergency room care if any of the following apply to you, as they could indicate a more severe diagnosis or warrant further treatment than the tips and tricks stated above.

Inability to eat for days at a time
Throwing up more than three times per day
Losing more than 5% of your pre-pregnancy weight
Feeling dizzy and/or fainting
Severe headaches
Extreme, or newly onset, fatigue

Nausea may be caused by a myriad of things, but it can possibly be one of the first symptoms you experience in pregnancy. If you are suspecting you may be pregnant, your next step would be to take a pregnancy test. You can get one over-the-counter at most grocery stores and pharmacies, and you can also book a free and confidential appointment here with Paulding Pregnancy Services. Our tests are designed for medical professional use, are accurate, and of no cost to you. From there, Paulding Pregnancy Services can help you determine your next steps in the process. Next steps may include options counseling, ultrasound services, connecting you with medical and financial resources such as local OB/GYNS in the area for prenatal care, or getting you necessary pregnancy and baby supplies.

*The information contained in this blog is for educational and informative purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice and care of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.*

(1) Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy | AAFP
(2) Hyperemesis Gravidarum: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment (clevelandclinic.org)
5 Ways to Ease Stomach Pain and Nausea – Cleveland Clinic