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Morning Sickness

Morning Sickness, as the nausea many women feel during the first trimester is often called, can sometimes last even longer, possibly throughout the entire pregnancy.

Nausea or vomiting may strike anytime during the day (or night). Try eating frequent, small meals, and avoid greasy foods. Keep crackers by your bed to eat before getting up. Talk to your doctor if this lasts past the first 3 months or causes you to lose weight.

Changing your eating habits can help keep morning sickness at bay:

  • Eat six to eight meals a day, instead of three larger meals
  • Avoid hunger; it can increase nausea
  • Eat foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates. Eat plain, starchy foods, like toast, crackers, Melba toast, rice, noodles, dry cereal, etc. They are digested easily and less likely to cause nausea.
  • Drink plenty of fluids between meals. Concentrate your nutrients in them if you are not tolerating solids well. Drink milk shakes, pureed soups, fruit sorbets, sherbet, and cottage cheese with fruit or yogurt.
  • Do not drink while you eat. Separate solids from liquids by at least one hour.
  • Avoid fat, fried, spicy or rich foods. Eat very bland, simple foods.
  • Avoid the sight and smell of foods that make you queasy. Some women cannot tolerate food preparation in early pregnancy.
  • Some herbal teas have been recommended to help with nausea. Raspberry (also recommended as a general pregnancy tonic) and mint, peppermint, spearmint teas. Pennyroyal and grated fresh ginger tea are to be avoided.
  • Your prenatal vitamin is insurance for adequate nutrition. It is especially important if your daily intake is decreased related to nausea. Take your vitamin at the time of day when it will most likely stay down. Adequate nutrition is especially important to your baby during early pregnancy, as the organs are forming.
  • Physical and mental fatigue also may contribute to nausea. Listen to your body and get extra rest as needed.
  • Brush your teeth after vomiting to decrease nausea. You may need to use a child's toothbrush to prevent gagging.
  • If you are unable to keep anything down for 24 hours, be sure to call the office, because this will not correct itself and may be cause for concern.

If you have more questions about diet, nutrition and morning sickness, ask your doctor on your next visit.

Last Updated: 10/25/2013