Pregnancy nausea commonly begins around the 6th week of pregnancy and commonly resolves around 12 weeks. Sometimes referred to as "morning sickness," pregnancy nausea is not limited to mornings!
And although most nausea has improved or dissipated by the second trimester, some women feel nauseated their entire pregnancy. The nausea may disappear in the second trimester and return again in the
third trimester. Nausea may or may not be accompanied by vomiting.
For some, it's a minor annoyance, and for some, it can be debilitating.
What causes pregnancy nausea?
Hormones probably play a big role, particularly progesterone, which decreases motility in the GI tract. Increased metabolic demands during pregnancy can also cause blood sugar drops, which may
lead to nausea.
How can you decrease pregnancy nausea?
There are a few tricks you can try to decrease the amount of nausea you feel or make it more manageable.
- This may sound counterintuitive, but eat a small amount (a few bites) at least every 2 hrs. Try to include foods that contain protein. Some suggestions: peanut butter/cheese/hummus on whole grain
crackers, yogurt, frozen fruit like blueberries/cherries. Avoid fatty foods, which are harder to digest.
- Make sure you stay hydrated! Dehydration can increase nausea, as well as cause headaches, dizziness, and weakness. Don’t drink a lot at once, but take small frequent sips. Drink liquids in
between meals. If plain water makes you more nauseated, dilute 100% juice with water, drink herbal non-caffeinated teas, or make some homemade "labor-aid." Ginger or peppermint teas are good choices to help with nausea, with a little honey added if
desired. Avoid caffeine.
- Suck on a hard sour candy between meals. Many of our pregnant clients have raved about Preggie Pops (available at Walgreens or on
- Accupressure wrist bands worn daily may help, or you can apply manual pressure on the P6 accupressure point. Sea Bands are available at
Wal-Mart for around $10.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Take naps whenever possible.
- Take a daily walk. Exercise, sunshine, and fresh air can help.
- The extra iron in your prenatal vitamin may contribute to nausea. If so, take your prenatal vitamin before bed with a small amount of food. Take it with something containing vitamin C and
avoid taking it with calcium.
- Keep a snack (like peanut butter and crackers) beside your bed, and eat a few bites if you wake up in the middle of the night and before you get out of bed in the morning.
If these suggestions don't help, talk to your pregnancy provider. We have various supplements that we recommend to our clients that are often helpful.
Rarely, nausea and vomiting can be severe enough to be dangerous. If you are vomiting several times a day, are unable to tolerate foods or liquids, can't keep anything down, or are losing weight,
talk to your healthcare provider!