Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy

  • Excessive nausea and vomiting commonly called morning sickness, is a common problem during the first trimester in most pregnancies. About 80 percent of all pregnant women will have nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

    What causes the nausea and vomiting in pregnancy ?
    1. The exact cause of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is unknown, but a number of possibilities have been identified.
    2. The hormone progesterone causes decreased movements of the GIT [gastro intestinal tract- the stomach and the intestine]; this is suspected to be a major contributing factor to nausea and vomiting.
    3. Women with preexisting dyspepsia problems [commonly called acidity/gas], have a greater chance of more severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. This is most probably linked to H. pylori infection [this is the bacteria present in the stomach that has been identified as the cause for stomach ulcers].

  • Facts:
    1. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy starts at about 4-7 weeks and resolves by the 20th week in the vast majority of pregnant women.
    2. This problem is usually self limiting; that is it resolves without the need for any medication as your pregnancy progresses.
    3. In case of severe vomiting during pregnancy your doctor will rule out other causes for your vomiting before making a diagnosis of Hyper emesis gravidarum [ the severe, excessive vomiting of pregnancy].

    1. Initial treatment consists of dietary modifications only.
    2. Try to eat small frequent meals.
    3. Avoid any items such as food and flavors that cause nausea, totally; eat foods that are comfortable with.
    4. Ginger has been proven in some studies to help in reducing morning sickness. If you are able to tolerate ginger you can use it.
    5. Do not take any medication without consulting your doctor first.

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