Nausea and Vomiting: Your Care Instructions

What to Do if You Have Morning Sickness

Your Care Instructions:

Nausea and vomiting (often called morning sickness) are common in pregnancy. They are caused by pregnancy hormones and happen most often in the first 3 months. Some women get extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and are not able to keep down food and fluids. This extreme morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum. It can lead to a dangerous loss of fluids in the body. It also can keep you from gaining weight and getting proper nutrition during your pregnancy.

Your body fluids are put back in balance with water and minerals called electrolytes. Medicine may help if you have severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home if you have nausea and vomiting during pregnancy?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Choose water and other caffeine-free clear liquids until you feel better. Try sipping on sports drinks that have salt and sugar in them.
  • Eat a small snack, such as crackers, before you get out of bed. Wait a few minutes, then get out of bed slowly.
  • Keep food in your stomach, but not too much at once. An empty stomach can make nausea worse. Eat several small meals every day instead of three large meals.
  • Eat more protein and less fat.
  • Get plenty of vitamin B6 by eating whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. You can take vitamin B6 tablets if your doctor says it is okay.
  • Try to avoid smells and foods that make you feel sick to your stomach.
  • Get lots of rest.
  • You may want to try acupressure bands. They put pressure on an acupressure point in the wrist. Some women feel better using the bands.
  • Ginger may also help you feel better. You can use it in tea, take it as a pill, or use a ginger syrup that you can buy at a health food store.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You vomit more than 3 times in a day, especially if you also have a fever or pain.
  • You are too sick to your stomach to drink any fluids. You have signs of needing more fluids. You have sunken eyes and a dry mouth, and you pass only a little dark urine.
  • Your morning sickness gets worse or does not get better with home care.
  • You are not able to keep down your medicine.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

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