Managing Severe Morning Sickness

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In most cases, morning sickness symptoms clear up on their own. But in some rare, severe cases, you may want to talk with your doctor about medical treatment.

Many expectant mothers experience morning sickness—spells of nausea and vomiting—during the first trimester of pregnancy. Some even have it throughout their entire pregnancy. Morning sickness is a normal part of pregnancy that in most cases does not warrant concern. However, about 1 percent of women experience severe morning sickness, which can lead to unhealthy weight loss and dehydration. In these cases, if morning sickness goes untreated, it can have considerably negative effects on the mother’s and child’s health.

Cause for Pause

It’s important to contact your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following severe symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Decreased output of urine
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Frequent headaches
  • Loss of 5 percent or more of pre-pregnancy weight
  • Nausea so severe that you can’t eat or drink
  • Severe nausea and vomiting that persist beyond the 16th week of pregnancy
  • Vomiting three or more times a day

Knocking Out Nausea and Vomiting

Your doctor may suggest any or a combination of the following treatments to help relieve severe morning sickness:

  • Anti-nausea medication—such as a combination of two U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications, doxylamine and pyridoxine
  • Intravenous fluids to restore your hydration level
  • Intravenous medication to curb vomiting
  • Tube feeding
  • Vitamin and nutritional supplements—such as antihistamines, ginger, peppermint or vitamin B-6

Dietary changes may also help relieve your symptoms. Consider:

  • Avoiding foods, drinks and other things strong in odor or taste
  • Consuming small meals throughout the day
  • Drinking plenty of fluids to maintain hydration
  • Eating a bland diet
  • Keeping away from spicy or fatty foods
  • Nibbling on snacks that are high in protein

With time and proper treatment, even the severest cases of morning sickness will become better—if not go away completely.

McKenzie-Willamette Birthing Center offers a variety of services for expecting parents and postpartum support. Call (541) 741-4649 for more information or visit McKWeb.com.

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