March 29, 2019

Nausea is a Clear Physical Sign That the Promise of Pregnancy

Nausea is a Clear Physical Sign That the Promise of Pregnancy

Nausea is pregnancy, for most. Initially, it is welcomed – nausea is a clear physical sign that the promise of pregnancy (and birth) is secured. But that validation turns quickly to a relentless truth for many. Although the symptoms resolve mid-pregnancy regardless of severity, it is only time that outlasts. And during this time, the cycle of hypovolemia (dehydration) and weight loss feeds the symptoms. Women with significant hypovolemia and nausea can benefit from IV fluid hydration and anti-emetics.

At home, diet, fluids and medications can help to stem this tide. Additionally, the avoidance of environmental “triggers” such as visuals and smells should be avoided. Every pregnancy is different and there becomes a discovered balance of meal frequency, size, accepted level of nausea and understanding. Of course, it is balanced by health risks and lifestyle.

Some women may present with nausea alone. Sometimes it can be tempered with dietary change. The addition of ginger and or pyridoxine (vitamin B). Fluids seem to be better tolerated if they are cold, clear and carbonated (3Cs). Sour seems to be more tolerated then sweet. It is better to pre-empt a meal with fluid (30 minutes) prior to the consumption of solid foods.

Spicy, higher-fat and acidic foods may be less tolerated and may be minimized. Alternatively, high-protein, salty, lower-fat, blander and drier foods may be favored. Avoid lying down after eating – there is a higher chance of gastroesophageal reflux. In these instances, an antacid may be the perfect complement to a meal. The subtle acid reflux can promote these waves of nausea.

If the nausea doesn’t resolve, then the addition of doxylamine with the pyroxidine may assist (brand name is Diclegis); however, taken in the same doses, the supplements can be purchased at the local pharmacy for lesser the cost. However, when the two are combined, it merits a prescription. If these steps do not resolve the nausea then other regimens need to be contemplated. The medications that may be implemented include diphenhydramine (Benadryl).  Certainly they control nausea, but also promote sleepiness.

So, what happens if, despite your most ardent methods, there is not relief? It is best to consult your doctor. We are here to help.

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Danielle Vitiello, Ph.D., M.D.

Danielle Vitiello, Ph.D., M.D. Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility