Vomiting during pregnancy is also called as morning sickness of pregnancy.
Vomiting during pregnancy is usually self-limiting but can be a troublesome symptom faced by many women making this otherwise joyful period taxing. Commonly known as morning sickness, a pregnant woman may experience nausea/vomiting at any time of the day. In few women, it may even occur throughout the day.
Some ladies experience just nausea, no vomiting during pregnancy, while others face both nausea and vomiting. A handful might also experience headache and dizziness coupled with morning sickness.
A few women experience vomiting so severe that it needs treatment and occasionally, hospitalization too. This condition is called hyperemesis gravidarum.
When does vomiting during pregnancy occur?
Vomiting with or without nausea in pregnancy typically begins in the first trimester, as early as the second week of pregnancy. It usually continues up to the 4th month of pregnancy. However, some women keep vomiting during pregnancy for all the 9 months.
Among various reasons, vomiting in pregnancy due to hormonal changes occurring in the body after conception has been attributed as the main cause for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Vomiting during pregnancy period is likely to occur in women, who also suffered with nausea and vomiting before pregnancy due to conditions like migraine, motion sickness, previous pregnancy, etc.
Research shows that the rate of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is high in women -
- With family history of nausea and vomiting in their mothers.
- With twin pregnancy.
- With multiple pregnancies.
- Of young age.
- Pregnant for the first time (primigravida).
- With embryo conceived that grows into a girl child.
Vomiting during pregnancy treatment
The Food and Drug Act (FDA) strongly warns and does not recommend use of any medicine for treating vomiting during pregnancy for the possibility of harmful effects on the growing fetus.
Doxylamine is usually prescribed by doctor that can help with vomiting during pregnancy. The drug is to be used only under proper medical supervision.
Vitamin B6 is the first choice of treatment used for coping with vomiting during pregnancy. It helps in decreasing the symptoms of morning sickness.
Severe vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum) may require intravenous fluids to replace the fluid loss and prevent dehydration.
Dealing with vomiting in pregnancy involves changes in diet and drinking habits. These include:
- Drinking (water or juices) in between meals and not during the meals prevents the stomach from becoming too full during meals.
- Aerated drinks, citrus drinks (orange juice), ginger flavored drinks, etc. helps in reducing nausea.
- Frequent small meals or simply nibbling throughout the day reduces vomiting.
- Prefer food items that are rich in carbohydrates and proteins like dal, rice, khichdi, etc.
- Avoid strong smelling foods and strong odors that may trigger and worsen nausea.
- Sucking on an ice cube helps some women overcome nausea during pregnancy.
- A gentle walk in fresh air, practicing yoga under proper supervision and guidance, etc. are few lifestyle changes that can help in handling vomiting during pregnancy.
Risks of Vomiting in pregnancy
Mild degree of vomiting during pregnancy is not a risk to either the mother’s or the baby’s health. Severe projectile vomiting during pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum) can cause minute tears in the food pipe leading to vomiting of blood.
Hyperemesis gravidarum needs well-timed treatment as it can lead to dehydration and weight loss in the pregnant woman.
Vomiting during pregnancy a good sign: Morning sickness, though a bothersome symptom of pregnancy, is considered as a good sign because it signifies hormonal changes that are favorable for the baby’s health. It is considered to be a positive sign that the baby is growing with the advancing pregnancy.
Vomiting during pregnancy occurs due to hormonal changes in the expecting mom’s body. However, in cases of severe and prolonged vomiting associated with other symptoms like loose motions, fever, etc., it necessary to evaluate the condition under doctor’s supervision immediately. Other conditions that can cause vomiting are gastro-esophageal reflux, infection in stomach, etc. which require a complete evaluation and appropriate treatment to prevent complications during pregnancy.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.