More Articles on A Healthy Pregnancy

Thinking About Getting Pregnant?
Congratulations on Your Pregnancy! (for those who are newly pregnant)
What is a healthy pregnancy weight gain?
Can I continue to eat a vegetarian diet during pregnancy?
A Pregnancy Menu For You and Your Baby
Treating Nausea and Vomiting
What About Seafood?
Don't Eat That!
Pregnancy and Cholesterol
Wash Those Veggies!
Breastmilk, the Healthiest Diet for Babies
What DOES that Broccoli Do for My Baby?
Vitamin D Supplements in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
New Research Affirms Individualized Vitamin D Supplementation for Pregnant Women
Breastfeeding: Developing a Future Gourmet
What to Do About The Flu
Gestational Diabetes
Decreasing the Risk of Gestation Diabetes
Keeping and Storing Breastmilk
Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines – Do We Need New Ones?
Breastfeeding: A Woman's Health Issue
Eating During Labor
Probiotics and a Decreased Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy - a Time to be Active!
Clearing the Air : Quit Smoking for You and Your Child
What is a Healthy Pregnancy Diet for Obese Women?
Does Iron Intake Matter?
One Fish, Two Fish... Full Term Birth?
Folic acid in pregnancy and language development
A Mediterranean Diet, Pre-Pregnancy
There is No Substitute for a Healthy Diet
Honest Healthy Diets for Babies
Exercise for New Moms
A Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet and Gestational Diabetes
Vitamin D and Gestational Diabetes
Great News About Breastfeeding
Peanuts and Pregnancy
Fried Foods and Gestational Diabetes
Iodine supplements - should you take them?
Prevent Gestational Diabetes with a Mediterranean-style diet
FDA Updates Recommendations for Fish Consumption in Pregnancy

Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN

Faith Bontrager, RN, BSNFaith's passion in nursing is to help people find the options they need to discover their personal path to optimum health. Ask her friends and they will tell you that their appreciation of nutritious food has grown through Faith. About Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN


A Healthy Pregnancy

Treating Nausea and Vomiting

According to researchers, over 70% of women suffer from nausea during early pregnancy. Despite the name "morning sickness," pregnancy nausea happens throughout the day for many women. It is most common in the first trimester but 13% of women had nausea past their 20th week of pregnancy.

What causes this nausea? Researchers are not certain but the most common explanation is that a rise in HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a growth hormone plays a large part. We do know that nausea is lower in women who subsequently miscarry and higher in women who are carrying twins.

If you are currently feeling a little queasy, being "normal" may be of little consolation. You just want to know, "How do I make it go away?"

If you are vomiting persistently, urinating less, or feeling mentally fuzzy, you are in danger of dehydration, call your doctor immediately. There are medications available to help you and this treatment is important to you and your baby.

If your nausea is simply troublesome or you are only occasionally vomiting, you might choose to avoid medications. Research shows that many pregnant women have this preference. While several anti-nausea medications are believed to be safe during pregnancy, they have not been studied as completely as we would like. One medication was withdrawn after it was linked with birth defects, yet later research did not confirm this link.

What about using food to treat pregnancy nausea? Women have been giving each other food advice for "morning sickness" for centuries. Here are a few of those tips. They are all safe. All of them have worked for someone; none of them work for everyone. I’ll let you know which ones have been studied and what the research says.

Eating regularly

I am not aware of research on this but this works for many women. It does make sense. Low blood sugar can trigger nausea. Plan on some fruit at mid-morning. Keep a package of nuts or dried fruit at your desk or in your purse. If you are going to be late for lunch, have a snack. Keep some crackers by your bedside and have a small snack if you wake up in the middle of the night. Nibble through out the day. Keep nutritious foods close by so that your snacking is healthy food.

Pay attention to your body

This is another tip that may not have been researched but does make sense. Your sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy. Exact triggers may be individual but generally strong odors (certain foods, strong perfume, some cleaning products or air fresheners) increase nausea. On the opposite side, certain foods may work especially well for you as far as relieving nausea. High carbohydrate foods work well for many women, and foods that have been "comfort foods" help many women. Pay attention to what works for you and repeat it!

Ginger / fresh ginger root

The research on this is fairly promising, although like all remedies it works better for some women than for others. Exact dosages are difficult as ginger harvested at different times or under different conditions were likely to have different levels of active ingredients. Talk to your doctor before using ginger capsules or extracts. Sipping on ginger tea or ginger ale with real ginger is believed to be both safe and effective for many women. Read the labels. You will probably have to go to a whole foods store to find ginger ale with real ginger. The national brands in the grocery store usually use artificial flavorings, not real ginger. Alternatively, make your own.


This is another food that many women find helpful but has not been researched. Peppermint candies seem to be the favorite remedy, but some women sip a cup of peppermint tea (either hot or cold) or nibble on foods with peppermint.

Water with a lemon wedge

Can’t tell you why this would work but a number of women find it helpful. Some even say that sniffing lemons helps. The glass of water is certainly good for you and if the lemon helps, use it!

Vitamin B6

While not a "food" as such, research has shown that this vitamin causes a decrease in the amount of nausea. Some studies indicate that it also decreases vomiting while others did not find that link. Most of the research was using a dose of 10-25 mg two or three times daily. Always tell your doctors about vitamins you are using.

Avoiding constipation

Constipation makes nausea worse. Food moves more slowly through your GI tract when you are pregnant so drink adequate water, include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, and exercise regularly.

While the information in this article applies to most pregnant women, you may have special nutritional needs because of your health history or pregnancy complications. Always talk with your doctor or midwife about nutrition.