How Can I Stop Vomiting During Pregnancy?

Reviewed on 8/24/2021

Things to try at home for morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting happen during pregnancy and are called morning sickness. Stop vomiting during pregnancy by using ginger, acupressure wristbands, diet management, lifestyle management, vitamin B6 and doxylamine and by managing triggers.
Nausea and vomiting happen during pregnancy and are called morning sickness. Stop vomiting during pregnancy by using ginger, acupressure wristbands, diet management, lifestyle management, vitamin B6 and doxylamine and by managing triggers.

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is often called morning sickness because it sometimes happens earlier in the day. However, it can also happen in the afternoon or evening. Normally, vomiting stops by the 18th week of pregnancy.

Morning sickness, while normal, can be unpleasant and disturb your daily activities. The following remedies for vomiting are safe for pregnant people to try.

Ginger. This root has nausea relieving properties for anyone, including pregnant people. It doesn't seem to curb vomiting once it starts, but it can reduce nausea, preventing vomiting from happening. You can take ginger supplements or just eat foods containing ginger. You can also drink ginger ale or ginger tea.

Acupressure wristband. These products use principles of acupuncture to press on a part of your wrist that can reduce nausea and vomiting.

Diet management. Avoiding spicy and greasy foods can reduce morning sickness. You can also try eating a lot of complex carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, fruits, and leafy greens.

Lifestyle management. Eating several smaller meals, and eating a light snack as soon as you wake up can help to avoid or reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. You can also sip on cool, clear beverages. Carbonated drinks can help as well. 

Vitamin B6. You can take this over-the-counter supplement to reduce nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy.

Doxylamine. This is an ingredient commonly found in over-the-counter sleep aids, like Unisom. It often helps with morning sickness. However, before taking it, be aware the medicine may make you tired.

Manage triggers. Some nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is caused by specific smells, tastes, or even noises. Try to avoid things you know will trigger you. If you do get triggered by something, suck on a mint, sniff a lemon slice.

Medications for vomiting during pregnancy

If your morning sickness is particularly bothersome, you can talk to your doctor. There are some medications that can help.

In severe cases, if you can't keep anything down, you may need to take medications intravenously or by suppository. You may also need to receive nutrition via IV to make sure you and your baby get enough nutrients.

B6 and Doxylamine. Your doctor can prescribe this drug that combines both of these ingredients together.

Anti-vomiting medications. Compazine and Thorazine are two anti-vomiting medications doctors can prescribe for vomiting during pregnancy. There is also another class of medications including Tigan and Zofran that are helpful for vomiting during pregnancy, but may not be safe to use during the first trimester.

Antihistamines. Allergy medications, like Benadryl, may help with your vomiting. They do have side effects like drowsiness so they may be best taken at night, depending on how they affect you.

Reglan. This drug is only prescribed in severe cases of vomiting during pregnancy. It increases pressure on your esophageal sphincter, and helps food move more quickly through your stomach, so you can digest it before nausea occurs.

Medrol. This corticosteroid is also prescribed only in severe cases of morning sickness. However, there may be an increased risk of cleft-palate, and a slight increase of risk of birth defects in general when using this drug while pregnant.

What is severe morning sickness?

Severe morning sickness, or, hyperemesis gravidum, is when you vomit more than once a day, lose weight due to vomiting, and are at risk for dehydration from throwing up.

Like regular morning sickness, it usually only affects you during the first trimester. While it is not usually life threatening, this condition can affect your health and the baby's health.

If left untreated, severe morning sickness can cause organ failure and premature birth of your baby. Treatment can prevent these risks.

So, it's important to seek medical attention if:

  • You can't eat or drink for a whole day.
  • You can't keep anything down.
  • You vomit 3-4 times per day.
  • You are pregnant and lose weight.
  • You feel faint or dizzy.
  • You urinate less frequently.
  • You have headaches.
  • You feel confused.
  • You have a strange, fruity taste in your mouth or body odor.
  • You are more tired than usual.
  • Your heart rate is elevated.

Severe morning sickness is often treated with IV fluids for rehydration, a short period of not eating followed by a bland diet, and vitamins and supplements. Your doctor may also prescribe some of the medications listed above to help stop the vomiting.

Anyone can get hyperemesis gravidarum but you may be more likely to get it if:

  • You had it in a previous pregnancy.
  • You are pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • It is your first pregnancy.
  • You have an abnormal growth of cells in the uterus (trophoblastic disease.)

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References
SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Morning Sickness: Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy."

American Family Physician: "Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy."

Cleveland Clinic: "Hyperemesis Gravidarum (Severe Nausea & Vomiting During Pregnancy)."

JOGNN: "Effect of Acupressure by Sea-Bands on Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy."

Nationwide Children's: "Ease Nausea with Natural Remedies."

Nemours Kids Health: "Severe Morning Sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum)."

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