Nausea is very common in pregnancy – 90% of women report nausea, and >50% report vomiting. The important thing concerning nausea is to know when you have an unusually high level of nausea, and when to seek help.
Here’s what normal nausea looks like:
- Nausea peaks at 5-8 weeks pregnant, with about 45% of women reporting vomiting; it declines steadily from then on. In weeks 13-16, about 25% report vomiting. By week 20, only about 8% of women continue vomiting.
- Normal levels of vomiting aren’t as bad as you might expect – it’s concentrated in an average of 6 days over the whole pregnancy, occurs fewer than 3 times a day, and should NOT lead to dehydration or weight loss.
In other words, if you are vomiting everyday for weeks, this is atypical.
There’s a silver lining to morning sickness. Luckily, nausea is inversely correlated with miscarriages – in one study, 30% of women without nausea had a miscarriage, compared to 8% who did.
Pregnant women have had scares with anti-nausea medication before – thalidomide caused birth defects, and Bendectin (B6 + Unisom) was pulled off the market. However, Oster argues that the mother’s comfort is quite important, particularly if it affects her diet and well-being, and OTC anti-nausea medications are not shown to be bad.
Oster’s recommendations for nausea cures, in declining order of preference:
- Eat smaller meals
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B6 + Unisom
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