How to Manage Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

Eat small, frequent meals. When your stomach is completely empty, you are more likely to experience nausea. Keep plain saltine crackers at your bedside and eat a few before you get out of bed. Wait 15 minutes before getting up. Eating a bedtime snack with some protein component (milk, cheese, peanut butter) may lessen early-morning nausea.

pregnant women cooking food

Focus on carbohydrates and low-fat foods. Rich, fatty foods may increase nausea. Carbs are digested quickly, so you should try to add small amounts of longer-lasting protein at several small meals throughout the day, especially in the evening.

Eat whatever sounds good to you and whatever you can tolerate. Don’t worry about missing out on nutrients right now. Nausea and vomiting is self-limited in most cases and the focus during this time should be on intake more than on what specific things you are eating.

Throughout the day, sip small amounts of cold, clear or carbonated beverages. Avoid caffeine as this may cause stomach upset.

Change positions slowly to avoid dizziness and nausea.

Fresh air may help with symptoms.

Avoid offensive foods and smells. These are often triggers for nausea.

Sipping on ginger ale or ginger tea or taking ginger supplements may help some women.

Avoid iron preparations, including prenatal vitamins. Try substituting children’s chewable vitamins or simply take a few weeks off from prenatal vitamins and take a folic acid supplement instead (at least 400 mcg per day, unless otherwise recommended by your provider).

Some women find sea / relief bands helpful (these work by triggering inner wrist-acupressure points).

If supportive measures fail, try Vitamin B6 25mg with Unisom (doxyalamine) 12.5mg (one half tablet) in the morning with breakfast and with lunch, then Vitamin B6 (one tablet) and Unisom 25mg (one tablet) at bedtime. These medications are safe, well-studied in pregnancy, and have been found to be effective in treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

  • 70-85% of women experience some nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
  • Symptoms usually peak by 7-12 weeks gestation and usually subside by the end of the first trimester (12-15 weeks). 
  • Early management of nausea and vomiting can reduce escalation of symptoms.