Nausea or Vomiting

In the first trimester, hormone changes can cause nausea and vomiting. Although it can occur at any time of day, this is called “morning sickness.” Morning sickness usually tapers off by the second trimester.


It is not certain what exactly causes morning sickness, but it is thought to be related to a combination of hormonal increases of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and estrogen and physical changes such as enhanced sense of smell, sensitive stomach and stress.

Call your doctor:

  • If you’ve lost 2 or more pounds within a week.
  • If you’re vomiting blood.
  • If you are dehydrated.
  • If you develop nausea and vomiting after 9 weeks.
  • If you are still experiencing nausea and vomiting after 20 weeks.
  • If you get dizzy when you stand up.
  • If you have constant pain in the abdominal area, headache, fever or swelling in the front of your neck.

Over-the-counter medications

Do not use any medication without consulting with your doctor first. Not all medications help everyone, however, some women have relief by using the following OTC medications:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Antihistamines
  • Vitamin B6 and doxylamine (Unisom)
  • Reflux medicines (Zantac or Pepcid)

What else might help?

  • Eat several small meals instead of three large meals to keep your stomach from being empty.
  • Don’t lie down after meals.
  • Eat dry toast, saltines or dry cereals before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Eat bland foods that are low in fat and easy to digest, such as cereal, rice and bananas.
  • Sip on water, weak tea or clear soft drinks, or eat ice chips.
  • Avoid smells that upset your stomach.
  • Eat cold or room temperature foods to avoid strong aromas.
  • Avoid fatty foods and anything spicy, acidic or fried.
  • Brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after eating.
  • Drink a moderate amount of fluids between meals.
  • Drink cold, carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid non-food items that cause nausea.
  • Get some fresh air.
  • Relax and get plenty of rest.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins.
  • Try ginger or peppermint.