Guidelines for Treating Pregnancy Nausea and Vomiting

Battling morning sickness? The ACOG says these remedies can help.
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ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Apr 2017
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That upset stomach or morning date with the toilet bowl is par for the course during pregnancy. About 50 percent of pregnant women experience both nausea and vomiting, and 25 percent experience just nausea. But when it comes to curbing the discomfort, it’s hard to know what’s safe for baby.

Cue the official guidelines for treating pregnancy nausea and vomiting issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Published in 2015, it was the first time these guidelines had been updated since 2004. Some of the terminology is tough, but bear with us. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The combination of doxylamine and vitamin B6, which was taken off the market in 1983, is back, now proven safe and effective. You may know it as Bendectin , but it’s making its comeback as Diclegis.  It’s available with a prescription.
  • Taking prenatal vitamins for three months before conception may reduce the severity of your nausea.
  • Looking for a more homeopathic route? Ginger is a good option.
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)—a steroid—has been proven effective for severe sickness, like hyperemesis gravidarum (the morning sickness Kate Middleton suffered from). But it should only be used as a last resort. You’ll need a prescription for this one.

Remember, the nausea associated with morning sickness is totally normal. But its symptoms almost always present themselves before you’re nine weeks along. When nausea or vomiting begins for the first time after nine weeks, you’ll want to call your doctor.

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