Coping with Morning Sickness

  • August 13, 2020
  • Pregnancy and Obstetrics

Coping with Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is also common. The management of morning sickness is difficult. The aim is to get life to the point where you can cope until time cures you. Morning sickness normally relieves itself somewhere between twelve and sixteen weeks although the occasional unfortunate lady continues to feel the sickness of pregnancy until she delivers.

The general principles are to take small meals often, and try to have something to eat and drink that is very light before getting out of bed in the morning. The tradition is tea and toast though not everyone tolerates tea that entirely well. Glucose drinks are often well tolerated. People try Lucozade and even Coca-Cola and find these are enough to help them cope. The best-tolerated drinks to take are Gatorade, Staminade, and Isosport type drinks. These are useful for both athletes and people with upset stomachs from other causes. The balance of sugar and salt that is in them helps the stomach to absorb the water. Even with these drinks, however, a large glass will be a problem just like anything else. Small amounts, 100mls to 200mls per hour, are often enough for you to be able to cope.

Homoeopathic remedies, e.g. ginger tablets are often tried but to tell the truth I only rarely see success. Sea bands around the wrist or similar acupressure devices that press on the area about three fingers breadths above the fold on the palm side of the wrist will settle vomiting in about 50% of ladies. Sometimes the effect is dramatic. If you are only suffering from nausea then they will often not help all that much but certainly vomiting can be settled dramatically.

Hypnosis or advice from a psychologist can often help. The hypnotherapy and relaxation exercises that are taught are often the difference between coping and not coping if the vomiting is severe. There are some medications that are safe. The most commonly used and ones with the greatest experience are the oral anti-histamines, e.g. Periactin, Polaramine, etc. These can often cause the vomiting to settle but they do so at the cost of making you sleepy. Newer drugs, e.g. Stemetil, are also safe with no evidence of problems. Stemetil has to be taken every four hours and one has to be very careful not to overdose on the drug. If you wish to use this then we would go through it in more detail. Maxolon also works well. There is a little less data on Maxolon used in pregnancy but certainly it has been widely used without reported problems in humans. It again is unpleasant in over dosage and one has to be careful to stay within the prescribed limits but it has the advantage of being an eight-hourly medication rather than a four-hourly medication. The final step if you are not coping is to admit you to hospital for intravenous fluids.

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