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Common Symptoms of Pregnancy

Common symptoms of pregnancy include fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea and vomiting. Most women who experience vomiting will still be able to eat and drink adequately to keep from becoming dehydrated.

Sometimes a woman has vomiting so severe that she will become dehydrated. When this happens intervention is necessary.

Early treatment of nausea and vomiting may help reduce progression to Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The goal of treatment is to decrease the vomiting to a tolerable level. Treatments cannot alleviate all the vomiting.

First line treatment of nausea and vomiting includes vitamin B6. This can be purchased at most stores. Start with 25mg to 50mg two or three times a day.

If the vitamin B6 taken alone does not help, doxylamine can be taken along with it. Doxylamine can be bought over the counter in a sleeping pill called Unisom. Be sure to purchase the pill and not the capsule because the pill is the one with the doxylamine. You can take one at bedtime along with the vitamin B6, or 1/2 of the Unisom pill twice a day with vitamin B6.

Non-pharmacologic Options:

  • Ginger capsules. These can be purchased at health food and vitamin stores.
  • Over the counter pressue wristbands can be purchased at drugstores.
  • Acupressure or acupuncture. Treatment over the P6 point can be a benefit. Please contact  local acupuncturist.
  • Frequent small meals. A small studey showed that protein meals were more likely to alleviate nausea and vomiting.
  • Hypnosis. If you want to do this, contact a hypnotherpaist that works mainly with medical hypnosis.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

At least 50% of pregnant women will experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Hyperemesis Gravidarum represents the extreme end of the spectrum of vomiting. These women vomit so much that they become dehydrated. This occurs in 0.5% to 2% of pregnancies. 

The exact cause of Hyperemesis is not known. It is known that twins and other problems of pregnancy increase the risk of Hyperemesis. If you have Hyperemesis and have not had an ultrasound, one will be performed.

Sometimes a woman needs to be treated with prescription medications. Some women will require IV therapy.

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