Nausea or vomiting during pregnancy

Many women have problems with nausea and sometimes vomiting (morning sickness) during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. For some women, morning sickness may be one of the first signs of pregnancy. The term “morning sickness” can be misleading, because symptoms can occur at any time of the day. The causes of morning sickness are not fully understood, but hormone changes that occur during pregnancy may play a role.

Morning sickness usually goes away as a pregnancy progresses. While many women feel better after the first trimester, some report ongoing nausea or vomiting through the second trimester. You may be able to gain some relief from morning sickness using home treatment, such as drinking tea. Talk to your doctor about safe medicines to treat your nausea and vomiting.

If you have severe, ongoing nausea and vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum), see your doctor for treatment. This uncommon complication of pregnancy can lead to dehydration. You may need prescribed medicines, hospitalization, or both.

It is important to watch for signs of dehydration if vomiting develops. Even mild dehydration can affect other problems, such as constipation or heartburn, that may occur during pregnancy.

Symptoms of mild dehydration include:

  • You are more thirsty than usual.
  • Your urine is darker than usual.

Symptoms of moderate dehydration include:

  • You are a lot more thirsty than usual.
  • Your mouth and eyes are drier than usual.
  • Your urine is much darker than usual.
  • You pass little or no urine for 8 or more hours.
  • You feel dizzy when you stand or sit up.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have symptoms of moderate dehydration.
  • Vomiting is so severe that you are not able to drink fluids.
  • Your vomiting has not gotten better with home treatment.

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