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Horrible Morning Sickness

Some of us are able to breeze through pregnancy without a whiff of nausea. Others of us are left hugging a toilet for the better part of ten months. What if we are suffering from horrible, life-disruptive, un-relenting morning sickness? What were your secret weapons on battling it? Murphy writes:

I'm currently 10 weeks pregnant with number 4 and have horrible morning sickness. I have been prescribed different medications and they don't work! Also have tried chewing ginger, ginger ale (flat and fizzy), sea bands and different teas. Anything with fruit makes me ill and plain water accelerates the morning sickness. I would love to know any tips and tricks that may help.


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the things that helped a little for me were making sure never to get hungry and eating some protein in the morning... good luck!

I luckily was not sick with my first and (knock on wood) I think I'm in the clear with the 2nd too. But my OB's office recommended extra B6 supplements--50mg tablets, taken 2-4 times per day, one tablet at a time...worth trying.

A friend was also really sick and it helped her to keep a box of saltine crackers by her bed. In the morning she would eat a couple before she even got out of bed, wait a little while and then get up. And she'd eat a few several times a day to make sure her stomach never got completely empty because that's when the nausea kicked in.

Good Luck and Congratulations!

Thankfully I only had a couple weeks of feeling icky, never went through a hugging the toilet phase. But I spent those couple of weeks holding tight to a mug of miso soup. It was the only thing that felt okay to ingest. Later on homemade beef broth felt like miracle elixer. Good luck, hope you find something that helps you through.

I was sick every day with both of my boys. In the beginning, very sick. Lemon drops, the candy not the drink, were soothing. I always felt better if I would just throw up first and then eat some toast or crackers. Awful, but I always felt better if I did it that way instead of eating then throwing up. Because I was going to throw up at least once a day. I just was. I had to accept that. So yucky.

Also try getting some fresh air. Just sitting outside for a bit seemed to help.

not from experience (mine was minor) - but have heard many comments about pushing protein as much as possible. I know that may not sound good - but just an idea. extra protein is good during pregnancy anyways - but it's also supposed to be helpful during morning sickness.

I don't know if it helps morning sickness, but I know what helps some other kinds of nausea - a foot rub. Maybe the signals from your foot nerves override the signals from your other nerves, or maybe it's some kind of reflexology. I don't know, but it seems to work on a lot of different people.

I had morning sickness 24x7 for more than 4 months with my pregnancy, and my husband, who is a physician, prescribed anti-nausea medicine frequently used for chemotherapy patients called Zofran. It's a bit expensive but works really well. I tried all the common method of eating Saltines, drinking Ginger tea, and taking Vitamin B12, and none of it worked for me. I highly recommend Zofran if you are really miserable. Ask your Ob/Gyn about it.

i was sick pretty much all of my pregnancy, but she came 7 weeks early. i found the preggo pops to help a lot. they sell them at motherhood. i also found that drinking water, or havng something in my stomach helped with the puking. it's horrible to puke on an empty stomach.

Snacking on BumbleBars throughout the night helped me.

I was severely sick during my pregnancy - initially vomiting 8+ times during a day. At times it was so debilitating that I couldn't get out of bed. After many trials with anti-nausea meds my OB and I agreed that COMPAZINE would work best for me. I did not miss a dose. Having fresh melon, crackers and water by the bedside helped in the wee hours of the morning. In addition, during the entirety of my pregnancy I had weekly acupuncture treatments from Lisa at Working Class Acupuncture (in NE Portland) to aid with the nausea (www.workingclassacupuncture.org). Can't recommend her highly enough... In August 2002, I gave birth to an extremely healthly boy.

Ttruly the only thing that helped me was getting out into fresh air and walking around. The hard part about that was getting up the will to do it. I was so nauseous that the idea of efforting to get up and out the door was pretty unappetizing itself, but I was always glad once I was out and about. I feel your pain (those were NOT good times) & hope things get better for you soon.

I felt severely nauseous the first 3-4 months of my pregnancy, but never, not once, threw up this entire time. Weird! Maybe that would have made me feel better? Anyway, I agree with the idea of keeping crackers by the bed. If I drank a few sips of diet coke and a handful of goldfish crackers, I could usually manage to crawl out of bed. The rest of the day, chewing minty gum made me feel better for some reason. I took B6 for awhile but didn't notice any difference. Anything ginger made me feel even urpier, so that didn't work for me either. Hope it passes for you soon!

I have so much sympathy for you...just thinking back to my pregnancy makes me a little nauseous... over a year later! I agree that getting outside for walks and not letting your blood sugar get too low are good strategies. Interestingly, the low blood sugar - nausea connection is one souvenier I kept from my pregnancy (but never had beforehand). The one food that always seemed to settle my stomach was Tom Kha soup. Its a thai soup that is made with lemongrass and coconut milk. Might be worth a try...good luck!

PS - I also worked extensively with Lisa Tongel (her info was mentioned in mj's post above) and *loved* her.

I had severe morning sickness, too--it's called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. At its peak, I was projectile vomiting every 20 minutes and had broken blood vessels in my eyes and all over my face. Nothing was of any avail (ginger, lemons, $150 electric motion sickness wristbands, acupuncture, standard presecription antinausea meds) until I was finally prescribed Zofran (which is given to chemo patients to curb their nausea). It dissolves under the tongue, very fast, so you won't bring it back up. With the dehydration (not to mention the lack of nutrition), I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to keep the baby without it. At any rate, it knocked my vomiting down to once or twice a day until it eventually subsided altogether and I was able to get off of it. My sickness cleared up around week 14, so yours may too, no matter how severe it is right now. Good luck!

Thank you! Zofran is one of the meds I was prescribed and it doesn't work. Tried accupunture, accupressure and massage therapy, just made it worse. I am going to give the protein, bumblebars, b-6 and preggy pops a try. (not all at once) *fingers crossed* that one of these works or it just finally goes away! I really appreciate all the help!!

Murphy, I can only sympathize as my nausea wasn't nearly that bad! Mine (I'm somewhere around 13 weeks now) was just annoying and whine-inducing, but never bad enough to resort to medicine. I found eating lots of toast/bagels/crackers/etc. helped, and the honey whole wheat toast from trader joe's seemed to work the best -- really full of good seeds & vitamins & proteins I think. I've always found solace in plain black tea, although that may just be me :) -- it's better than plain water, in my opinion.

My OB suggested hot Jell-O -- you make the Jell-O according to package directions, but drink it instead of putting it in the fridge to set. It didn't help me, and if you're having aversions to fruit I'm sure this won't do anything. But it's worth mentioning as an interesting option!

Also, my theory is that milk and plain cheese and other dairy products are good for nausea while pregnant -- while they're terrible for you if you have the flu, when you're pregnant the principles are all turned on their heads. It must be the protein.

Good luck!

I'm going to chime in on the B6 front. The only prenatal that seemed to have enough, from my limited research, was the Nature's Way brand, which I found in the natural supplements section at fred Meyer. They're pricey and you have to take 4 a day but I think they are what turned me around from having morning sickness to not. I was trying 2 a day at first but when I switched to 4 a day, it went off like a light switch. Best of luck and hope you feel better soon!!!

Boy, oh boy do I sympathize. I threw up for the first 5 months of my pregnancy. The only things that helped mitigate my nausea and vomiting were (as was previously mentioned), Preggie Pop Drops, the sour candy sold at New Seasons, Babies R Us and other mom places. (also at www.preggiepop.com). Additionally, popsicles (the Whole Fruit lime ones), lemonade and grapefruit juice (Columbia Gorge) and Doctor Kracker crackers from New Seasons (they come in a round plastic container, and are sold on a wooden table with cookies and other baked goods by the prepared foods section of the New Seasons on SE Division). Packets of salty Miso Soup I could mix in a mug with hot water also helped. I travelled for my work extensively, and the other thing that worked for me was processed, fatty foods like mac'n'cheese or Ramen noodles. And I had to stop taking my fancy organic prenatal vitamins and get some synthetic, coated ones I took right before bed with a very sour lemonade. It's embarrassing to admit all this because I was really invested in all organic only natural foods for my pregnancy, but without the processed, empty calories the score ended up morning sickness-1 cj-0. I'm guessing everyone's "morning" sickness regimen is individual, so good luck finding what works for you!

Just a note of sympathy. I survived on plain bagels with plain cream cheese for weeks. The only time I didn't feel sick was when I was actively eating a heavy, processed carb. I felt so guilty, because vegetables - especially those folic acid-rich leafy greens - made me violently ill! Like you, even water made me feel sick. And the only prenatal that I could stomach came with an orange and purple label ... I can't remember the name, unfortunately! And I didn't throw up - I had diarrhea instead. Lovely. That was a tough stretch of time. If you are in the majority, it will be a distant memory soon - hang in there!

I had morning sickness for about four months but threw up probably once a day. I too was on the saltine diet, and soup when I could. I have read quite a bit since on how protein can help but the more protein the better (read this blog post: http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/2007/01/pregnancy-tip-for-nausea-lots-of.html)

I don't think my body could have kept that down but if you can it may help you.

The part I found most interesting was the statement that simple carbs (like crackers) just end up being turned into sugar which causes spikes in your blood sugar and I'm sure that can contribute to the nausea.

Good luck and I hope it passes quickly. Just remember it's all caused by a sweet little baby growing like crazy!

for those looking to try the vitamin B route, at trader joes today, i saw a dissolve-under-the-tongue B6-B12-folic acid supplement. sounds like it's made with the pregnant person in mind!

Xylitol has been recommended to me--they sell it in powder form at New Seasons, but also try chewing some gum with Xylitol. It is a natural sweetener. Good Luck! Let me know if it works.

Try New Chapter's Honey Ginger Tonic! You can get it at any health food store...New Seasons, Wild Oats etc.It is all natural and there is research which shows it's effectiveness. I hope you find relief soon!

One thing that worked for me that hasn't been mentioned yet is umeboshi plum paste (asian foods section of new seasons). I had read somewhere that it was good for nausea... tried it... worked well enough. I'd just take little nibbles throughout the day. I know you mentioned that fruit gives you the icks, but this is more of a sour & slightly salty tang than any real fruit sensation. Good luck.

i'm 8 weeks and suffering too. i just asked about this on the tail-end of another post a few days ago. i wont repeat anything already written, but the sour part has been working for me. kumquats, specifically. i have also had umeboshi plums recommended and am willing to try it. another suggestion was to focus on love for the baby... making a connection between your heart and your uterus and doing the requisite breathing. this may sound weird - and i really wanted to be pregnant, so i didnt think it would apply to me - but it has actually helped a bit. with feeling like such crap, i havent had a ton of "yippee, i'm pregnant" feelings. the positives have helped. i sincerely hope you start getting some relief soon. i feel for you.

when i read what the most-recent "sarah" said about focusing on love for her baby -- although it *does* sound a little hokey i think the principles are solid. when i was experiencing some of my worst waves of nausea and had already tried all the remedies at hand, i just focused on my yoga breathing -- long deep breath in, pulling your belly button toward your spine; long deep breath out expanding your belly as round as you can. it helped me at least a little! (it's also great for when someone tells you that you shouldn't be drinking caffeine while pregnant, or your mother-in-law tells you that you'd better not hurt her grandbaby wearing those high heels! hehe)

I know this will sound odd--but what worked for me all three times was chips and salsa. Seriously, I know it is not the healthiest thing, but I survived on organic chips and lots of lots of salsa for the first four or five months of each pregnancy. It was the only thing I could eat that actually made me feel better.

I was sick for the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy and the only thing that worked for me was taking Unisom. Apparently the active ingrediant works wonders on morning sickness -- it did for me. Of course, check with your doc, but for what it's worth mine suggested the Unisom route in combination with the B6 (unisom at night, b6 in the mroning.)

THANK YOU!!! I found my magic combo: B6/B12 and C. Thank you for all of your help and support!

I'm also currently diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, and am taking a combo of Zofran, unisom, and B6, and I occasionally recieve fluids via an IV. This keeps me from vomiting, but not from feeling nauseated. For those with serious morning sickness, you may want to visit www.hyperemesis.org (website of the hyperemesis education and research foundation). There is lots of useful information and good resources are listed(including a list of Doctors experienced in treating HG).

If you get this far down PLEASE read mine, I think I've identified a found a problem which may help a lot of women.

Having been hospitalised twice with hyperemises with my now 6 year-old and now again 14 weeks pregnant and just come out of hospital with hyperemises again (dehydration from continual vomiting) I have just started writing down what I eat each day to see if anything triggers off my sickness - and guess what - by eliminating the dairy products MILK and YOGHURT I have felt PERFECT the last five days. None of the ladies above tell you what their diet consisted of originally, they all have recommendations of what to try, but this was an elimination process for me and then searching google (before this site) I read something which makes so much sense ... It read: Nausea and sickness during pregnancy are the body's way of protecting mother and baby against poisons and stomach bugs in food, according to research which brought together data from 21 countries.
Dr Flaxman said evidence was accumulating that sickness was the body protecting itself against harmful substances in food.
Nearly 90% of mothers experience nausea during pregnancy, with about half actually vomiting. The description "morning sickness" is a misnomer, because nausea can occur at any time of day. In the most serious cases it can become hyperemesis gravidarum, or excess vomiting, which can be fatal.
Gillian Pepper and Craig Roberts at the University of Liverpool put together 56 studies from 21 countries that looked at the prevalence of nausea and sickness in pregnant women. They linked these figures to the typical diet in each country.

They found that countries with a high intake of sugars, sweeteners, stimulants such as caffeine, vegetables, meats, milk and eggs had more sick pregnant women, and those with high intake of cereals and pulses had lower levels. "Taken together, our results add to a growing body of evidence suggesting links between nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and diet," they write in today's issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The finding fits with the idea that vomiting serves to rid the body of potentially dangerous compounds. Meat and dairy products, for example, are much more likely to harbour bacteria, so it may be that the female body has been adapted by natural selection to get rid of them during pregnancy. The mother's body is also vulnerable because her immune system is suppressed during pregnancy.

I hope this may help lots of women. I do now think it is the body's way of "naturally" ridding itself of potentially harmful bacteria. I think the body is smarter than what we give it credit for - and it works it out for itself what it wants and what it doesn't. Of course I'll have to supplement with calcium tablets now but I'm very very very happy!!!!!!!!!

Ok.....you have received tons and tons of advice. I was in your shoe this time last year. I have horrible morning sickness- 24/7 for 6 1/2 months. It was miserable. I throw everywhere, including three different major supermarkets, my workplace, next to the pumps at a gas station, & in the courtesy drivers car from the car dealership. Nothing worked. My advice is have your husband just take care of you. Also drink flat warm coke, that helped a bit. Best of luck. You are earning your first badge for the Motherhood club. CAM

This post will probably be of more help to someone frantically Googling for morning sickness cures than to Murphy... I am 7 wks pregnant and nausea has set in a couple of days ago. I felt listless and sick but did not actually vomit. So far I have experienced significant relief by taking Emetrol, an otc for nausea, and sipping on Coke (both have phosphoric acid which is known to soothe nausea). A friend also recommended umeboshi paste, as was mentioned in previous posts. I am also on B-6, which did not seem to help before I started with Emetrol and Coke, but I stayed on it just in case it does have some positive effect. Today I felt so great I went swimming - an activity that seemed improbable only two days ago when I could do nothing but feel extremely sorry for myself. Good luck!

dr. suggested half a unisom before bed and it works. if i don't take it, i get violently sick in the am and pm (even at nearly 6 months pregnant).

in canada, the only medication deemed safe for nauseated pregnant women is essentially the same as unisom (marketed under a different name, but same main ingredients). i feel good about that because in canada they don't have sugary cereals and other unhealthy foods readily available to their people. they really look out for the population's health.

i had 24 hour morning sickness for 4 months. i lost 17 pounds in the first trimester. B vitamins did nothing. i wore sea bands so consistently that my skin started coming off underneath the little plastic buttons. compazine made me twitch. the "morning sickness" pills from lloyd center pharmacy weren't much help either. i never did the zofran because of the cost. emetrol also didn't help. i just had to wait it out. then it came back towards the end which felt pretty devastating. someone told me to try coke slurpees. it sounded terrible--but i tried it and it helped. it didn't "cure" the nausea, but it did make me feel a little better. sometimes i wonder if eating and playing with the frozen slurpee just simply distracted me. who knows. thank god for 7-11 and their coke slurpees is all i can say... i hope you all feel better SOON!

A bagel with butter or cream cheese around 7 am, followed by eating something carb-heavy (I try to incorporate proteins where I can...so far tuna fish, egg salad, fried or scrambled eggs, or almond butter have all been doable) every two-three hours keeps me from being incapacitated. I got a good morning wellness tea from the site that sells preggie pops that mixes Ginger with chamomile, spearmint, raspberry leaf and a few others. Preggie pops are ok too, although the ginger flavor is intense. I also just bought some accupressure bands which I wore on my first plane trip yesterday. A piece of wheat toast before going to sleep does wonders too.
Good luck to everyone going through this.

I am 8 weeks and i have the hyperemises gravidarum, which is a severe case of morning sickness.I stay in and out the hospital because of dehydration. There they gave me lots of fluid and prescibe me Zofran. i have a hard time sleeping at night.I have a spitting problem and mucus problem also. I tried sunflower seeds, ice, gum,lemons,the cofee under the tongue thing and i still feel horrible.I even went as far with sleeping with a towel in my mouth, sometimes i gage. I dont like anything with sugar i have a metallic taste in my mouth, which is so horrible i cant wait til this all over.November20,2010 Good luck!

i have all the same problems from the mucus to the matallic tast in my mouth does the zofran help at ill im alsow 8 weeks i feel like a wanna die my head is going foggy and im feeling real depressed!

to Perisian and Bobbie,
O m Gosh I feel you so much, I don't know what to do with this constant nausea and everyone of my friends didn't feel like this. What??? Why Me???? I need to eat more I think but even thinking about eating makes the nausea 5x worse. Jees like a never ending cycle around and around.... I wish you both lived next door so I could see someone else in such agony.. lol..that sounds me but at least I would feel normal..

I can relate. I had hyperemesis with all 3 of my pregnancies. Barfed up to 100 times a day with #1, sometimes so violently that it shot out my nose. Lost 40 pounds in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Luckily I was overweight to begin with. I was hospitalized and it took a week on IV's to calm it down. After that I felt great! Lost 25 pounds in the first month with #2-Was on an IV for 2 weeks at home with this pregnancy. #3 was the worst though. I managed to stay off the drip with #3 and only lost 15 pounds. Threw up about a dozen times a day only every 2-3 days for the first 5 months with #3. Then I was put on bedrest at 7 months for not having adequate amniotic fluid and went into premature labor-my water broke while I was conducting a PTA meeting!- at 34 weeks and was hospitalized for 2 weeks then had #3 at 36 weeks. Needless to say, I'M DONE!!

I am eight weeks pregnant and I have severe nausea as well as severe vomiting. I have only been in the hospital once, I got hooked up to ivs with a shot of phenogran I felt better after the ivs and shots and was sent home. The next day the same thing occured, I have tried everything from sucking on jolly ranchers to flat gingerale nothing has seemed to work yet untill my doctor prescribed me a high dose of zofran this helps with not throwing up however I still get nautious from time to time. I am now able to eat jello and bagels with light butter also sucking on mints and chewing minty gum seems to help quite a bit.. -soon to be a proud mommy just trying to keep that little miracle inside of me healthy

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