While there are many aspects of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, one could want to emulate such as her poise or her sense of style. Hyperemesis gravidarum is not one of those things. Hyperemesis gravidarum is simply increased nausea and vomiting in pregnancy due to the normal increase in one of the pregnancy hormones. If you are experiencing these symptoms it is important to tell your obstetric provider because if left alone, it can cause severe dehydration. There are simple things you can do at home to help decrease nausea and vomiting and prevent from becoming dehydrated.
- Eat smaller, but more frequent meals:
Instead of eating a large breakfast, lunch and dinner, eat smaller portions with healthy snacks in between meals. Being too full or too hungry are common triggers for vomiting in pregnancy.
- Avoid heartburn:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or heartburn is a common trigger for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Because of normal pregnancy changes, pregnant women are more likely to get heartburn even if they have never had it before. Avoid spicy foods and take over-the-counter antacids like Tums. If your heartburn persists beyond occasional doses of antacids, talk to your obstetric provider about starting an acid blocker medication which is safe in pregnancy.
- Possible dietary supplementation and over the counter medications:
Some women experience relief from their nausea and vomiting symptoms from dietary supplements such as ginger and Vitamin B6 (25 mg). The over-the-counter sleeping aid, Doxylamine (Unisom sleep tabs, 12.5 mg in the morning and evening and 25 mg at bedtime), has also been known to help with nausea and vomiting. Ask your care provider first before you start these supplements and over the counter medications.
- Tell your obstetric provider about your symptoms:
If you are having symptoms of dehydration, such as dizziness and a racing heart, tell your obstetric provider right away.
- Drink lots of water:
Drink 6-8 8 oz. glasses of water. Electrolyte supplementation such as Gatorade is not necessary. If you choose to drink Gatorade, especially if you are diabetic, drink the low-calorie, low-sugar variety.
Although you may never be married to a future monarch of the United Kingdom, you may also avoid being hospitalized for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy by following these tips.