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Managing Morning Sickness: Care Instructions


Morning sickness can be the toughest part of early pregnancy. Some people feel mildly sick to their stomach, and others are running to the washroom. The good news? Morning sickness usually gets better in the second trimester.

It's likely that your hormones are to blame for morning sickness. But you can do things to feel better, like changing what you eat, avoiding certain foods and smells, and asking your doctor about medicines you can try.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Keep food in your stomach, but not too much at once. Your nausea may be worse if your stomach is empty. Eat five or six small meals a day instead of three large meals.
  • For morning nausea, eat a small snack, such as a couple of crackers or dry biscuits, before rising. Allow a few minutes for your stomach to settle before you get out of bed slowly.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink. Some women find that peppermint tea helps with nausea.
  • Eat more protein, such as chicken, fish, lean meat, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • Eat carbohydrate foods, such as potatoes, whole grain cereals, rice, and pasta.
  • Avoid smells and foods that make you feel nauseated. Spicy or high-fat foods, citrus juice, milk, coffee, and tea with caffeine often make nausea worse.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not smoke. Try not to be around others who smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
  • If you are taking iron supplements, ask your doctor if they are necessary. Iron can make nausea worse.
  • Get lots of rest. Stress and fatigue can make your morning sickness worse.
  • Ask your doctor about using ginger to reduce nausea and vomiting.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins at night on a full stomach.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are too sick to your stomach to drink any fluids.
  • You have symptoms of dehydration, such as:
    • Dry eyes and a dry mouth.
    • Passing only a little dark urine.
    • Feeling thirstier than usual.
  • You have new symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, or belly pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You lose weight.
  • You have ongoing nausea and vomiting.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.