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Health During Pregnancy

Important signs to watch for if you are pregnant [hide]
  • Bad cramps or stomach pains that don't go away.
  • Bleeding or a trickle or gush of fluid from your vagina.
  • Lower back pain/pressure or change in lower back pain.
  • A feeling that the baby is pushing down.
  • Contractions or change in the strength or number of them.
  • An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge.
  • Fever, chills, dizziness, vomiting or a bad headache.
  • Blurry vision or spots before your eyes.
  • Sudden or severe swelling of your feet, hand or face.
  • A significant change in your baby's movements.

Go to a hospital right away and contact your doctor/midwife if you have any of these symptoms!

Adapted with permission from:
Best Start: Ontario's Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre

Last Reviewed: April 2017

Taking Care of Yourself

Common concerns

Managing nausea & vomiting | Coping with heartburn | Constipation & pregnancy | Exercising safely | Sex during pregnancy | Emotional changes | Sleep During Pregnancy |

3 Pregnant ladies

Managing nausea & vomiting

Nausea and vomiting or "morning sickness" is very common in pregnancy. Eighty percent of all pregnant women have some type of nausea and vomiting. Most women start to feel better after 12 weeks of pregnancy but a small number may suffer from nausea and vomiting for a longer period of time.

What causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy?

The exact cause of nausea in pregnancy is not known, but experts believe it's a combination of the many physical changes taking place in your body such as the higher levels of hormones during early pregnancy.

Does nausea and vomiting during pregnancy affect the health of mother and baby?

Most cases of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy aren't harmful to you or your baby. Often, the feelings of nausea and the episodes of vomiting decrease at some point during the day so you are able to eat and keep some food down.


How to cope with nausea and vomiting

Diet

  • Eat bread, dry cereal or crackers and rest 10 - 15 minutes before getting out of the bed in the morning.
  • Get out of bed slowly; avoid sudden movements.
  • Eat small meals or snacks often (every two hours) to avoid being hungry. Do not skip meals.
  • Eat foods that you like whenever you feel like eating them.
  • Have a snack before bedtime or during the night.
  • Avoid strong smells such as coffee, garlic, spices.
  • Eat cold foods; hot foods have stronger smells than cold foods.
  • Choose lower-fat foods: lower fat meats, poultry and fish, eggs, skim or 1% milk.
  • Eat more carbohydrate-rich foods (e.g., breads, cereals, potatoes, rice, pita, roti).
  • Drink fluids between meals rather than with meals.
  • Avoid foods that have caffeine (e.g., coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks).

Lifestyle

  • Open the windows to let in fresh air. Stay away from warm places as feeling hot can add to nausea.
  • Have others cook for you if possible.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth right after eating.
  • Avoid cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke.
  • Get plenty of rest. Nausea is often worse when you are tired. Nap when you are able.
  • Try taking your prenatal vitamins with food or just before going to bed.

What if I can't keep anything down?

Talk to your doctor/midwife if you are so sick that you are missing meals day after day or you are losing weight. Your baby may not be getting all the daily nutrients to grow healthy. There are safe medications that your doctor/midwife can prescribe to help relieve severe cases of nausea and vomiting.

Call your doctor/midwife if you suffer from signs of dehydration such as decreased urination or dark yellow urine. Dehydrations happens when the body does not have as many fluids as it should. This may be caused by losing too many fluids, like excessive vomiting or not drinking enough. Severe cases of dehydration may require intravenous fluids and vitamin supplementation from the hospital.

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can be difficult to control. If you have nausea and vomiting speak to your doctor/midwife or a Registered Dietitian.


For more information:

Region of Peel - Public Health
905-799-7700
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health Nurse or Registered Dietitian

Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216

Women's Health Information Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)

Motherisk
Motherisk NVP Helpline
1-800-436-8477
For ways to deal with morning sickness


Prenatal Classes/Programs | Taking Care of Yourself | Eating Healthy
Medical Concerns | Teen Pregnancy | Just for Dads | Contact Us

Revised: Monday June 26 2017

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