Famously, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, had Hyperemesis Gravidarum in all three of her pregnancies. ‘What is that?’ you may ask. It is a severe case of morning sickness (nausea and vomiting in pregnancy) which almost all pregnant women experience; most commonly during the first trimester but of course it can carry on throughout pregnancy.
Nausea & vomiting in pregnancy
Doctors prefer the term nausea and vomiting in pregnancy as it can occur all day, not just in the morning! In order to overcome morning sickness, many women may need to take morning sickness pills to reduce nausea. However, some expectant mothers may be wary of taking medication whilst pregnant for the safety of their unborn child. Fortunately, Dr Preethi Daniel, Clinical Director at the private GP Clinic, London Doctors clinic, is here to break down everything you need to know about morning sickness pills, whether they are safe and what are the best ones to take – as well as offering alternate ways to prevent sickness.
How can morning sickness pills help and are they safe?
There are several morning sickness or anti-sickness pills that have been shown to work very effectively, offering relief in most instances of nausea. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggests mild nausea and vomiting should in fact be managed in the community with antiemetics (morning sickness pills). The common ones we prescribe are cyclizine, stemetil or prochlorperazine and promethazine; all of which have safety and efficacy data when taken during pregnancy.
What other tips do you have for avoiding morning sickness?
Other than taking sickness pills to beat morning sickness there are also a few other steps that can be taken to reduce the symptoms:
- Eat and drink little and often
My top tip for combating morning sickness is to eat little and often and sip little and often. This ensures a steady stream of energy but avoids overfilling stomach causing nausea and vomiting.
- Avoid rich meals
Try to steer clear of rich, fatty or spicy foods as these can upset your stomach, sticking to bland, easy to digest foods such as soup, toast or crackers.
- Stock up on frozen treats
If you are struggling to drink anything at all, it is worth sucking on lollies or frozen bananas instead to stay hydrated.
- Incorporate more ginger into your diet
Ginger works wonders too anecdotally and is recognised by specialists now. Buy from a reputable source or perhaps try ginger tea.
- Try to stick to cold meals
Cold foods work better as they do not give off an aroma which often is the cause of an unsettled stomach.
- Try acupuncture
Acupuncture has also been seen as effective in many instances and is safe during pregnancy.
What should you do if these tips or pills are not working?
If despite these simple measures you just cannot keep anything down, notice your weight is dropping or that your urine is looking dark and concentrated, it is best to speak to your GP who may consider hospital treatment.
Dr Preethi Daniel is the Clinical Director at the Private GP, London Doctors Clinic