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Can anything help ease my acute morning sickness?
Q: I’m pregnant for the first time and have acute morning sickness. What kinds of things should I be doing, avoiding, and what can help take the nausea away?
A: Dear Jessica,

Morning sickness is one of the least pleasant aspects of being pregnant. There may be some consolation in knowing that women plagued with morning sickness invariably end up having very healthy pregnancies.

Here is some advice to help lessen nausea:

1. Eat dry foods—soda crackers, graham crackers, toast, especially early in the morning. Keep some crackers by your bed and eat them before arising.

2. Salty and sour combinations can be helpful – for example, pretzels and lemonade.

3. Try acupressure bands on your wrists – buy these at a pharmacy or aquatic store.

4. Eat or drink very tiny amounts at a time. Sometimes one sip of liquid every 15 minutes will stay down.

5. Eat small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates (foods such as toast, banana, baked potato, steamed rice) and low in fat.

6. Keep hydrated – even if it means taking fluids by the spoonful.

7. Avoid greasy and spicy foods, strong smells, tobacco and alcohol.

8. Ginger can be helpful. Try ginger tea, ginger ale, candied ginger or ginger capsules.

9. Vitamin B6 (50 milligrams twice a day) can help.

10. Take a break from prenatal vitamins. Folic acid (1 mg) can be purchased and taken as a single supplement, which may be easier on your stomach.

If your nausea is severe, your doctor may prescote medications that can diminish nausea. If you have prolonged or severe vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum), you should contact your health care provider or go to an emergency room for evaluation.

Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist