My healthy pregnancy

Nausea and vomiting

Morning sickness appears at about the same time at the little “+” on your pregnancy test.

The first symptoms

The first symptoms can occur as early at the 6th week after your last period and intensify from the 7th to the 12th week. In the vast majority of cases, it decreases after the 16th week, but some women will have to wait for delivery for it to end completely.

Even though 90% of women suffer from various degrees of nausea and vomiting during their pregnancies, it is important to do something to reduce their frequency and severity because the discomfort caused considerably influences your quality of life (exhaustion, dehydration, work absenteeism, discomfort, etc.).

Unfortunately, you won’t experience nausea only happen in the morning; it can happen at any time of the day or night.


Several things can cause nausea and vomiting, but the primary reason is the very rapid increase in hormone levels.

Iron in multivitamins can also cause nausea and vomiting. If you experience this, The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recommends replacing prenatal vitamins with folic acid and vitamin D supplements for the first trimester, since the need for iron only increases during the second.

Some predispositions can also make your symptoms worse:

  • You are having twins
  • You experienced nausea and vomiting during a previous pregnancy
  • You already suffer from motion sickness or migraines.

Suggestions to reduce your symptoms:

  • Rest! Fatigue makes nausea worse.
  • Take your time getting out of bed.
  • Always have a few soda crackers on hand.
  • Don’t let your stomach be empty: eat light snacks regularly and don’t skip meals.
  • Drink a lot of water between meals during the day.
  • Avoid going to bed right after eating.
  • Avoid eating spicy, fatty, fried or acidic food.
  • Eat food that tempts you: don’t force yourself to eat things that have textures or smells that don’t appeal to you.
  • Avoid getting too hot and take walks in the fresh air.
  • Open the windows when cooking to air out odours that may make you nauseous.

If these suggestions don’t help you, you can take medication:


This is the most commonly prescribed medication during pregnancy. It is available only by prescription, which you can obtain from either your doctor or your pharmacist.


Available over the counter, it can be used without any danger to your baby, during all the trimesters of your pregnancy. However, it can make you drowsy.

If you vomit frequently, it is important to take Pedialyte® or Gastrolyte® to prevent dehydration.

Natural products

Some over-the-counter medications including natural products are risky for your baby. Your Accès pharma affiliated pharmacist can discuss available options and recommended dosages with you.

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Generally, nausea and vomiting are not dangerous to you or to your baby. However, if you are extremely affected (intense vomiting that causes weight loss of more than 5%, dehydration), it could be hyperemesis gravidarum, which affects nearly 2% of pregnant women.

This condition can potentially lead to serious complications that require hospitalization. Talk to a health professional quickly if you have these symptoms.

This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and Accès pharma affiliated pharmacist-owners cannot be held responsible for this information. The information was true and accurate at the time of publication, but it is subject to change.

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