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Vitamin B for Morning Sickness

by Katlyn Joy
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Morning sickness is one of the most common, and troublesome symptom of pregnancy. Typically it begins around the 4th to 6th week of pregnancy, and doesn't lighten up until the second trimester begins. However, for some it ends with labor.

Morning sickness is quite the misnomer for lots of pregnant women, as their morning sickness may occur at any time of day, and perhaps even linger the entire day. For these women especially, answers for the nausea and or vomiting problem are a big concern.

Vitamin B6 and Morning Sickness

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends taking vitamin B6 to treat morning sickness, and suggests this be tried first. Sometimes doctors tell their patients to combine taking vitamin B6 along with Doxylamine, or Unisom, to ease nausea and vomiting.

The Mayo Clinic states the optimum dose for controlling morning sickness is 25 milligrams every 8 hours for 72 hours; 10 milligrams every 8 hours for 5 days; and 100 milligrams daily for a week. Oral dosing of 30 to 100 milligrams can be taken in 1 to 3 divided doses daily for a few days up to 3 weeks.

Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine. Discuss taking anything, whether vitamin, supplement or topical medication with your health care provider. Even herbal teas may be harmful if you drink the wrong ones.

The Food and Drug Administration placed pyridoxine in Category A for pregnancy, which means it shows no risk, according to drugs.com.

A 2010 study published in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that the combination of doxylamine and vitamin B6 resulted in significantly reduced symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnant women versus women who received the placebo.

Other Alternatives

Certain lifestyle choices may limit or even resolve morning sickness. For instance, never allow your stomach to become completely empty. Try to eat something every few hours. Have some saltines on your nightstand to nibble on slowly, before you rise for the day. Avoid greasy foods or anything too heavy when you are feeling nauseated. Focus on eating proteins and carbohydrates to keep the yucky tummy at bay. Keep your meals to a smaller sized portion, and snack often. Be sure and stay hydrated with good old water or ginger ale.

Stay away from strong odors and avoid cigarette smoke. Staying in well ventilated areas and not getting overheated will help control nausea. Get regular, good sleep and try to strain the stress from your life.

If you think your prenatal vitamins may be the culprit, try taking them in the evening or with a later meal. If that doesn't do the trick, have your doctor prescribe a different brand or formulation to see if that makes a difference. Ask your doctor if you can break the vitamin in half, taking part of it in the morning and the other before bedtime.

Some women have found relief in using Sea Bands, which are used to treat motion sickness. These wristbands are also safe. Other women swear by acupuncture or acupressure. For many, it's simply a waiting game. Once the pregnancy progresses, the hormones will settle down more and the nausea will most likely dissipate.

Your doctor may prescribe an anti-nausea medication such as promethazine, metoclopramide, dimenhydrinate, or ondansetron, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

When to Seek Help

While most physicians take morning sickness as a good sign that the pregnancy is healthy and progressing well, there are times when morning sickness requires more aggressive medical treatment.

Should you experience any of the following, seek help:

  • You've lost or are losing more than 2 pounds in a week.
  • Your stool resembles coffee grounds.
  • Your nausea and vomiting have reached the point where you believe you may be dehydrated.

Severe morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum and may require a hospital visit, for observation and IV fluids. Typical morning sickness, however, doesn't require concern. It is not harming your baby, just aggravating you.


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