Unbearable morning sickness

Originally Published: June 18, 2004 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: October 23, 2009
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Hi Alice,

I'm around 8 weeks pregnant and suffering from terrible morning sickness and nausea. I was hospitalized and on a drip a few days ago, and I was told that it is quite likely I will end up in the hospital again.

I've done many Internet searches and spoken to lots of women who have also suffered from morning sickness, and have tried LOTS of remedies, including Maxolon and Stematil (prescribed by the doctor), ginger (crystallized and in tea), vitamin B6, acupressure bands, eating small meals often, eating dry biscuits before I get up etc., etc. Nothing seems to help at all!

I'm very sadly reaching the point of deciding on whether to go through with the pregnancy or have a termination, because it’s becoming impossible to keep working while being so sick (and I really need to keep working for the money!). I think I can put up with it for a couple of weeks longer, but I don't have enough sick-leave if I'm going to be this ill for more than a month or so.

Of course, I don't want to give up on the baby, but I'm getting very desperate!!! This pregnancy was by choice, but if I'd known how terribly sick I was going to become, I honestly would not have made the choice to get pregnant. (And I have decided against becoming pregnant again for the same reason).

Is there anything else I could try? Is there any hope?

Yours sincerely,
Desperate

Dear Desperate,

Even though it's hard to imagine feeling better when you're sick, hopefully your extreme nausea and vomiting will soon diminish. After the first trimester, or around 12 to 14 weeks into the pregnancy, the nausea usually dissipates. You mention you're at eight weeks, so you can expect to notice a change in the way you feel within the next few weeks, which may feel like forever.

There is a chance, however, that the nausea could continue longer. Some women continue to experience nausea and vomiting throughout much of their pregnancy. Severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) is known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which can cause weight loss, dehydration, liver damage, and can even be life threatening to the mother and/or baby, if left untreated. Women who are at high risk for this condition tend to be of a younger maternal age, high body weight, pregnant for the first time, or pregnant with twins. A woman with this condition is considered to have a high-risk pregnancy. This is why medical supervision is so important for you. You need to be under the care of a high-risk obstetrician, also known as a perinatologist, throughout your pregnancy.

Also, additional treatments require a prescription by a health care provider, so conversations with your obstetrician may yield a treatment option that helps reduce your nausea. Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve an over-the-counter remedy for morning sickness, you can consult your health care provider about the possibility of taking medications considered safe to use during pregnancy.

Aside from the remedies you've tried, and linking up with a high-risk obstetrician, what else can you do to make this easier for yourself? Stress, anxiety, and worry can make the morning sickness and nausea worse. Perhaps you will feel better if you find ways to relax that work for you. For example, you can get a massage or soak in a warm bath, or establish a mild exercise regime that is approved by your obstetrician. Are there other things you can incorporate into your schedule to better manage your stress? Link up with someone you trust to talk with. That person can be a friend, a partner, a parent, and/or a professional counselor. And on the work front, talk with your supervisor or Human Resources department to see what options you have. Maybe you can work part time or at home temporarily. Of course, a steady income is important, but sacrificing your health will only complicate matters. It's important to tend to not only your physical, but also to your mental and emotional health.

While it may be difficult to think about it right now, having severe nausea during this pregnancy does not necessarily mean you will experience this again in subsequent pregnancies. Every day is a different day for your body.

Alice

January 17, 2013

521852
I'm 16 weeks into my second pregnancy and have been vomiting regularly since week 5. I vomited throughout my entire first pregnancy--even during delivery. My financial situation is getting very shaky...
I'm 16 weeks into my second pregnancy and have been vomiting regularly since week 5. I vomited throughout my entire first pregnancy--even during delivery. My financial situation is getting very shaky and my employers are getting annoyed, but I can't help it. I get to work as much as I can and try not to throw up there, but most days, I'm pretty much incapable of doing anything except sitting quietly and trying to eat enough. The only thing that gives me even a hint of relief is keeping a constant flow of carbs. Crackers or potatoes or bread, etc... every hour. I'll be so glad when the baby is born. Getting up to feed him or her every three hours will be a welcome relief from non-stop nausea!

October 22, 2009

21600
To the reader:

I know exactly how you feel. I am in the 7th week of my 2nd pregnancy & I too am very sick. Just getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle. Just hang in there it will...

To the reader:

I know exactly how you feel. I am in the 7th week of my 2nd pregnancy & I too am very sick. Just getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle. Just hang in there it will subside & you will then bloom. It is all worth it in the end, believe me.

January 16, 2008

21366

Dear Desperate,

I understand what you are going through. I too suffered with major nausea with my first pregnany and I am now pregnant for the second time and going through it again. All I...

Dear Desperate,

I understand what you are going through. I too suffered with major nausea with my first pregnany and I am now pregnant for the second time and going through it again. All I can say is that it will pass and believe me when you hold that baby in your arms you will say it was worth it all. So I just wanted to encourage you not to give up! You can do it. Also maybe you can talk to your doctor about medicication that is available to help you through this. My doctor prescribed me some drops to take before I ate. I did help although it didn't totally cure it. Well I hope my letter has been of some help. I know the desperation you feel and how miserable it is but it is worth it. There is nothing like being a mom. When my husband and I look at our son we say how did we ever live life without him! It will change your life forever but in a good way! Don't give up, you have almost reached the point where all this will change!

November 5, 2007

21360
Hello,
Morning sickness is very difficult to deal with. I have a 2 year old and I am 7 weeks pregnant with my second. I had a horrible first pregnancy. I felt like curling up into a ball and...
Hello,
Morning sickness is very difficult to deal with. I have a 2 year old and I am 7 weeks pregnant with my second. I had a horrible first pregnancy. I felt like curling up into a ball and dying. My morning sickness lasted up until I was about 8 months pregnant. I missed a lot of work, but, had a very understanding employer. Like you I felt like terminating the pregnancy on many occasions. However, I am sure glad I didn't. My son is everything to me. He has brought me so much happiness and joy and I could not ever imagine have terminated the pregnancy now. I said that I would not go through it again, but, here I am 7 weeks pregnant — very nauseated and vomiting. I try to stay positive that I will start to feel better around 11 weeks. Hang in there. I know it can be tough, but, it will be worth it when you hold that little person you helped to create. All the best!!!

December 14, 2006

21157

Dear Desperate,

I too was very sick, and I tried all the methods you did. I was sick for the full 9 months and hospitalized several times. I had to have a PIC line put in (permanent IV),...

Dear Desperate,

I too was very sick, and I tried all the methods you did. I was sick for the full 9 months and hospitalized several times. I had to have a PIC line put in (permanent IV), and I was put on every medicine to help, but nothing worked. I even had Home Health Care coming 3x a week. I just knew I was not going to make the choice I did before.

I hope it is not too late, and I hope you made a different decision to follow through with the pregnancy — it is so worth it. This was my 2nd pregnancy. During my 1st, I was just as sick, and at 8 weeks I decided to make the choice and end the pregnancy. I regret this every day of my life. I would never do it again! Look up "abortion pictures" and see what that baby goes through. It will make you change your mind. I now have a 10-month-old little boy, and he is a miracle. And, get this... I want another one!

I hope this will make it to you!

September 7, 2006

21083

Alice,

Desperate, I feel for you, and I more than understand. I am going on 11 weeks, and I still throw up about 4 times a day. I feel sick all day and eat "in the moment," meaning I never...

Alice,

Desperate, I feel for you, and I more than understand. I am going on 11 weeks, and I still throw up about 4 times a day. I feel sick all day and eat "in the moment," meaning I never know what's going to stay down 'til I try. I am emotionally drained and a bit depressed myself. I have not been able to take any prenatal vitamins because I throw them up as well. This is my second child, and I was sick the whole time with my first. I pray that this will end by the 12 or 13th week. I have also been to the hospital for dehydration, and it was not pleasant.

I am so sorry you feel the way you do. I know all too well the feeling of not wanting to go through with it, but my first son was so healthy and perfect, it was worth it. I just hope this new baby is the same. Try and stay strong. I know it's hard, I feel the same way.

— Hopeful

November 19, 2004

20834
Dear Alice,

I came across this article when browsing the net for women with the same condition during their pregnancy as me and it instantly hit a cord. I suffer with the exact same problems. At...

Dear Alice,

I came across this article when browsing the net for women with the same condition during their pregnancy as me and it instantly hit a cord. I suffer with the exact same problems. At 8 weeks, I started suffering with unbearable vomiting and after being told over and over that it would go away, I give up on that idea now. I'm now 28 weeks and still feel nausea, and vomit more regularly than is good for me. I guess what has become easier is my expectancy of it and knowing it will only last the duration of the pregnancy, which isn't that long now. I understand what this other woman is going through and how tough it is to work full time and suffer this way. I, too, have taken sick leave to have time on a drip in a hospital and I really feel for her.

However, if I were to give up work, the laws in England mean that I will be provided for on a very basic rate, but at least I have that. I'm very excited about having my first baby and the thought of that keeps me struggling on. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I don't want to do anything but lie in bed and cry because of how ill and run down I feel, but when my partner comes home with little gifts for our baby, I somehow snap out of it and make myself do things. I hope this person who suffers the same does not give up hope. She needs to believe that it is all worth it and it won't be forever. At the end of it all, she will have the most responsible and important job in the world. This is just part of the fight to get that job. I wish her all the luck and willpower in the world.

hazel