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Morning Sickness

Even though I’m out of my first trimester, I still have such terrible morning sickness that I carry a bag with me everywhere I go. My friends are stockpiling them and pass them along to me. How did you deal with the nausea and vomiting?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: During my first pregnancy, I vomited all day long, all over the place, for the better part of eight months. The story that “this isn’t going to last but a few weeks” was not true for me.

I tried everything that anyone suggested—from eating citrus fruit to wearing metallic wrist bands to hypnosis. I would have done anything to have stopped vomiting, but nothing worked. I didn’t stop throwing up until my son was born.

At that time, I was in my residency. When I came into the residents’ rooms heading for the bathroom, all of the men would clear out. The women stuck around; it didn’t seem to bother them! I knew where every single public toilet was in the hospital, and I probably threw up in every one of them at least once.

How did I cope? I carried a toothbrush and breath mints in my pocket. I could be in the middle of talking with a patient, excuse myself to the bathroom, vomit, brush my teeth, and get right back to talking. You have to keep moving forward, despite the nausea and vomiting.

There were some foods I couldn’t stand. Actually the smell of anything cooking made me ill. My husband cooked his food outside on the grill for months. I didn’t eat a whole lot, but I wasn’t skinny to begin with. I joked that my baby was living off the fat of the land. Because I couldn’t stand the smell of the hospital cafeteria, the other residents would ask me what I thought I could eat and bring it back for me.

There are some foods that I learned to avoid because they were so awful to throw up—pineapple, yogurt, and watermelon to name a few. The sight of them makes me sick to this day!

The best news I can give you is that just because you had terrible morning sickness in one pregnancy doesn’t mean you’ll have it again. During my second pregnancy, I didn’t throw up a single time.

When to call the doctor or midwife: You should call your doctor or midwife immediately if you have lost more than two pounds, vomit bright red or black blood, vomit more than four times in one day, or can’t keep fluid down for more than a day.

Carrie Brown, MD, a mom of two and a general pediatrician who treats medically complex children and specializes in palliative care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.