In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our July-August 2011 issue, Hansa Bhargava, MD, a pediatrician, answered a question about dealing with morning sickness during pregnancy.
Q: I am eight weeks pregnant and so nauseated that just the sight of food makes me queasy. Is there anything I can do?
A: So-called morning sickness affects about three-quarters of all pregnant women in their first trimester -- and, unfortunately, most women who get it have it all or much of the day, not just in the morning.
Women with multiples are more at risk than women carrying a single baby, and those who've had feelings of nausea in one pregnancy are more likely to suffer them again in a subsequent pregnancy. But for most pregnant women, the nausea and vomiting stop around the end of the third month of pregnancy.
In the meantime, you can try eating small meals throughout the day so your stomach is never empty and keeping simple snacks such as crackers by your bed to nibble on before you get up in the morning. Say no to dishes that are steaming hot -- they give off stronger smells than cold or room-temperature foods. And stay clear of fatty foods, which take longer than carbohydrates to digest, as well as spicy, acidic, and fried foods, which can upset your stomach.
Try to drink plenty of fluids, since dehydration can also make you feel ill. And call your doctor if you are vomiting constantly, cannot keep liquids down, feel dizzy when you stand up, or are urinating infrequently. These are all signs of dehydration that require medical attention.