Prenatal Vitamins and Nausea
November 9, 2012
For the first time in days, you manage to keep your breakfast down. But the victory is short-lived because after you take your prenatal vitamins, it all comes back up.
Morning sickness affects nearly 80% of pregnant women. if that wasn’t bad enough, prenatal vitamins often worsen your morning sickness symptoms. This presents a difficult dilemma:
You know you and your growing baby need essential nutrients, but when you’re constantly queasy, the last thing you want to do is swallow a pill that might make it worse.
What can you do about prenatal vitamins and nausea? Is there a way out of this dilemma?
Why Do Some Prenatal Vitamins Cause Nausea?
Prenatal vitamins are loaded with minerals, herbs, and vitamins in large doses. The sheer number of ingredients can make these pills rather large: horse-pills to be exact. All those ingredients packed together often put off a revolting smell. No wonder you can’t keep your breakfast down!
Or maybe you can…
5 Tips for Preventing Nausea When Taking Prenatal Vitamins
- Take your pills right before bedtime or naptime. Lack of body movement often helps reduce nausea.
- If you’re gagging on size of your pills, switch to a chewable or liquid supplement, or even a product with smaller pills.
- Not all prenatal vitamins are the same. Try a brand that doesn’t have a nauseating odor or aftertaste.
- Taking prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach is a recipe for queasiness. Eat your meal, let it sit for a few minutes, and then take your pills with lots of water.
- Wash your vitamins down with peppermint tea instead of water. The American Pregnancy Association recommends this soothing tea for easing nausea.
Should You Stop Taking Prenatal Vitamins that Cause Nausea?
The temptation to stop taking your prenatal vitamins may be strong, but should you give in?
If you eat a healthy, balanced diet that provides you and your baby with a proper dose of nutrients, you may not need pills. However, getting the proper doses isn’t easy; particularly when you throw morning sickness into the mix.
Prenatal vitamins fill the gaps in your diet. So, before you give up on them, try the prevention tips listed above or take prenatal vitamins that prevent nausea.
Are There Prenatal Vitamins that Don’t Cause Nausea?
This seems too good to be true! Can prenatal vitamins–the very thing that aggravates your nausea–actually prevent it? They just might be able to, with the help of ginger.
Ginger has a long-standing reputation for soothing an upset stomach, and it has the research to back it up. Here’s what the research says:
- Women took 1.05 grams of ginger every day for 3 weeks during early pregnancy. Ginger, coupled with a vitamin B6, reduced nausea, dry retching, and vomiting.
- After reviewing six studies on ginger, researchers concluded that the herb is an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
- Every day, pregnant women who experienced morning sickness were given 1 gram of ginger or dimenhydrinate (prescription nausea medication). Ginger turned out to be as effective as dimenhydrinate for reducing nausea and it caused fewer side effects.
Correct Ingredient Doses Help Dampen Nausea Symptoms
The right doses of prenatal vitamin ingredients, as well as a good dose of ginger, may reduce the queasiness in your stomach. In fact, one of the reasons these pills cause nausea is because they have doses that are larger than the recommended amount.
Get Your Nutrients without the Nausea
While prenatal vitamins and nausea seem to go hand-in-hand for some women, they don’t have to. With these tips and recommendations, as well as constant communication with your medical professionals, you can make your pregnancy one to remember with joy!
-  Smith, Caroline, Caroline Crowther, et al. “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Ginger to Treat Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy.” Obstetrics & Gynecology. 103.4 (2004): 639-45.
-  Borrelli, F, R Capasso, et al. “Effectiveness and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting.” Obstetrics & Gynecology. 105.4 (2005): 849-56.
-  Pongrojpaw, D, C Somprasit, and A Chanthasenanont. “A randomized comparison of ginger and dimenhydrinate in the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.” Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 90.9 (2007): 1703-9.
-  “Nutrient Guidelines.” American Pregnancy Association. American Pregnancy Association, Oct 2008. Web. www.americanpregnancy.org.