My wife is pregnant and feels like crap.
July 7, 2014 6:25 PM   Subscribe

My wife is six weeks pregnant and feels terrible. She is experiencing nausea, lack of appetite, reduced energy and general queasiness almost all the time. She has about an hour each day when she feels normal. Smells are particularly upsetting for her. We understand that these are common experiences for women in their first trimester, but that’s not making it any easier for her to tolerate. We’ve read that many of these symptoms go away in the second trimester, but that’s about 6 weeks away and my wife is wondering how she’s going to survive (and go to work) until then. She’s miserable.

We’ve seen the tips that are recommended online and in pregnancy books but my wife says they’re either unappealing or not effective.

How do people get through this? Any tips? At what point should she get help from her doctor? (Her OBGYN is saying she doesn’t need to see her until she is eight or nine weeks pregnant.)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (36 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ginger tea, crystalized ginger, sea bands (those anti-nausea wristlets for sea-sickness, saltines, fresh air, extra sleep and patience helped me years ago.

Generally OBs won't prescribe anything for nausea without vomiting. It will likely get better by week 12 or 13 but can be very tedious.
posted by leslies at 6:34 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Things that helped me: an extra dose of B6 vitamin in the morning, lots of fruity beverages, lots of sleep, eating whatever was appetizing (crackers, donuts, instant mashed potatoes were popular), the sea bands, and time. That said, if you're miserable now, why wait to call the doctor? Don't suffer alone!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:39 PM on July 7, 2014

Unfortunately, as long as she can keep fluids down, very few ob/gyns will do anything for her until she's 8 weeks or 12 weeks along. If she throws up for more than 24 hours and can't keep any fluids down at all, then they'll be interested.

The three traditional flavors are peppermint, lemon, and ginger. Try a lot of stuff, you may find something that works. I finally found that sucking lemonheads candy made me able to at least get through an hour of work without barfing. I also put lemon juice in my ice-cold water, that helped. Some people really like preggy pops. Another thing that's supposed to help is eating protein PLUS carbs before getting vertical in the morning ... a lot of books suggest just carbs but I found adding protein to the carbs did really help. Greasy food may also help (the fetal brain needs lots of cholesterol to build itself ... mmmmmm, McFood!). Google what people suggest online and just keep trying things, it's hard to know what'll work.

Tell her to recite to herself, "It's only until 12 weeks." For most women it is. If her nausea goes longer, recite, "It's only nine months." This is not a life sentence; it will not last forever. It has a definite endpoint. That is the ONLY idea that got me through.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:40 PM on July 7, 2014 [9 favorites]

The only thing that made a slight dent in that horrid wall of nausea for me was the smell of mint. I kept a bar of good mint soap in my pocket at all times and brought it to my face often.

That, and looking at pictures of daily fetal development online as often as possible -- getting that visceral sense of the purpose of all that physical misery made it so much more OK.
posted by third rail at 6:42 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Someone very close to me got though some debilitating nausea by sniffing at a jar of Noxema, and sometimes discreetly dabbing a little under her nose. It strangled out the scent of everything else and smells kind of clean and medicinal.
posted by mochapickle at 6:55 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I couldn't really figure out a constant (still fighting it!), but you might try 50mg (or at least 50mg) of B6 with 25mg diphenhydramine before bed. Options for that include Unisom (I actually prefer the Wal-som generic meltaways or Zzzquil) or Benadryl. Benadryl is basically your buddy in all situations.

Early pregnancy is baaaaad. Just take naps whenever you can, and beg off things if possible. Crappy timing for fun times, but just do whatever you can.

Keep saltines by the bed so you can eat something in the middle of the night. Having something in your stomach can really affect the nausea. You will eat an entire sleeve of saltines at a time and get incredibly tired of them. Get the giant spouted box of cheddar Goldfish. Applesauce is good too.

String cheese was also a lifesaver -- protein is sooooo important, and a huge help for settling your stomach and keeping you functioning like a human. Good source of protein: Fage plain Greek yogurt (it has 18 grams, way more than every other kind). Don't worry about the fat. You may be eating way less in general because of the nausea. I put plain applesauce on top of it.

Naked Protein Zone smoothies -- any of the protein ones, including mango and double berry -- have 30 grams per bottle and are generally easy on the stomach. The chocolate one can be a little tougher to digest -- chocolate can be an irritant like caffeine.

You can do it! I'm... kind of doing it? ;)
posted by Madamina at 6:56 PM on July 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

This is an odd suggestion but has she tried switching prenatal vitamins? A friend had horrible morning sickness, but at some point (for unrelated reasons) switched her pre-natals and her morning sickness went away pretty much immediately. Turns out it was actually a reaction to the iron, I believe, in the prescription pills she took. Even if that's not completely it, have her try switching to taking prenatals with dinner instead of first thing in the morning if that is what she is doing. That's what I did. Every little bit helps, right?
posted by echo0720 at 7:10 PM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

While every woman is different, here is/was my experience:
  • Consume protein, protein, protein.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day -- an empty stomach brings on the worst of the queasiness. Plus, eating too much at once can make heartburn worse.
  • Drink water, very cold water.
  • Take catnaps when possible, even if that means closing her office door (and her eyes) for 15 minutes (or popping down to the car, if she's in a cube or other open seating situation).
The worst of the queasiness may not last through the entire first trimester; with my daughter, I was more or less done with the nausea by about 10 weeks -- though that's when the big food aversions kicked in (so, trading one thing for another). The fatigue is another matter, and the only way to really deal with that is to get as much rest as possible.
posted by devinemissk at 7:11 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had a very similar experience to your wife's - but I just made it to the second trimester and now I feel incredible. There are millions of pieces of advice online for things that ease the nausea. At first I tried to find a cure...I found eating consistently every hour (a few saltines), even when I didn't want to, helped a bit. But the thing is, it didn't cure the nausea, which was pretty much constant - it just made it less intense. (That's what I think people often leave out when they offer their own cures.) Once I accepted that it wasn't going to go away, I read all the previous questions on Metafilter about morning sickness, and it made me feel a bit better just to be part of this massive community of women who've experienced the same thing (and often much worse - after what I read, I was just glad I didn't vomit every few minutes).

The reality is that the next six weeks may just suck. Sleep a lot, try to keep busy when you're awake, and make fun plans for the second trimester. Really, the second trimester is glorious - she just has to hang in there for a few weeks.
posted by leitmotif at 7:12 PM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

The only thing that worked for my perma morning sickness was Unisom and B6 every night before bed. It worked better than my prescription Zofran. When it was really bad I even took 1/2 a Unisom during the day and wasn't sleepy. Unlike Madamina I took the Doxylamine Succinate kind. That combo is the same as prescription Diclegis.

I would also sniff lemon essential oil and eat lemon hard candy.

It does get better, and is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy. Eating helps, so you may be making lots of trips to the store for whatever sounds good in the moment. I ate a lot of Stouffers mac and cheese and Dunkin Donuts iced tea in the beginning! This is not the time to watch what you eat.
posted by apricot at 7:13 PM on July 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I worked from home and my husband was away for most of the first trimester so I mostly sat around feeling miserable and not eating if I didn't want to. I lost a lot of weight (not a bad thing for me, as I was overweight to start, and my pregnancy weight gain is normal now) but it was not fun. Sometimes it is literally just sitting through it feeling really sorry for yourself.

When I did it, it was literally anything that sounded good. A spoon of peanut butter, a sandwich from subway (didn't care that it was deli meat), McDonalds, whatever. When I simply couldn't stand real food, I drank tons of fruit smoothies and Slimfast shakes, just to get some calories and liquids into me.

Pay attention to triggers. Brushing my teeth triggered gagging, retching, and occasional vomiting. There were entire weeks I couldn't do anything but use mouthwash. (Remember though that I worked from home and my husband wasn't there.)

Speaking of husband not being there, can you avoid cooking/eating at home for a bit so she can avoid the smells? That was huge for me.

Also just because I'm tired of seeing this trope, my second trimester is not "glorious" so much as "a lot less terrible than the first." A LOT less. It is something to look forward to compared to the first, true, but she shouldn't feel bad if there is a lack of glowing and all the other "magical" second trimester stereotypes.

Congrats to you both and good luck to your wife in managing her symptoms. I'm sorry it's so awful.
posted by olinerd at 7:28 PM on July 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

+1 for unisom! It was developed as an anti-nausea drug and then labeled as a sleeping pill. Safe for pregnancy and it pretty much saved me those first few weeks.

I also dreaded six weeks of feeling like crap but at eight weeks I started feeling better, and at 10 weeks I woke up and felt almost like myself again. All she has to do is get through today.

For food, cinnamon graham crackers worked well for me - better than saltines. I drove my husband nuts eating them in bed.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:40 PM on July 7, 2014

If she's a coffee drinker, and cut out caffeine completely, she could try reintroducing it. 1-2 cups a day are safe and should stave off withdrawal symptoms, which, on top of normal first trimester symptoms, feel really really awful (ask me how I know).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:44 PM on July 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I got used to throwing up. I got so I could comfortably eat and then if I lost it I lost it, I could almost immediately eat again and have another try. That meant that I remember a couple of meals where I had three helpings, and lost the first two. I got so I wasn't happy but I wasn't miserable about the food coming up again. But I was already very good at throwing up comfortably and quickly from repeated migraines. I never tried not to throw up, I just let it happen and that's what worked for me. Throwing up was much more comfortable than nausea and I could throw up so I did.

The nausea was pretty constant but worst when I was tired which meant I was least sick on rising and most sick by bed time, pretty much exactly the opposite of morning sickness. I saved myself a lot of sickness by simply giving in and not getting out of bed or going to school. I missed a lot of school. This is not an easy thing to do when you are trying to hold down a job. If you have vacation time saved up this might be a good time to use it. If the morning sickness is bad it is better to use up all your vacation time before you go out on maternity than to have some save up to stretch out your maternity leave. Certainly I was a lot more spry two weeks after my C-section than I was during my first trimester.

Your wife could always see her family doctor about morning sickness, and not go to her ob/gyn. It's true the pregnancy is causing the morning sickness but morning sickness is not a gynecological problem.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:48 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes to Unisom and B6. It worked for me. It wasn't miraculous or anything, but it made the nausea tolerable.

Empty carbs like Saltines were no help at all for me. Protein and fat helped (cheese, peanut butter). Sweets, even fruits and vegetables were intolerable. I couldn't drink coffee anymore, but I switched to tea for some caffeine.
posted by Kriesa at 7:50 PM on July 7, 2014

Can she book off time from work, so instead of having six weeks to cope with she is focused on getting through two weeks of work with a reward of a week off, then a week of work and then a long weekend as a reward?
posted by saucysault at 8:08 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

There was a similar question on AskMe not too long ago, sort of titled under gastro problems not related to pregnancy (although they totally were).

Keep trying things - I was sort of subsisting on bananas, banana bread, baked potatoes, peanut butter, and coconut water diluted with pear juice (on ice with a straw). A close friend who's about 12 weeks (I'm 31) agrees about the baked potatoes. (On preview: yeah, just eat whatever you can. Right now I'm on fruit and peanut butter cookies. ?)

Let her rest and sleep as much as possible - being tired makes everything SO much worse. I could do TWO things: go to work and sleep. Seriously - doing anything else felt like the Tough Mother marathon.

Reading other accounts of morning sickness for solidarity helped - she might like Growing Eden (on kindle) or Waiting for Birdy or the like. This is definitely a Thing and it Sucks. Both books are funny.

Try taking a 12 or 24 hour Mylanta first thing in the morning. It turned out what was bothering me was increased stomach acid/heartburn/reflux (which doesn't feel at all like I would have thought!) which I would interpret as "queasy all day". By late afternoon I'd be gagging but never actually threw up... it was awful. Tums and stuff did nothing. For me, it was totally worth the $7 to know that that was the issue (or not!) and the next time I saw the doctor I got a prescription and I've been OK since.

And yeah - the second trimester was better, but not "glorious". I'm in the third now, and it's okay but getting uncomfortable. It's been an interesting experience, but I don't "love being pregnant!!!" either. It's okay to feel this way.

She might also get a kick out of the pregnant husband Tumblr. This (the first one) is exactly how I felt when I got the occasional couple hours "off" and felt normal those first few weeks! Start here to view in chronological order (and click "previous").
posted by jrobin276 at 8:08 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing unisom + b6 (though I had to play with the amount of unisom so it didn't add grogginess to the fatigue).

I also had to force myself to eat something in the middle of the night. I didn't like it, it sucked, but it helped. I think my main staples were popcorn, rice crackers and (good) beef jerky. It didn't take much but I had to have a little but of something in my stomach.

In general I had difficulty stomaching meat (whereas I usually have some at most/every meal), I ate a lot of fruit and I drank white grapefruit juice with salt over ice (virgin salty dog). And sea bands. And I did a deconstructed prenatal vitamin thing and found that both iron and zinc were really hard on my stomach (throwing up) so I avoided those.

This was all with my first pregnancy, the second was much better for nausea.

As for the fatigue, rest as much as she can, call in sick some if she needs to and can, nap, lower her standards (paper plates and that sort of thing). And the more you can do so she can rest the better. Depending on her you might have to even be a little pushy to get her to rest instead of doing "her part". I write this after being sent to bed by my wonderful husband because I'm exhausted (and 8 months pregnant) and was still trying to do chores. Speaking of, the 2nd trimester might or might not be great for her, but in my experience so far the fatigue even in the third isn't nearly as bad as the first.

Now to try and sleep for me.
posted by pennypiper at 8:10 PM on July 7, 2014

PS: Gum really helped. It sounds silly, but something about the chewing and saliva stimulate stomach/digestive action and it really helped.

I've also been taking probiotics, digestive enzymes, and the rare half a senna tablet as needed to keep things digesting and moving along properly...
posted by jrobin276 at 8:42 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing Unisom with doxylamine succinate (the B6 does not do anything, in my experience). Half a unisom first thing in the morning was the only way I could make it to work during the first trimester. It seemed like a miracle the first time I took it and the nausea receded dramatically.
posted by Mallenroh at 9:12 PM on July 7, 2014

Congratulations! Her extreme reaction is a good indicator that she will have a healthy, full term pregnancy. Whenever she feels her worse, remind her of that. She should try to eat a little something every two hours. It is wonderful that you are writing to ask about this. It shows that you are already being a good dad by taking care of mommy so that she can have a healthy pregnancy. Cook for her, clean for her, treat her as if she has the flu. This will pass.

I threw up every day for every one of my pregnancies until the last one, when I noticed that I only threw up the day after I had something with tomatoes in it (including ketchup). Once I cut that out, it was much better. I could not take any pre-natal vitamins. All three of my children came out fine. Sometimes the vitamins can cause stomach upset and make the situation worse. I would skip vitamins and pay attention to diet before trying any medication.
posted by myselfasme at 11:01 PM on July 7, 2014

She should try all the ginger and seabands and lemon and crackers and frequent nibbling and stuff suggested above if she hasn't already, but if it's not working and she's miserable, go to the doctor.

I suffered pretty badly with nausea and vomiting, but the nausea was the worst, and at 7 weeks it went from 'bad but I can struggle through' to 'totally debilitating'. I tried to struggle through it without help and got really ill, really quickly - I couldn't sit up (let alone stand) for more than 30 minutes, I couldn't look at half the objects in my house because particular shapes and colours made the sickness worse, I was living off a little bit of water and a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese per day, and it was bad. At 8 weeks I went back to see my GP, who'd given me the standard ginger-and-crackers advice at first, and she wrote me out a prescription for anti-sickness drugs to stop the dehydration getting any worse.

The drugs were not a miracle cure for me, but they made it tolerable and kept me functioning (and I was one of the unlucky ones who stayed sick all through pregnancy). Dehydration in particular is not something to mess around with.

Other things that helped me when things were bad:
- lying down in a dark room, with my head on one side (looking up at the ceiling made it worse). I listened to a lot of podcasts.
- I usually couldn't manage plain water, but ice cubes were sometimes tolerable, or sparkling water. Thee were weeks when the only liquid I could manage was Coke - not ideal, but at least I was getting fluids.
- at times when I could manage to eat, throwing the idea of a healthy diet out of the window (with my obstetricians' blessing) and just eating whatever felt bearable.

She can get through it, and it's not forever (although it does I feel like that when you're in the middle of things).

My husband was amazing while I was sick - bringing me things, getting me to the doctor, doing all the household chores for nine months - but also just being there and believing me about how I was feeling. It was a miserably lonely time, when I was off work a lot and had no social life and people kept giving me well-meant-but-useless advice about ginger and crackers, and just having him there meant the world to me.

Finally: the one good thing that came out of having such a rough pregnancy for me was that looking after a newborn was bliss by comparison. Sleep deprivation? Eh, it was bad and all, but at least I didn't feel sick any more! That ended up being my silver lining.
posted by Catseye at 12:17 AM on July 8, 2014

One other thing that occurred to me - every pregnancy is different. My best friend had awful nausea etc around 6 weeks and, like your wife, was dreading the next six weeks to come, but the really problematic stuff actually only lasted her about 1.5 weeks. So it may get better earlier than expected.
posted by olinerd at 3:14 AM on July 8, 2014

posted by devnull at 3:47 AM on July 8, 2014

You're getting great advice here re: ameliorating the nausea, but I just wanted to note more generally that misery in itself is an underdiscussed (but for me, really conspicuous) first-trimester pregnancy side effect-- a feeling of doom, depression and panic, like OMG, I can't deal with this, help help!!

I had this both pregnancies, and when it cleared up around week 12, it became magically so much easier to deal with the morning sickness-- I kept on feeling nauseated and throwing up clear through Week 18 or so, but it was suddenly just something annoying that was happening to me, not an existential crisis. So by all means encourage your wife to work through the long list of possible morning sickness remedies, but also remember to be emotionally supportive, and gently try to get her to step back from any pregnancy-induced catastrophizing she may be doing about the experience she's in for over the next six weeks. It sucks, but she will totally get through this.
posted by Bardolph at 4:38 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think it's time to see the doctor. I would see if there is any way that the OB will see her sooner. Or even prescribe Zofran over the phone. Be clear that the nausea is impacting her ability to work.

None of the over the counter solutions even touched my nausea and I tried EVERYTHING (unisom, ginger, sea bands, preggie pops, saltines, everything). At my first doctor appointment (around 10 or 11 weeks was the earliest I could get in to see her), she prescribed me Zofran without hesitation when I explained that I had tried everything else and that I had been missing work. (My experience does not agree with the posters above who say doctors won't prescribe anything just for nausea or if you can keep stuff down - I imagine this varies greatly by doctor and its definitely worth a try.)

When I got on the Zofran, it enabled me to feel almost normal for about 4 hours. Even this wasn't perfect because I think I could only take them every 6 hours, but it was enough that I could work and do a minimum of functioning.

I'm sorry that she's going through this. I didn't start feeling better until around 16-18 weeks, and I was pretty much miserable that whole time. My mother told me later that she was pretty worried about me because I looked "green" every time she saw me for 3-4 months.
posted by pallas14 at 5:11 AM on July 8, 2014

You can keep trying stuff until something works, but at some point you just have to resign to the fact that pregnancy sucks for some of us. For me the nausea and vomiting lasted 19 weeks, to be replaced by a nice assortment of other fun symptoms.

Yes, keep talking to a doctor until you get something that works for you (your wife) but at least for me, things got a little more tolerable when I stopped fighting against my pregnancy. All the nasty hormones are helping your body make a baby. It's not easy!
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:20 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I haven't been pregnant for 14 years, but echo0720's suggestion of prenatal vitamins being a possible culprit (literally) brought back the awful sensation I experienced with those horrible horse pills. First I tried taking them at night instead of in the morning, hoping I could sleep through the nausea, but later switched to a regular multivitamin plus an iron supplement on the recommendation of my doctor. May not be the main factor in her discomfort, but probably not helping.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:24 AM on July 8, 2014

My experience does not agree with the posters above who say doctors won't prescribe anything just for nausea or if you can keep stuff down - I imagine this varies greatly by doctor and its definitely worth a try.

I would echo this. I had to deal with quite a few medical professionals re: sickness because of how our system works here, and they varied a lot on this. What I found helped was to be very, very specific about how it was affecting my life - "I can't get to work and I have been off sick for a week now, I am only managing X amount of fluids," that sort of thing - and detail exactly what I had tried already that hadn't helped. If you just say "I feel sick and it's awful," you are sadly a lot more likely to get dismissed in my experience.
posted by Catseye at 8:51 AM on July 8, 2014

My doctor prescribed anti nausea meds basically as soon as I showed up for my first check up, so there's that, too.

I had morning sickness all the way through, and nothing worked for me, either. What was invaluable was having the burdens of home taken from me so I could just lie around and gestate. Minimal cooking and cleaning and I took as much sick time from work as I could manage. The more you can do for her the better. Hire a cleaner, eat out (and if smells are driving her mad, you eat out - go sit on the porch or something), whatever it takes.

This will pass. This time next year you'll have a baby instead.
posted by Jilder at 9:17 AM on July 8, 2014

Another thing I'd suggest is not to invest too much in any apparent solution -- that is, I briefly thought that granola bars were the solution to all my food aversions, but that lasted about 3 bars (and then the box lasted several years, heh). So don't "load up" on anything that seems like the perfect solution, because by tomorrow she might want/need something different. [I think I nearly ran out of foods before my ability to eat returned to something approaching normal.]

Consider this practice for parenthood -- you never really get a grip on it, and the nature of the problem keep shifting. Good luck!
posted by acm at 9:46 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Everyone's suggestions are all great and I'd like to add one more. I had the same problem with contstant nausea all day in my first trimester, too. Eventually I figured out that I was suddenly lactose-intolerant. I eliminated dairy and it helped immensely. The next 6 months I was still a little sensitve to dairy but I could eat some with no problem and once the kiddo was out - no more lactose problem. Pregnancy is so weird.
posted by bijou243 at 10:24 AM on July 8, 2014

I'm at 13 weeks and this just went away! It was a horrible horrible time, and OMG it sucked.

What worked for me was constant eating. I hated everything, but made myself eat. Any one thing I ate worked for like 3 days, so definitely don't buy the huge pack of saltines or whatever. They get old fast. That said, I had the best luck with hard (not chewy) ginger candies and just chunks of ginger root when I needed something stronger. Bagels were also a godsend. Anything with too much protein was promptly, and strongly, vomited.

I also used watermelon to get myself ready for eating, and then would eat something more substantial once I was all warmed up. Eventually, I started munching on Tums after eating, and that helped, too. But I also evaluated all my eating decisions in terms of how unpleasant each food would be to vomit. Ice cream was the best coming back up, and the few moments post-vomit were basically the best I felt for the last 6 weeks or so.

I also complained and slept a lot. My husband did all the dishes and all the cooking, while I sat outside not smelling anything. Then we opened all the doors, windows and put the fan on to air things out until I could come back inside. I got a lot of reading/porch napping in.

I mostly work from home, but had a teaching gig in the middle of this. Essential oils for smelling nice things were AWESOME! Very potent, and perfect. Keeping hydrated mattered, and sometimes just giving myself the space to hide in the bathroom for 15 minutes and feel miserable was good too.

She can do it!
posted by ohisee at 10:37 AM on July 8, 2014

Zofran doesn't work for everyone ... but it did work for me, enough that I could manage to work (while forcing myself to eat constantly because although I had no appetite, having a little food in my stomach was better than nothing. For some reason original pringles were the one food that was never repulsive and I went through 2-3 cans a week.)

I kep snacks in my bedside table and ate something as soon as I woke up, moving as little as possible, and took my Zofran, and waited about 20 minutes before attempting to rise.

I called my GP and asked her to phone in a scrip for Zofran because I started with the "morning" (hah) sickness around 4 weeks and of course didn't see the OB until 10 or 11 weeks. There was a huge dutch study done showing it's safe for fetuses, so I didn't feel guilty or like I was endangering the baby.

Unfortunately I was sick well into my third trimester. But the nausea and vomiting did get less severe after somewhere in the 20 - 24 week mark. The Zofran was miraculous because it made me feel functional - but I was still pretty miserable even with it. (I work 60 hour weeks though so someone with a better schedule might not feel as crappy as much of the time - obviously I was also wrecked by fatigue.) You can get suppositories or gel tabs that melt in the mouth if she can't keep a pill down (I was able to just keep down a regular pill with water for long enough for it to work.)

One other thing I haven't seen anyone mention (although I skimmed): I found that even though I wasn't "showing", I had to stop wearing my jeans and other non-elastic clothes pretty quickly because the tighter waistbands made my nausea much worse.

Hang in there, both of you! Data puppy is 4 months old now and she's a beautiful smiley, happy baby.
posted by data hound at 2:23 PM on July 8, 2014

If your wife is sick enough that she's missing a lot of work and generally not functioning at all, she should call her obstetrician and demand prescription medication, whether she's vomiting enough to be severely dehydrated or not. In my experience the gatekeepers (front desk people and also nurses) demand proofs of major medical trauma, but the doctors are perfectly happy to give out medication when you explain that you're spending 24 hours a day with your face in a bucket. So I would suggest making an actual appointment if they're reluctant.

The Unisom/B6 over-the-counter combination people have mentioned several times works very well for me as well. I actually find that to be more important than Zofran, because without it I'm awake all night from the nausea. Getting a good night's sleep makes me MUCH less nauseated the next day. (And psychologically it's just nice to know that come 8 pm or whatever, I'm taking my sleep pill and shutting down the misery for a good ten hours.)

(I don't know if someone has mentioned this yet but be careful to buy the Unisom that's doxylamine, not .... the other one. Diphenhydramine?)

I've never had any relief from sea bands, ginger, etc., etc. I'm all about the meds.
posted by gerstle at 6:51 PM on July 9, 2014

Get the kind of Zofran that's dissolvable under the tongue. Don't want to barf it back up again.

Actually, I HAVE been using the Unisom (Benadryl, Zzzquil) that's diphenhydramine. I know it's an approved medication, which is nice.
posted by Madamina at 7:53 PM on July 9, 2014

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