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Motion Sickness & Pregnancy

Although pregnancy doesn't cause motion sickness, a woman can be more prone to motion sickness during the gestational period. Nausea is one of the most common symptoms of both motion sickness of pregnancy and motion sikness so it's often rather difficult to determine which is causing the symptom – the pregnancy or motion sickness. Early on the pergnancy such as in the first trimester (first twelve weeks), nausea and vomiting is probably morning sickness even if you are in a moving vehicle at the time.

If you do notice that your nausea and related symptoms get worse while you are in a car, plane, train or any other form of transportation while pregnany, there are some non-medication-related things you can do to improve your situation:

  • Maintain proper air flow. Breathe in and breathe out regularly. Don't restrict air into or out of your lungs. Keep the air flow going. For example, when in a car, try to sit in the front seat and roll the window down.
  • Eat light, non-greasy snacks while on the road. Avoid heavy meals before, during and immediately after traveling.
  • Distract yourself by listening to soothing music or a book on tape. (Note that reading while in motion is not recommended as it can make motion sickness worse.)
  • Bring a neck pillow to keep your head and neck stable. The limited movement of this area of your body is believed to curb nausea.
  • Herbs such as ginger and peppermint, often in tea or candy form, may soothe a woozy stomach. These should be gentle enough to take no matter what stage of pregnancy you are in. If you decide to try other herbal remedies, please check with your mid-wife, doctor or other health care provider.
  • Certain wrist bands have been known to assist with motion and morning sickness. They either use pressure or electric currents to provide relief. These can be relatively inexpensive, durable and simple to use.

Of course, if you do find that you none of these provide you the necessary relief you desire, there are certain medication options that may be available to you even while pregnant. Some experts suggest sticking to over the counter remedies such as Dramamine or Benadryl. Others may even allow scopolamine. It's not considered dangerous for the baby; however, it can cause some rather unwelcome side effects such as dizziness, tremors, fatigue and confusion that might make motion (or morning sickness) seem like a better alternative.

Phenergan, aka promethazine, is safe for pregnant women when taken alone and is often used to treat severe morning sickness. Therefore, if you also have motion sickness – specifically with symptomatic nausea, this is yet another medicinal remedy you can try.

Remember, you do have options whether they be over the counter, home-based remedies, alternative measures or prescription medications. However, if you find yourself with questions about the best course of action to take, check with your health care provider. When it comes to your baby's health, it's better to err on the side of caution. The motion sickness, although unpleasant, will subside.

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