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How To Deal With Motion Sickness During Pregnancy?

4 min read

Pregnancy is a beautiful period when everyone in the family is joyous and excited in anticipation of the arrival of a new member in the family. Preparations are made in advance to welcome the new baby. However, it is not always a joyous period for the expectant mother. She has to deal with physical changes in her body, mood swings inflicted by hormones and often morning sickness that makes her nauseous. If all these are not giving enough challenges to make the woman anxious, there is an added probability of having motion sickness during pregnancy. This is a very inconvenient condition to handle, especially if one has to travel a lot during pregnancy.
If you are one of the unfortunate ones hit by a wave of motion sickness during pregnancy, read on.
pregnancy motion sickness

  • What Is Motion Sickness?
  • Causes Of Motion Sickness During Pregnancy
  • Symptoms Of Motion Sickness During Pregnancy
  • How To Treat Motion Sickness During Pregnancy?
  • How To Prevent Motion Sickness During Pregnancy Without Medicines?

What Is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness is a term used to describe symptoms like dizziness, nausea and vomiting that occur when you are travelling. It is also sometimes referred to as travel sickness, car sickness, sea sickness or air sickness.
Some women experience motion sickness only when they are pregnant while in some it is a normal occurrence that increases during pregnancy.

Causes Of Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

Motion sickness usually happens when you are travelling long distances. In some cases, motion sickness increases during pregnancy due to many reasons. Here are the top three reasons for motion sickness:

  1. Conflict in body balance system: Your body’s balance is maintained by your eyes, inner ear and sensory nerves across your skin, bones and muscles. When you are travelling, there is a good chance that each of these elements send different messages to the brain. For instance, when you are in a car, your eyes can sense motion, but your inner ear or muscle joints cannot. When you are in a plane, your inner ear can sense motion, but your eyes may not. These conflicting messages to brain result in queasiness and sickness
  2. Full stomach: If you are travelling right after having a big meal, the constant up and down motion of the body during a road travel can disrupt the digestion and cause motion sickness
  3. Stuffy air: Often when you are travelling, if you have to deal with stuffy or smoky air, it makes breathing difficult, making you light headed and queasy

Of course, all these causes can impact you, whether you are pregnant or not. But if you are pregnant, you might be more susceptible to it as you might already be feeling nauseous due to morning sickness.

Symptoms Of Motion Sickness During Pregnancy

One of the major problems of motion sickness during pregnancy is that you might end up vomiting even during a short trip. But that is not all, you might face the following problems as well:

How To Treat Motion Sickness During Pregnancy?

Fortunately, there are various ways, both medical and natural, in which you can treat motion sickness. However, since you are pregnant, always make sure you consult your gynecologist before taking any medicines to ensure that it is safe for you and your baby. The following drugs are known to be successful in a pregnant woman’s fight against nausea, especially during travels.

  • Prescription medicines, such as doxylamine, are known to reduce the symptoms of nausea
  • Antihistamine drugs, such as diphenhydramine or dimenhydrinate, are specifically useful to avoid motion sickness, if taken half an hour before the trip

pregnant woman travelling

How To Prevent Motion Sickness During Pregnancy Without Medicines?

It is fair to assume that you might want to stay away from pharmacy as much as possible during pregnancy. If that is the case, try one of the following techniques to manage your motion sickness:

  • Vitamin B6: This is more of a nutrition supplement than a medicine and it is known to keep nausea at bay
  • Wrist bands: There are special kind of acupressure bracelets that reduce the symptoms of nausea by putting pressure on some spots in your wrist
  • Travelling smart: The following tips while you travel can make you comfortable:
    • Make sure you sit in the front seat of the car
    • Make sure you are facing forward, when travelling in train, bus or tram
    • Try to sit over the wing in an airplane where the ride will be least jerky
    • Try to roll down the window of the car or bus to let fresh air in
    • If you happen to travel by boat, stay on the deck
    • Keep your eyes focused on the horizon
    • Avoid a big meal or fatty snacks before travel

While the non-medicinal tricks are definitely better, please remember that they might not work for everyone.
Motion sickness is a fairly common consequence of pregnancy, and there is nothing to worry or panic about it. Try the above tips and if they do not help, consult your doctor about taking a medication to manage the problem especially when you are pregnant. Your and your baby’s health is of most important in this phase.

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