Are you currently suffering from morning sickness? If so, you’re not alone. According to renowned OB/GYN Dr. Shannon Clark, between “70 and 85% of pregnant women will have some form of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy or NVP.” Dr. Clark was kind enough to join me for an interview this week to discuss morning sickness symptoms, dietary and lifestyle changes that moms-to-be can make, as well as a new FDA approved treatment option.
Candace Rose: What is morning sickness, and what are the most common symptoms women experience?
Dr. Shannon Clark: “Morning sickness is what we call when a woman is having nausea and vomiting of pregnancy or NVP. The most common symptoms would be nausea, vomiting, dry heaves, retching. And women can experience any combination of those symptoms to varying degrees in various times throughout the day. So every woman experiences something different.”
Candace Rose: How common is it for moms-to-be to experience morning sickness?
Dr. Shannon Clark: “70 to 85% of pregnant women will have some form of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy or NVP.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any advice on how pregnant women can manage morning sickness?
Dr. Shannon Clark: “I think the first thing would be to make sure that she has a conversation with her health care provider, and that’s very important. Even if she considers the symptoms minimal, so there can kind of be a baseline conversation and her healthcare provider can help gauge and follow her symptoms so that if they do become more severe, then the provider can intervene in whatever way is necessary.
But first of all, the first thing she can try are dietary and lifestyle modifications. Again, a conversation can be had with her healthcare provider regarding these changes.
Dietary changes can be changing the types of foods you’re eating. Rather than three big meals a day, graze throughout the day on six small meals. Eating a more bland diet and things of that nature.
Lifestyle modifications- make sure you get enough sleep. Avoid food triggers, any triggers that may bring on symptoms. Again, having a conversation with a health care provider is essential.”
Candace Rose: Are there any new treatment options?
Dr. Shannon Clark: “Yes, there is. Actually, there’s a new pregnancy category a FDA approved medication called Diclegis, which is specifically indicated for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, and specifically in the first trimester of pregnancy.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Dr. Shannon Clark: “Yes, Diclegis is an oral medication. It’s comprised of 10 milligrams of vitamin B6 or pyridoxine and 10 milligrams of doxylamine which is an antihistamine. The combination of the two helps suppress the nausea and the vomiting.
They can be taken- the first dose would be two pills at bedtime (up to four pills a day), with an addition of a pill being given at morning and mid-afternoon if needed. So maximum dose is four pills a day, minimal dose would be two pills at bedtime.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Dr. Shannon Clark: “There’s two websites that are currently available, the first one being www.Diclegis.com. The second one being www.Duchesnay.com. On these websites the woman can find a self assessment tool to help gauge her symptoms and see how severe they are. It’s kind of like a questionnaire. There’s also some suggestions for conversation starters, or things that she can use to help have the conversation with her healthcare provider. And finally, there’s information on Diclegis savings offers and then co-pay cards on both of those websites.”