50-90% of pregnant women are affected by nausea and vomiting. It is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. For about 35% of women, nausea and vomiting are severe enough to impair their daily routines. For most women, nausea begins in the first trimester, peaking at approximately 9 weeks, and subsides at around 12 weeks. For about 5% of women, however, nausea and vomiting persist throughout the entire duration of pregnancy.1
Research shows that many women who suffer from nausea during pregnancy do not seek treatment, largely because of concerns about safety.2 These findings are also confirmed by my personal experience in my own practice. Many of my patients are often interested in nonpharmacologic remedies for nausea.
For these and all pregnant women, an understanding of the track record for vitamin-based support for nausea and vomiting is helpful.
The best-tested vitamin for nausea is vitamin B6. Controlled trials have shown the efficacy of vitamin B6 for reducing vomiting and improving nausea. Dosages used were typically 10 mg three times a day.2
Another important finding is that preconception multivitamins appear to be an effective prevention for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. A randomized trial found that women who took multivitamins before conception had decreased vomiting and nausea in pregnancy compared to women who did not.2
For women affected by nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, taking prenatal vitamins can be very challenging—precisely at the time when they need nutrients the most. Swallowing pills and keeping them down is simply not possible for many women.
That’s why I recommend an effervescent prenatal multivitamin. Instead of swallowing pills, you simply add a packet to a glass of water and sip a tasty sparkling drink. Your body gets the nutrients it needs—including the B6 that can help with nausea—and you don’t have to choke down a pill. In my practice, women are often thrilled with effervescent prenatal vitamins.
In addition to choosing an effervescent prenatal vitamin (instead of tradition pill-form vitamins), I also recommend looking for a prenatal vitamin that contains a particular form of iron—Ferrochel®, which is made by Albion minerals. The reason why this is important is because the iron found in typical prenatal vitamins can often cause nausea and/or constipation. Ferrochel is a superior form of iron that research has shown does not cause such problems.
I recommend Prenatal Oxylent because of its effervescent delivery system, its superior quality ingredients—including Albion’s Ferrochel as its source of iron—and because it contains no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no caffeine, no herbs, and no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or additives.
My patients love Prenatal Oxylent because it often helps them with nausea, helps them drink one of the many glasses of water they need everyday, and because it’s a sparkling cranberry raspberry drink that tastes great while giving them the nutrients they need.
Dr. Audra Foster, ND is a visiting contributor to the American Pregnancy Association. She serves as an adviser to Oxylent in addition to her regular practice and patient care.
1. Nelson-Piercy C. BMJ 2011;342.
2. Niebyl JR, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002;186:S253–5.