Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy: Effects on the Quality of Women's Lives

Authors

  • Beverley O'Brien CNM, DNS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Beverley O'Brien is Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Sarah Naber is Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.
      Address correspondence to Beverley O'Brien, 3rd Floor, Clinical Sciences Building, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G3 Canada.
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  • Sarah Naber CNM, PhD

    1. Beverley O'Brien is Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Sarah Naber is Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Beverley O'Brien, 3rd Floor, Clinical Sciences Building, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G3 Canada.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: More than 70 percent of all pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and 28 percent report that symptoms cause them to change their usual activities. We investigated the magnitude of problems that nausea and vomiting impose on the lifestyle of pregnant women and their families. Twenty-seven women who were experiencing different degrees of nausea and vomiting were selected from 147 pregnant women and asked to participate in semistructured telephone interviews. All participants reported changes in family, social, or occupational functioning as a result of these symptoms. Nausea and vomiting can impose substantial lifestyle limitations on pregnant women that can have short- and long-term consequences for them and their families. Both the duration and severity of symptoms were greater for many participants than is generally believed. All participants reported that recumbent rest or dietary alterations provided relief. Caregivers should recognize and validate the need for pregnant women to make changes in lifestyle that will enable them to achieve comfort.

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