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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Jun;24(2):71-5.

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: results of a survey that identified interventions used by women to alleviate their symptoms.

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Motherisk Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) affects most pregnant women. There are safe and effective treatments available; however, most women choose to avoid pharmacological therapies and try lifestyle and dietary changes to treat their condition. To date, no attempt has been made to quantify women's experience with a variety of interventions. This study aims to identify factors commonly reported by women that alleviate their symptoms of NVP. Five hundred women with NVP, calling a pregnancy healthline between February 1996 and July 1999, completed a questionnaire where they were asked to rate which of 21 factors helped and to what extent each factor helped to improve their NVP symptoms. For each item, the 'frequency' (percentage of women who indicated that item as an improvement) and 'mean importance' (mean importance score of women who indicated that item as an improvement) were multiplied to give the 'overall impact' score. All 500 women reported that dietary and lifestyle changes helped to improve their NVP symptoms. However, most items were rated low and only 31% of women reported benefit from the use of pharmacological treatment. In conclusion, this study has identified that NVP is a multifaceted condition. Lifestyle changes including validation, supportive counseling and dietary adjustments are important components, that can be used to counsel women with NVP, concomitantly with safe and effective treatment.

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