Surviving Morning Sickness: Part 1 (Diclectin)

Up until I hit the fifth week of my pregnancy, I was able to eat like I used to. Then, two days into the sixth week, my morning sickness hit me like a trainwreck. Just being in the kitchen was enough to make me vomit, smelling someone heat their food at work sent me running for the washroom, and while I used to live on coffee before pregnancy, walking past Starbucks without throwing up turned into a sprint race everyday on the way to work.

I was throwing up 6+ times each day (regardless of whether I had eaten anything that day), and by the time I had thrown up 50 times (which was still within the first week of my morning sickness), I was at the doctor’s office looking for help. And help is what I got, in the form of Diclectin.

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This is the only medication that’s approved for treating morning sickness in Canada, and you need a prescription to get your hands on it. Ask your doctor to put a refill on it if you can, and keep some at work and some at home. Leave some in your purse for when you’re in between chores too, preferably. I had the worst time when I realized I left my bottle at work one weekend. You can’t take Gravol or anything else of the sort when you are pregnant, so if you’re struggling with the nausea, this may be your last hope.

It has a delayed release formula, so most pharmacists recommend taking 2 at bedtime to make your mornings bearable, followed by one at lunchtime to last through your evening. If your nausea is bad, they might recommend a fourth pill in the evening to last you through the night. I take 4 pills a day, with a 6 hour gap in between each one and I’ve found that it works best for me that way.

I’ve tried both the brand version (which is what’s pictured above) and the generic one, which is about half the price. I know the internet is all over the place with opinions ranging from brand only to there is no difference. I’ll be honest, I think generic works better for me. Technically it’s just Vitamin B6 with some antihistamine, but for some reason generic makes me feel fine while brand leaves me with heartburn. I also tried over the counter Vitamin B6 before I saw the doctor, and it was useless for me.

If you’re like me, and you struggled with your morning sickness, it’s a pretty good idea to see a doctor. I’m all for natural births, really – but if you can’t even keep your vitamins down, let alone water, then you have a problem and it needs to be dealt with. You need to make sure you stay hydrated and both you and your baby are getting your daily nutrients. And you really want to make sure you don’t have hyperemesis gravidarum, which is serious enough to potentially put you in the hospital.

My doctor told me to take it for a max of four times a day, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since I got it. It didn’t cure my morning sickness, but it still improved my life tenfold. It took a few days to start actually kicking in, but when it did my average daily vomit count dropped to 2 times a day. After I passed the fourth month mark, that consistent feeling of nausea faded drastically too.

It’s a little bit on a ridiculous side, because I’m almost done with my second trimester and I should’ve been done with this already, but if I try phasing out the medication I’m back to throwing up 6+ times a day. So for now I’m still on it. I’ve heard that a lot of your pregnancy traits follow your mother’s pregnancy, and my mom’s morning sickness didn’t fade away until the eighth month mark. I guess I have to keep putting up with it. The foodie in me might have to stay in hibernation until my pregnancy is over.

I kept a log of my food intake from week 7 (when I was officially on Diclectin) until week 12 (when I was starting to feel more human) along with how often I threw up to help me figure out which foods were triggering the nausea vs what was helping. I’ll jot those down as well as some other things that I tried out in Part 2, in case it helps any other poor soul suffering from the same symptoms.

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