Can’t stop spitting during pregnancy? Read on.
Shortly after Jack was born, we attended a family reunion.
One of my cousins was pregnant, and I noticed that she was always carrying around a cup. She told us that it was because she had to keep spitting in it (I think to keep from throwing up). It is a common symptom of pregnancy. And it remains the first couple of months. Excessive saliva production creates a bad taste.
I battled with horrible morning sickness with Jack, but I never experienced that. It seemed kind of different, but anything is game when pregnancy is involved, so I didn’t think too much of it.
Well, when I got pregnant with Oliver, my morning sickness seemed to start right when I took that first pregnancy test – it was one of the first very early pregnancy signs I had!
And with that morning sickness came something that was even worse.
Now, let’s get one thing straight – I’ve always had a little bit of extra saliva. Whenever I go to the dentist, they actually tell me (many, many times) how I have the most saliva they’ve ever seen a person have.
But usually, it doesn’t bother me. Thankfully.
However, there was something about my pregnancy with Oliver that seemed to make my salivating become a real problem.
It was horrible. I couldn’t swallow without feeling like I was going to throw up. And if I didn’t swallow, I felt such severe nausea that I was going to throw up every time.
So, the only solution was to spit.
And I carried around a spit cup or bowl with me everywhere.
It. Was. Disgusting.
Sometimes even looking at the cup made me throw up.
So if your experiencing excessive saliva during pregnancy (officially called Ptyalism) – know that you aren’t alone.
Don’t forget to join our pregnancy and postpartum Facebook group!
What causes excessive salivation during pregnancy?
I bet you can guess.
Hormones. Shifting hormone levels generates enormous production of saliva. The cause of all things wonderful during pregnancy 😉
Often, the hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can lead to excessive salivating for no rhyme or reason.
If you are experienced pregnancy-induced nausea, these two can go hand and hand. I found that when I stopped throwing up as much with Oliver, my salivation decreased as well.
Before then, it felt like a vicious cycle. I would often throw up because the extra saliva was bothering me so much (hence why I carried around a “spit cup” until I was over 20 weeks pregnant! No shame ladies. No shame). You can read more about managing morning sickness here.
Here are a few other reasons why you might have more saliva during pregnancy:
- Oral infections – I actually had a lot of dental issues like tooth decay during my pregnancy with Oliver, so perhaps it was related to this!
- Environmental Toxins
- Exposure to mercury or other chemicals
It is more common in early pregnancy, though it can occur throughout the entire 40 weeks.
How to get rid of excessive saliva during pregnancy?
There is not much when it comes to medical treatment for morning sickness. However, mints, gum, or hard candy can help distract from the excess salivation. I think Preggie Pops are a great option.
Brushing your teeth frequently may also help. It’s also a better way to avoid bad breath – so get a good toothbrush! Though if you are like me, brushing teeth just equaled more throwing up an excessive spitting!
If you are experiencing heartburn during pregnancy, this may contribute to excess saliva. The increased acid may trigger salivation, which helps to neutralize the acid. You can treat this with an OTC antacid, such as TUMS or by drinking milk. However, if your heartburn is really bad, you can get a prescription from your physician.
Most of the time, excessive saliva during pregnancy is just annoying or makes you feel sick, and there aren’t many medical implications or clear explainations.
However, you are losing a liter of saliva, it can lead to dehydration. If you find that you are spitting a lot (especially if it’s in addition to vomiting), you need to make sure that you stay as hydrated as possible. Make sure you intake plenty of water throughout the day.
I know that it’s hard to stay hydrated when you can’t keep anything down, but make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent dehydration. Find some kind of liquid that you can keep down – such as Gatorade – and go with it!
Spitting While Pregnant Means It’s a Boy?
I always enjoy some good gender prediction tests – and this is one I just heard about! Apparently, if you spit a lot during pregnancy, it means it is a boy.
Well, Oliver is a boy. And my cousin who had this same issue had a boy. So as far as I can tell, this one is TOTALLY legit. There may be other explanations in the medical term but still, it’s fun to find out you are having a boy and diverting your mind from the nausea. If you ever face a serious condition, weight loss, or chronic conditions, please talk with medical experts.
As always, nothing in this post can or should replace the advice of a medical professional. I am not a doctor, nurse, or in any profession that has to do with giving birth. Just a mom who loves to research and share 🙂
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.