Pregnancy is an amazing ride, but the morning sickness that sometimes accompany it? Not so nice.
Calling it “Morning sickness” when it occurs at any time of the day could seem misleading, whoever gave it that name, got it totally wrong. Its medical term is “nausea and vomiting of pregnancy”. It can last all day and can occur anytime during the day. It is very very common, but it is also incredibly varied. A number of women have at least some nausea or vomiting during the first trimester while some experience just vomiting. Some get it if they haven’t gotten enough sleep, some in the morning while lots of people are sick all day. It is advisable to speak with your healthcare provider about your symptoms and the options for relief as it could sometimes leave you exhausted and unhappy.
Timing of morning sickness
During most pregnancies, nausea usually starts at 6 weeks, but in some cases, it starts as early as 4 weeks and might get worse over the next month. A lot of women who experience nausea usually get relief around 14 weeks and do not get to experience it again throughout the pregnancy, while some still have to endure the suffering for another month or have it come and go throughout the pregnancy.
Can morning sickness last the entire period of pregnancy?
It is always good to talk to your doctor when you are uneasy about any issue as no two pregnancies are the same and symptoms vary from woman to woman. While it is uncommon, it is still normal for some pregnant women to experience nausea way past their first trimester and well into even the third trimester.
What causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy?
No one has been able to pinpoint what exactly causes nausea during pregnancy, but it is believed to be a combination of several factors and changes taking place in your body at the same time. We have listed some possible causes below
- An enhanced sense of smell. Many pregnant women can perceive odors of food, perfume or just about anything and immediately feel nauseous. The heightened sense of smell might be a cause of nausea.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone rises rapidly during early pregnancy. No one knows how hCG contributes to nausea, but it seems especially likely to because the timing is right: Nausea tends to peak around the same time as levels of hCG. What’s more, other conditions that cause a higher level of hCG, such as carrying multiples, are also associated with higher rates of nausea and vomiting.
- Estrogen.This is one of the hormones thought to be responsible for nausea or vomiting due to its increase in early pregnancy.
- Stress. This claim hasn’t been proven yet but it is believed to be linked to nausea in pregnant women.
- Sensitive stomach. Some research suggests that some women with sensitive stomach are more likely to have nausea and vomiting.
Are some pregnant women more likely than others to feel queasy?
According to research, you are more likely to have nausea or vomiting if you belong to any of these groups
- Family history of nausea during pregnancy.
- History of migraine headaches.
- Nausea or vomiting in a previous pregnancy.
- Pregnant with multiples. This may be due to the higher levels of hCG or other hormones in the body. This may not be true for all women as some women carrying twins have very little or no nausea.
- You are carrying a girl(according to studies)
- Prone to nausea or vomiting.
Does nausea affect the baby?
Moderate nausea or vomiting from morning sickness has not been known to cause harm to babies even if you don’t gain any weight in your first trimester as a result of loss of appetite or not being able to keep anything down. You should be able to put on enough healthy weight once the nausea subsides and your get your appetite back.
On the other hand, women experiencing severe nausea or vomiting are said to be at a higher risk of having preterm birth, low birth weight, and newborns who are small for their gestational age.
Is morning sickness a sign of a healthy pregnancy?
Not entirely. Quite a large number of women with healthy pregnancies experience little or no nausea during their first trimester even though a number of studies have shown that women who have miscarriages are less likely to have had nausea.
Getting relief from morning sickness
Over the years, a lot of mamas have sworn by several remedies that helped them get relief from nausea. We have shortlisted a couple of those remedies. Try and experiment with them and see which works best for you. If none of these works for you, speak with your doctor or midwife, there are medications that can help settle your stomach.
If you are prone to nausea just by perceiving some odours, then it is best to avoid foods and smells that trigger your nausea. Stick to what you can keep down in your stomach, even if you do not think it will all add up to a balanced diet. Many women find that it is easier to try bland, carb rich snack like crackers or dry cereal. When you first wake up, nibble a few crackers and then rest for 20 to 30 minutes before getting up. Snacking on crackers may also help you feel better if you wake up nauseated in the middle of the night. Also steer clear of spicy, acidic, and fried foods, which can irritate your digestive system.
When you do eat, eat small meals and snacks frequently throughout the day. Do not let your stomach be empty at any time. When your tummy is empty, the stomach acid have nothignto feast on but your stomach lining compounding nausea .Eat them in small bits and slowly. High protein foods and carbohydrates should help.
Drink lots of fluids. As difficult as it may seem, being dehydrated increases your chances of getting nauseated. Use whatever method works to get down at least 8 glasses of water daily. Do not drink too much at once so that your stomach doesn’t feel full and keep you from eating. Try sipping fluids regularly throughout the day.
Sniff in fresh scent. You can carry a sprig of rosemary in your bag if that works for you. Some women find scents such as lemon, mint, or orange helpful. Use a diffuser to disperse an essential oil, or place a drop or two on a handkerchief that you carry with you to sniff whenever you start to feel queasy. (Essential oils are very strong, so use very little.)
Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after eating. Look for the flavoured toothpaste that works best for you.
Get some fresh air by taking a walk or opening a window.
Don’t lie down right after eating because this can slow digestion.
Get up slowly in the morning – sit on the bed for a few minutes, rather than jumping right up.
Cold, carbonated beverages may be easiest to keep down. Use a straw if that helps. Some women also find sour drinks, such as lemonade, more appealing. If you’ve been vomiting a lot, try a sports drink that contains glucose, salt, and potassium to replace lost electrolytes.
Take time off work. Relax and take naps whenever you can – nausea can get worse if you’re tired.
Talk about it. Your husband probably doesn’t know that his beloved perfume makes you queasy, or that his kisses after a fishy dinner gets your gag reflex going. So, tell him about it and find out what changes can better help you cope.
Try ginger. Ginger has long be said to be a fast remedy for settling an upset stomach and relieving queasiness. grate some fresh ginger into hot water to make ginger tea or look for ginger ale to drink.
Distract yourself. I know this sounds funny as nausea is not easy to ignore, but it helps to get your mind off it for as long as you can. Read a book, play a board game, knit or go for a short walk. Whatever you do, make sure you listen to your body and consult with your doctor before you engage in any form of exercise.
Carry a ready-to-barf bag with you whenever you go out. You do not want to be caught unawares in public puking. Pack a bag containing a toothpaste, a toothbrush or a bottle of mouthwash to freshen your breath after an episode. Also, a stash of crackers can come I handy when your stomach starts to feel empty or upset.
Is there medicine for morning sickness?
If you are having a hard time keeping anything down, talk with your provider about medication to relieve nausea. A combination of vitamin B6 and the sleep aid Unisom has been proven to help with the morning sickness symptoms.
And if you plan to get pregnant again, start taking a multivitamin before you try to conceive and throughout early pregnancy. It may help prevent severe morning sickness, though no one knows why.
What do I do if I can’t keep anything down?
If your nausea and vomiting are so severe that you can’t keep anything down, including water, juice, food, prenatal vitamins, or medications, you probably have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. In this case, you may need to be treated with IV fluids and medications in the hospital.
Talk to your doctor or midwife if:
- You lose 2 pounds or more.
- You develop nausea and vomiting after week 9 of your pregnancy.
- You have nausea and vomiting after week 20 of pregnancy.
- You vomit blood.
- You feel dizzy when you stand.
You have signs of dehydration, including dark urine or infrequent urination.
- You have abdominal pain, fever, headache, or swelling in the front of the neck.