Morning Sickness During Pregnancy – Causes, Prevention, Medications
Morning sickness is a pregnancy displeasure that causes distress to most of the pregnant women. Though not so much as the name suggests morning sickness generally begins during the morning, but can strike any time of the day or night, and even last an entire day causing nausea like feeling. Morning sickness or nausea is also one of the early signs of pregnancy, when you would know that something is happening and a very little human is being created inside you.
What Causes Morning Sickness?
Though no one knows for sure, the physical and hormonal changes happening in your body at the onset of pregnancy are generally to be blamed for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Some common causes are as listed below:
Since your body undergoes stages of hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy, you are likely to suffer some stubborn ailments like weird feeling in stomach, vomiting, nausea and body cramps
Studies show that during the first trimester, the body produces human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the pregnancy hormone at high levels – and nausea seems to be the body’s reaction to it
Additionally, your muscles will contract, putting pressure on your digestive system and enlarge your uterus muscles. A sensitive stomach will also cause nausea and the feeling of throwing up
Pregnancy also gives rise to increment in your estrogen levels, fluidic stomach acids, smelling power, metallic tastes and lethargy. All these factors coupled together and trigger nausea and vomiting
Again, stress can be a two-way street – the cause and the effect. Stress may cause you to vomit and feel nauseated and then nausea may again cause stress. The best deal is to stay cheerful and treat nausea as a normal pregnancy symptom.
All these changes are generally prominent during the first trimester of pregnancy, however, some women do find it hanging around till the third semester
Will I Get Morning Sickness During Pregnancy?
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy affects about 3/4ths of all pregnant women during the first trimester of pregnancy. Luck plays its game in the rest quarter of women who do not suffer from either nausea or vomiting, while half of pregnant women do suffer from both nausea and sessions of vomiting. These symptoms are likely to surface in the 6th week of pregnancy, though for some women morning sickness starts from the 4th week onwards. Most women feel respite at around 14 weeks of pregnancy, while for some the bouts of nausea and vomiting continue the entire pregnancy or return after a few weeks. So as to speak, to each her own.
You are likely to suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy if the below conditions apply:
You are pregnant with twins or multiples – which implies the pregnancy hormones are in higher degress than normal. Your nausea could be severe
You, your mother or your sister have had nausea and vomiting in your previous or their pregnancies
If you hate to travel and suffer from motion sickness, you are likely to have nausea. Migraine headaches also make you more susceptible
As per some studies, if you are carrying a girl, you are 50% more likely to suffer from bouts of nausea and vomiting in your first trimester of pregnancy
Does Nausea Affect The Baby?
Even if you do not gain much weight in your first trimester due to frequent spilling out sessions, your baby will not suffer any harm. You must, however, stay hydrated and take the requisite vitamins through doses of prenatal vitamins as recommended by your doctor. You must try and eat whatever you are able to, even if that does not fit into your ‘ideal diet plate’.
I Do Not Have Nausea, Does That Mean I Will Have A Miscarriage?
If nausea and morning sickness is not bothering you, do not be stressed out. Some women with perfectly normal pregnancies do not have episodes of morning sickness at all, while for some it is a very short-lived condition. Mayoclinic.org quotes that “A study of more than 2,400 pregnant women associated nausea and vomiting during the first trimester with a reduced risk of early pregnancy loss — particularly for women age 30 and older.” Though women who have nausea and vomiting are less likely to have a miscarriage, it does not mean that women do not suffer from morning sickness are any more likely to have a miscarriage.
How Can I Treat Nausea During Pregnancy?
Every pregnant woman responds differently to morning sickness. The predicaments relating to nausea and vomiting will remain throughout your pregnancy but the quantum varies. That is one reason that there is no single pill that fits all. It may be a few weeks for some women whereas few months for others, generally subsiding by weeks 12-14. Strong smells of things usually drives nausea. The aroma of garlic, potatoes, onions or brinjals usually turns into foul odor, which makes it intolerant for pregnant women. Some women feeling nausea at some sights, while others may not like to travel in the car.
Some nausea is not bad or harmful to the baby or you, but anything that makes you skip work, or wears you down to the extent that you end up distressed, you should see your doctor. Excessive nausea and vomiting might leave you dehydrated and malnourished. It might harm your child if you consistently vomit whatever you eat. Vomiting out everything you eat means your baby is being kept deprived of the nutrients he must get at this time. You might be putting down solids at the very sight, and though it should be alright for the initial few weeks, it may not be right it continues for a longer period. Not to worry as it is curable. Get access to a healthy diet and copious liquid and take necessary steps to restrict your vomiting.
While working in office if you feel nauseated then it is better to go in a well ventilated room or place a cold wet towel over your head.
Tips To Deal With Morning Sickness During Pregnancy
It is not possible to completely get rid of this malady but you can certainly restrict down its level-
Small, frequent meals will help you keeping your stomach full – empty stomachs are known to cause worse nausea
Avoid entering the kitchen often, as the food smell will increase your nausea. You can ask a family member to cook or hire someone
Do not hurry up while getting settled on your bed. Sit slowly giving a good support to your back. Let the digestive process begin – lying down immediately after having a meal slows down digestion
Even if you are not in a mood to eat, munch on light meals at frequent intervals. Packed stomach will decrease the risk of running into nausea. It helps to eat something as simple as crackers the first thing before getting out of the bed. Keep something light by your bedside, in your purse, and in the car dashboard
Increase the intake of healthy food and avoid biting into oily, fatty, acidic and spicy food. Fatty and spicy foods are difficult to digest
Foods that are not hot will not have strong aromas – try eating food at room temperature or cold
Drink plenty of fluids like water, juices and coconut water. Some women swear by sweet and salty lemonade. Limit the intake of caffeine enriched beverages like coffee or tea as these act as stimulants
Try herbal teas. Ginger seems to work very effectively for some women
Walk and light exercises like pranayama and respiration exercises in fresh air will help you keep your sickness within limits. If you do feel nauseated, a gasp of fresh air is sure to help you out
Try and keep your mind busy in something or the other. Less you think about your morning sickness, less are the chances of feeling it. Playing cards, listening to music, talking on phone are some of the tactics you can adopt
Wear easy-going clothes
Brush your teeth, and rinse often. Peppermint candies also help a lot of pregnant women
Trying acupressure may also be helpful for some women. A simple, soft cotton acupressure wristband, generally worn to ward off sea-sickness has also helped some women
See if non food things or situations also trigger your nausea. Examples are a stuffy meeting room, a car ride, the smell of a room freshener or a perfume etc.
Can I Take Medications For Nausea During Pregnancy?
Not on your own, but if your nausea gets miserable and unbearable, consult a doctor. Many doctors prescribe dosage of vitamin B6 or B12, and some other nausea medicines. However, do not buy over the counter medicines on your own – pregnancy requires utmost care with medications. If all fails, your doctor would recommend either check you in at the hospital or prescribe pregnancy safe medications. You will be admitted in the hospital if you have a condition of hyperemesis gravidarum in which case you will be treated with intravenous (IV) fluids and medications.