Morning Sickness and Nausea During Pregnancy
Dec 8 • 7 min read
Table of Content
Half to two-thirds of all pregnant women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. As per some research, vomiting and nausea, morning sickness during pregnancy occurs due to hormonal effects produced by placenta known as HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Women start producing HCG hormone as soon as the fertilised egg gets attached to the uterine lining.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what morning sickness is, when it typically starts, its symptoms, causes, and effective remedies. We'll also provide valuable tips for coping with morning sickness to help you make this part of your pregnancy a bit more manageable.
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is a term used to describe the pregnancy nausea and vomiting that many pregnant women experience during the early months of pregnancy. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night, and its severity varies from woman to woman. Some may only experience mild queasiness, while others may face more severe symptoms that interfere with their daily lives.
When Does Morning Sickness Start?
Morning sickness typically begins during the first trimester of pregnancy, around the sixth week, and may last until the end of the first trimester or, in some cases, throughout the entire pregnancy. However, every woman's experience is unique, and some may start experiencing morning sickness earlier or later than the average time frame.
In most cases, morning sickness goes away around the 13th week of pregnancy. Some experience it through the beginning of the second trimester, i.e, 14-27 weeks. Rarely, it occurs until the third trimester.
Morning Sickness Symptoms
The symptoms of morning sickness can vary from woman to woman. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Nausea: Nausea is the hallmark symptom of morning sickness. It can range from mild queasiness to intense feelings of vomiting.
- Vomiting: Some women may experience actual vomiting along with nausea.
- Increased Sensitivity to Smells: Pregnant women often find that certain odours trigger their nausea.
- Loss of Appetite: Morning sickness can lead to a reduced desire to eat due to the unpleasant feelings it causes.
- Fatigue: Dealing with the constant discomfort of morning sickness can lead to fatigue and exhaustion.
- Dehydration: Prolonged nausea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, which is a serious concern during pregnancy.
Morning Sickness Causes
The exact causes of morning sickness are not fully understood, but several factors are believed to contribute to its occurrence:
- Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, specifically elevated levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and oestrogen, are thought to play a significant role in causing morning sickness.
- Sensitivity to Odours: During pregnancy, some women become more sensitive to certain smells, which can trigger nausea.
- Changes in Digestion: Slower digestion during pregnancy can lead to a build-up of stomach acid, which can cause nausea and vomiting.
- Stress and Fatigue: The stress and fatigue that often accompany pregnancy can exacerbate the symptoms of morning sickness.
- Genetics: A family history of morning sickness may increase the likelihood of experiencing it during pregnancy.
Morning Sickness Remedies
While morning sickness can be challenging to deal with, there are several remedies and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate the symptoms and make this phase of pregnancy more manageable. Here are some effective ways of dealing with morning sickness:
- Eat Small, Frequent Meals: Instead of three large meals, try eating small, frequent snacks throughout the day to help stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent an empty stomach, which can worsen nausea.
- Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can make morning sickness worse, so it's essential to drink plenty of fluids. Sip on clear fluids like water, herbal teas, or ginger ale throughout the day.
- Ginger: Ginger has been used for centuries to alleviate nausea. You can try ginger tea, ginger candies, or ginger supplements to help reduce symptoms.
- Vitamin B6: Consult your healthcare provider about taking vitamin B6 supplements, as they have been shown to provide relief from morning sickness.
- Acupressure: Some women find relief from morning sickness by applying pressure to the P6 acupressure point on the wrist. Special bands designed for this purpose are available.
- Avoid Triggering Odours: Try to stay away from odours or foods that trigger your nausea. This might mean avoiding certain foods or cooking methods during your pregnancy.
- Rest and Relaxation: Get plenty of rest and avoid overexertion. Fatigue can exacerbate morning sickness symptoms, so taking it easy is crucial.
- Medications: If your morning sickness is severe and other remedies do not work, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications that are safe to use during pregnancy.
How to Alleviate Morning Sickness through Diet?
How to handle morning sickness? Diet plays a crucial role in handling and managing morning sickness. Here are some remedies for morning sickness to help you cope with this challenging aspect of pregnancy:
- High-Protein Snacks: Incorporate high-protein snacks like nuts, yogurt, and cheese into your diet. These can help stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce nausea.
- Avoid Spicy and Greasy Foods: Spicy and greasy foods can worsen morning sickness. Opt for bland, easily digestible foods like crackers, plain rice, or toast.
- Citrus and Bland Fruits: Citrus fruits like oranges can help alleviate nausea for some women. Bland fruits like apples or pears are also easy on the stomach.
- Stay Hydrated: Sip on clear fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages as they can worsen nausea.
Coping with Morning Sickness
Coping with morning sickness can be a challenge, but with the right strategies, you can make it more bearable. Here are some additional tips to help you through this phase of your pregnancy:
- Seek Support: Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and concerns. They can provide guidance and monitor your condition.
- Rest: Listen to your body and get plenty of rest. Pregnancy is a tiring process, and fatigue can exacerbate morning sickness.
- Avoid Triggers: Pay attention to the smells and sights that trigger your nausea, and do your best to avoid them.
- Mindfulness and Stress Reduction: Engage in relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga to reduce stress and anxiety, which can make morning sickness worse.
- Talk About It: Share your experiences with a support group or other pregnant women. Sometimes, just talking about it can be a great relief.
Morning sickness is a common, albeit challenging, part of many pregnancies. While its exact causes remain a bit of a mystery, there are numerous remedies and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate its symptoms.
From dietary adjustments to managing stress, the key is finding what works best for you. Remember, morning sickness is a temporary phase of pregnancy, and with the right support and self-care, you can navigate through it successfully, welcoming your bundle of joy with open arms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
a) Are there medications to relieve morning sickness?
In severe morning sickness cases where other remedies do not work, healthcare providers may prescribe medications that are safe to use during pregnancy to alleviate morning sickness.
b) Is there a specific diet to follow to alleviate morning sickness?
While there's no one-size-fits-all diet, you can adjust your diet to include foods that are gentle on your stomach and avoid foods that trigger your nausea. High-protein snacks, bland fruits, and avoiding spicy and greasy foods are some general dietary guidelines.
c) How can I cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of morning sickness?
Coping with morning sickness can be challenging. Seek support from your healthcare provider, get plenty of rest, avoid triggers that worsen your nausea, practice mindfulness and stress reduction techniques, and consider talking about your experiences with a support group or other pregnant women.
d) Will morning sickness harm my baby or me?
Generally, morning sickness is not harmful to the baby or mother. In fact, it's often considered a positive sign of a healthy pregnancy. However, severe and persistent morning sickness can lead to dehydration and weight loss, which may require medical attention.
e) When should I contact my healthcare provider about morning sickness?
If you are unable to keep any food or fluids down, if you are losing weight, or if you experience severe symptoms of morning sickness, it's essential to contact your healthcare provider for guidance and possible treatment options.
f) Can morning sickness be an indication of the baby's gender or health?
While there are many old wives' tales about morning sickness and its correlation with the baby's gender or health, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Morning sickness varies from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy.