What Is Morning Sickness?
In medical terms, the nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is known as morning sickness. “Morning Sickness” is one of the first signs of pregnancy and it not only occurs in the morning. It can happen any time during the day, but in some women the vomiting sensation is worse in the morning hours. The symptom is reduced over the course of the day. The intensity of nausea and vomiting will be different in each pregnant woman. Half of the pregnant women experience both nausea and vomiting during the early stages of pregnancy. One quarter may suffer from nausea alone.
How Long It Last?
In most of the pregnant women the nausea starts around the 6th week of pregnancy, but in some women it can start as early as 4th week. It gets worse for the next one month. Most of the women having morning sickness will get complete relief within the 14th week of pregnancy. For some women it will take another one month or so to ease up the problem. The condition may return at any stage of the pregnancy. In some women morning sickness may persist throughout the pregnancy period.
Does It Need Medical Attention?
Morning sickness is considered as a common problem which lasts only for a few weeks or months. The problem is that even the mild nausea makes you feel tired and if the problem is there throughout the day the woman gets exhausted. If the problem is not very severe you can try some home remedies for morning sickness. In some rare cases morning sickness can become lead to a severe condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. The woman has to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous fluids and medications in such cases.
What Are The Symptoms?
- Feeling of nausea and vomiting, especially in the early morning
- You pass less amount of urine
- Unable to keep down the liquids you drink
- Feeling dizzy when you stand up
- Increased heart beats
The Causes Of Morning Sickness
The exact reasons for the nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are not known. The physical changes occurring in the body of the pregnant woman are considered to be the possible reason for the sickness.
- One of the prime suspects in causing nausea is the human chorionic gonadotropin. It has been found that nausea is at the peak when the level of this hormone is at the maximum.
- In women carrying multiple children, the level of human chorionic gonadotropin is more and they experience higher level of nausea and vomiting.
Another major cause for the morning sickness is estrogen hormone.
- The level of estrogen is more during early pregnancy, which corresponds with the occurrence of the symptom.
- Some researchers think that estrogen hormone increases the sense of smell and sensitivity to various odors during pregnancy. Some odors can trigger the nausea and vomiting.
- According to some researchers, the gastrointestinal tract of some of the women are more sensitive to the changes happening during the early stages of pregnancy and hence the symptoms.
In some women the morning sickness may be due to the increased stress during pregnancy.
Are Some Women More Prone To Morning Sickness?
If you are a woman belonging to any of the following groups you are more likely to experience morning sickness.
- If you are carrying twins or multiples, the higher level of hormones can cause the sickness
- If you suffered from morning sickness in the first pregnancy
- If you had nausea and vomiting while using birth control pills
- If you are a person with motion sickness
- If you have a family history of the problem. If your mother or sisters experienced the morning sickness during their pregnancy period
- If you have a migraine headache history
- One study found that 50% of the women carrying a girl had severe nausea and vomiting
Will Morning Sickness Affect The Baby In Anyway?
Mild or moderate morning sickness in the first trimester does not threaten the well-being of the baby. It is not a problem even if you fail to gain weight during the first trimester. You should however keep your body hydrated and should be able to hold some food down. If you are suffering from severe nausea and vomiting you may not be getting sufficient nutrients, you may need to take prenatal vitamins. Prolonged vomiting has a greater risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
There are different treatments available which will help to alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness. This includes acupressure, hypnotherapy, reflexology, acupuncture etc.
- Acupressure- Pressing the particular points in the body helps to reduce nausea. This point lies in your wrist and there are acupressure wrist bands available without any prescription. The effectiveness of this method is not proven. According to the researchers this band only has a placebo effect.
- Hypnotherapy has been found effective in vomiting caused by anxiety, fear and stress. There is no evidence to prove that hypnotherapy can reduce morning sickness. However some women find relief from the problem through hypnosis.
- Acupuncture- this is another method which claims to help in treating morning sickness. This method works for some women and the effectiveness is not proven. You have to approach an acupuncture therapist to do the treatment. The stimulation using needles can cause skin irritation in some people.
- Reflexology – this treatment should be done by a registered and experienced practitioner. Your symptoms may worsen if the reflexology is not done in the proper way. Moreover this treatment is costly and is not covered by insurance policies.
Home Remedies For Morning Sickness
Though there is no permanent cure available for morning sickness, some home remedies help you to overcome the unpleasant feeling. Some of the important home remedies for morning sickness is discussed below.
Avoiding Large Meals
Large meals are difficult to digest and there are chances of throwing up. It is easy to keep down small meals. So, it is better to opt for small, frequent meals .Eat at least 5-6 times a day rather than having three large meals.
Do Not Leave The Stomach Empty
Empty stomach can trigger morning sickness. When your stomach is empty the acids in the stomach has nothing to digest and this will bring on the nausea feeling.
• Nibble some snacks you like, when you get up in the morning before you get out of your bed.
• You can consume some in the middle of the night if you feel nauseated.
• Get out of the bed only 20-30 minutes after you take the snacks. This will reduce the intensity of morning sickness.
Carefully Choose The Food
If you have morning sickness tries to avoid foods that are difficult to digest. It is better to opt for low fat foods which have more carbohydrates and proteins in it. Complex carbohydrates like bread, pasta, potatoes are easier to digest and give a soothing effect. Avoid spicy or acidic foods and fried foods which will irritate the digestive tract and makes you throw up.
Do Not Lie Down As Soon As You Finish Eating
Avoid lying down immediately after having your meal. Do not especially lie on your left side. Lying down will slow down the digestion process and trigger nausea.
Avoid Smelly Foods
Some women do not like a particular food smell when they are pregnant and it will trigger vomiting on them.
• Avoid foods which have a smell that triggers nausea.
• Eat foods which are appealing to you. Do not consider whether it is a balanced diet or not. This is extremely important if you are having severe morning sickness.
Eat Food At Room Temperature
Hot food items have a stronger aroma and this may trigger the nausea and vomiting. Hence try to eat food which are cold or at room temperature to avoid your sufferings.
Consuming ginger tea is one easy way to soothe the stomach. Ginger tea is very effective in reducing morning sickness as well as motion sickness. Sip some ginger tea when you feel that you are nauseated.
There are different types of herbal tea which will reduce the problem of morning sickness. Tea made with lemon, chamomile and peppermint are usually used for this purpose. You will have to find out which one works better for you. If you suffer from heartburn avoid using peppermint tea.
Fennel seeds help to reduce the vomiting sensation. Chew on some fennel seeds when you feel queasy. Always keep some near your bedside, if you are suffering from morning sickness.
Another home remedy for morning sickness is drinking water every one hour.
- You can drink water even when you get up at night to visit the bathroom. This will reduce the concentration of stomach acids and also helps you hydrated.
- When the concentration of the acids in the stomach gets reduced, you will get to relive from the nauseous feeling.
- Your urine should be clear. If your urine is dark, you are not getting enough water.
Women with morning sickness can either sniff the smell of sliced lemon or they can take some lemon juice with water to prevent nausea. You can also use ginger ale, without fizz. Most of the sour drinks help you to keep down.
Brush Your Teeth
Always brush your teeth after meals and after vomiting. This will remove the distaste from the mouth and also keep away the tendency to vomit.
Avoiding Triggers Other Than Food
There are many non-food factors which may trigger the nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. The smell of certain perfumes, flowers, stuffy rooms, car rides and certain visual stimuli, all these can trigger nausea. Moving away from the stimuli is the best option to avoid vomiting.
Try Liquid Diet
When the morning sickness is at its worst, try having lsiquid diet which will ease your stomach. Try to get the essential nutrients from juices, soups and other drinks.
Breathe Fresh Air
If you are living in unpolluted areas you can open your windows to allow fresh air to come inside the room while you are at home or at your work place. Fresh air can make you feel better. Avoid the smell of cooking foods and cigarette smoke.
Getting mild exercises help to reduce the symptoms of morning sickness. Walking improves digestion and helps in the proper circulation of blood as well.
Stay Away From Molds And Chemicals
The smell of mold and the strong smell of chemicals can cause nausea. Keep away from petrol, diesel, ammonia, exhaust fumes etc.
Avoid Sudden Movements Of The Body
Care should be taken to avoid sudden jerky movements of the body like when you get out of the bed. Sit on the bed for a few minutes and then slowly get down. This will help to prevent the nausea feeling.
Continuous vomiting can remove the sugar from your body. When you chew on the fruit bar, you will be replacing the sugar needed by the body. The flavor of the fruit bar will also suppress nausea.
When you are tired, nausea gets worse. So take rest and relax whenever you can. Indulge in activities which will help you to forget about the discomfort, like talking to your friends, watching TV, etc.
Yoga And Meditation
If stress is the reason for your morning sickness you can try techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga or any relaxation exercises to reduce stress. When your stress is reduced your symptoms will automatically subside.
What If The Symptoms Get Worse?
If the symptoms get worse and if you are not able to drink or eat anything including liquid foods and water, you might be having hyperemesis gravidarum. See your doctor for medical assistance as your body will get deprived of the essential nutrients.
Are you a pregnant woman suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms of morning sickness? Are you looking for home remedies that are effective and cheap? Then you can try some of the home remedies given above to find changes in your “sickness” condition.