Morning sickness is a common condition amongst expectant mothers so if you are feeling nauseous you are not alone.
The information below will give you some insight.
If you are experiencing bouts of morning sickness during pregnancy, you are not alone. About 75% of women experience some type of morning sickness during their first trimester as 25% will experience just nausea, while 50% will suffer from both vomiting and nausea and the other 25% experience no symptoms at all.
Nausea tends to start around 4-6 weeks of pregnancy and tends to get rapidly worse in the next 2 or so months. On average, about half of the women who experience nausea will feel better within about fourteen weeks, while the majority of the rest will still have symptoms for a few more months. It may ease up midway through your term, but it could very well start-up again later in the pregnancy.
The name “morning sickness” is a misnomer, as in fact, most women will experience symptoms throughout the day and even at night.
Studies have shown that some women are more prone to morning sickness. These include:
- Women who are carrying more than one child: This may be due to increased levels of hCG and other hormonal increases.
- Women who have previously had morning sickness during an earlier pregnancy.
- Women who suffer from any form of motion sickness or vertigo.
- Women with a genetic predisposition to morning sickness.
- Women with a history of migraines
- Women who are carrying a girl. A recent study determined that over 50% of those who experience severe nausea were in fact, carrying a female baby.
- Women who have a history of vomiting or nausea as a side effect from birth control pills, which is believed to be related to your body’s overall response to increased levels of estrogen.
Causes Of Morning Sickness…
Although there is no proven cause of morning sickness, there are several theories as to what triggers this uncomfortable and annoying condition.
- Estrogen: During pregnancy, your estrogen levels may increase up to 100 percent which can increase symptoms of morning sickness.
- hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin): There is no known proof that this hormone is in fact a cause of morning sickness, but nausea does seem to increase around the same time that hCG levels are on the rise.
- Enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to odors: Certain ordors can trigger the onset of nausea in pregnant women. These can be scents that have never previously caused any effect, but increased hormonal levels may cause new or heightened sensitivity.
- Hypoglycemia: low blood sugar can cause morning sickness due to the fact that the placenta is draining resources from the mother’s body.
- Progesterone levels: high levels of progesterone, found during pregnancy will relax the uterus muscles. However, it can also relax the stomach and intestines causing an increase in stomach acids resulting in acid reflux and nausea.
- Stress: According to research, some women are naturally predisposed to morning sickness as a response to added stressors.
Relief From Morning Sickness
- Eat several small meals throughout the day. Eat slowly and take small bites.
- Stay hydrated by drinking small sips of water or ginger ale between meals
- Get plenty of rest during the day and take naps whenever possible.
- Slowly ease yourself out of bed in the morning. Hopping up quickly can make cause both vertigo and nausea.
- Brush your teeth and rinse well after eating
- Get some fresh air. Go for a short walk or open a window.
- Keep crackers handy to nibble on to help curb nausea
- Drink fluid half an hour before or after a meal, not during.
- Take your prenatal vitamins with food or right before going to sleep. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe a prenatal vitamin with a lower dose or iron during your third trimester as iron as hard on your digestive system.
- Do not lie down immediately after eating as this can slow down digestion.
- Do not eat (or prepare) food that trigger your morning sickness.
- Do not drink too much if your stomach is already feeling full.
- Do not skip meals.
- Do not eat greasy, fatty foods.
When To Seek Medical Help
You should definitely contact your doctor if any of the following occur:
- Nausea is severe and nothing seems to ease the level of intensity
- you are not urinating frequently enough
- your urine has a strong order or dark color
- increased levels of vertigo and dizziness, especially after standing up
- you can’t hold down liquids
- you experience ANY fainting spells or blackouts
- you are experiencing a rapid heartbeat
- you are vomiting blood..
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is as serious condition that affects 1% of pregnant women. It is characterized by extremely severe nausea, uncontrollable vomiting, rapid weight loss and occasionally even electrolyte disturbance. Eelectrolyte disturbance occurs when there is an imbalance of specific ionized salts such as chloride, phosphate, magnesium, sodium, or chloride. This can be determined through a blood test.. Symptoms include extreme nausea, lethargy and fluid retention. If you experience ANY of these symptoms, it is CRITICAL that you call 911 immediately!
Mild cases of Hyperemesis Gravidarum are treated with rest, antacids and dietary changes as indicated by your physician. However, severe cases may require a hospital stay so you can receive IV fluids and nutrition. Do NOT try to medicate yourself. It is imperative that you seek medical help right away!
How Morning Sickness Will Affect Your Baby
Your baby’s health will not be affected by mild to moderate nausea and occasional vomiting. However if your morning sickness is preventing you from maintaining a proper diet, you should definitely take prenatal vitamins for added nutrients. But if you suffer from intense, prolonged vomiting, there is a chance of premature birth and low birth weight. This is why it is crucial to inform your doctor of any severe symptoms.
Your health as well as your babies is at stake so pay close attention to what your body is telling you at all times! Take care of yourself and report any abnormalities or changes immediately.