Nausea and vomiting is considered a normal part of pregnancy. In fact, most pregnant women experience this. The symptoms can actually be very unpleasant. In severe cases, this can interfere with your daily activities. The good thing is that this is not usually harmful to the unborn child. Moreover, there are ways on how you can ease nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is also known as morning sickness, even though this can happen all day long. For some women, the symptoms are worse in the morning. However, they ease up during the course of the day. There are also some women who experience the symptom any time of the day. For some, it can last all day long.
Morning sickness typically occurs during the first trimester. It usually starts during the 6th week of the pregnancy. However, there are some who experience as early as 4 weeks. It tends to worsen in the next three months. Complete relief from this symptom typically occurs 14 weeks after. However, there are also a small percentage of pregnant women who continually experience this until delivery.
Just because this symptom only last for a few months does not mean that this is not a challenge. Thus, it is important to talk to your health care provider for possibilities of relief from this symptom.
What Causes Morning Sickness..?
There are a lot of theories surrounding the cause of morning sickness. A possibility would be that this is triggered by the increased level of pregnancy hormone or the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in the body in pregnant women. Nausea is severe around the same time the hCG levels in the body increases. Another theory is that the increasing levels of progesterone and estrogen relax the muscles in the digestive tract, which makes digestion less efficient.
This pregnancy symptom may also be caused by stress. Emotional stress can cause gastrointestinal upset. Whenever a pregnant woman is emotionally stressed, the symptom tends to worsen. In addition, mental or physical exhaustion can also exacerbate the symptoms of morning sickness. Genetics also play a role in the experience of this symptom, as women whose mothers have had morning sickness are more likely to develop the same condition.
Lastly, since pregnant women develop an enhanced sense of smell as well as sensitivity to odors, experts say that this might just be the cause of morning sickness experienced by pregnant women.
What Can I Do to Control Morning Sickness?
There are various remedies that can help ease morning sickness. Here are some of them:
- Eating early should help ease the symptoms. You can keep a few snacks on your nightstand for you to munch on early in the morning. This way, the acids in your empty stomach will be controlled.
- Foods that trigger the symptom should be avoided. It is recommended that you stick to foods that appeal, even if it is the same food over and over again. You can still find a few healthy foods that you can keep down.
- Avoiding greasy foods should also help ease morning sickness. Fats are difficult to digest and they can aggravate the symptom.
- Keeping yourself hydrated is important, too. It is recommended to drink eight glasses of fluid every day. If you cannot tolerate water, you can try soups, smoothies and shakes instead.
- You should also consider eating a light snack that is high in protein and complex carbohydrates right before your sleep. This will help ease morning sickness in the morning.
- Another way to control the symptom is to keep away from odors that you find offensive at the moment. In addition, you should also steer clear of foods that you cannot stand the sight of, as they can trigger the symptom.
- Pregnant women are advised to have small frequent meals throughout the day. You should consider eating six to eight small and healthy meals throughout the day.
- Ginger or lemons can help too, as they can ease an upset stomach. You can stock up on ginger tea, ginger candies or fresh lemons. You can even infuse them in your meals.
- Health care providers recommend that pregnant women should take prenatal vitamins minus the iron during the first trimester, as iron can trigger the symptom. You can seek help from your primary health care provider in identifying the best supplements that you can take.
- There are medications that can help ease the symptom. However, you should consult your health care provider before taking one. This way, you are sure that the medication you are taking is safe to take while you are pregnant and that it will not harm your unborn child. Meditation, yoga and visualization are also suggested. These activities can help reduce stress while you are pregnant and prevent stress related morning sickness.
- If nothing else works, you can try complimentary approaches to relieve the symptom. These approaches include acupressure, acupuncture, hypnosis and biofeedback.
Are Some Pregnant Women More Likely to Experience Morning Sickness than Others?
There are several reasons why some pregnant women are more likely to experience this symptom than others. For instance, if you are pregnant with twin or triplets, you are more likely to experience the symptom, as there are higher levels of pregnancy hormones in your body. If you have had the symptom in your previous pregnancy, you will likely experience the same thing in your current one.
For women who have a history of motion sickness, they will likely experience morning sickness when they become pregnant. A history of migraine headaches also increases the chance of acquiring this symptom during pregnancy.
Does this Symptom Affect My Child?
Mild to moderate cases of morning sickness will not threaten the health of your baby. However, if you are a severe and prolonged case of morning sickness, you should consider seeking help from your health care provider. Prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can increase the risk of low birth weight and preterm birth.