Morning sickness is usually one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. It can be extremely unpleasant for any pregnant woman. And also raise many questions and concerns. It can be hard when you are caught unaware of it during your pregnancy. Being aware of this pregnancy demon will help you identify what you are dealing with and also learn about the helpful do’s and dont’s and how you can ease the symptoms of morning sickness.
What Is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is a classic pregnancy symptom that affects about 75% of pregnant women. It typically occurs as early as the 6th week of pregnancy. It refers to nausea and vomiting though it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as tiredness and fatigue. Despite being termed as morning sickness, it can strike at any point during the day or night (1). Morning sickness can be severe in some cases which can then progress to a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. It can lead to severe dehydration or weight loss greater than 5% of pre-pregnancy body weight. If a person is diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, they might be hospitalized and treated with intravenous fluids and medications (2).
How Long Does It Last?
For most women, morning sickness subsides by the end of their first trimester like many other pregnancy symptoms. However, since every pregnancy and every body is different, it can last throughout the entire pregnancy in some cases. However, there are several management options that women can try to help relieve nausea and vomiting (3).
What Causes Morning Sickness?
Though the exact cause of morning sickness isn’t clear, the hormonal changes that take place in a pregnant woman’s body are believed to play a role. During the initial stages of pregnancy, there is a peak in the levels of certain hormones such as human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and estrogen. Another reason that contributes to nausea is the enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to certain odors that women develop during early pregnancy. Some women can also be a tad more sensitive to hormonal changes than others. This can be the reason why some women experience it more strongly when compared to others (4).
Symptoms Of Morning Sickness
The symptoms of morning sickness include the following (5):
- Enhanced sense of smell
- Sensitivity to certain odors
Helpful Tips To Ease Morning Sickness
Here are some tips and ideas that you can follow to alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness (6):
- Eat smaller meals frequently instead of having three large meals.
- Do not skip your meals.
- Do not drink fluids along with meals. Drink half an hour before or after having food.
- Avoid lying down soon after eating.
- Keep soda crackers handy near your bedside table. Eat it slowly before you get out of bed.
- To combat dehydration, make sure you drink enough fluids throughout the day in small amounts.
- Give your body enough rest. Daytime naps will also help.
- Feeling hot can alleviate your symptoms of nausea. So its best to avoid warm places.
- If a smell bothers you, make sure you keep the windows open to allow free airflow.
- Sniffing lemon or ginger or drinking lemonade or having watermelon can help relieve nausea.
- Avoid having spicy food.
- Keep some salty potato chips handy at all times.
- Workout or go for a short walk if you get the OK from your doctor.
Morning sickness can affect any pregnant woman. And though mild nausea and vomiting won’t lead to any complications, it’s better to consult a doctor if you are constantly throwing up. Are there any tips that helped alleviate your symptoms of morning sickness? Let us know in the comment section below.
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