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Everything you wanted to know about morning sickness

Common symptom

For most women, one of the very first pregnancy signs is the feeling of nausea and vomiting, also called “morning sickness”. Usually, it starts to calm down as the pregnancy progresses, but there are women for whom morning sickness is a serious medical condition. Whether you’re in the morning sickness pregnancy stage, or you’re constantly nauseous and wanting to find answers, you need to know what exactly is this common pregnancy symptom that affects so many women in so many ways.

Do you want to know why is it called “morning sickness”, even if you also have nausea during the day? I know it may seem as a misleading term, but it is called this way because most pregnant women find that this symptom usually peak in the morning and eases over the day. Although the intensity of the symptoms may vary, morning sickness can happen at any time of the day. Actually, for many women, it lasts all day. If you feel it wears you down, and you feel exhausted and miserable, you should talk with your doctor about the options for relief.

Even if some pregnant women don’t experience morning sickness at all, those who do start to feel the ugly sings around the fifth or sixth weeks of pregnancy. The symptoms peak during the ninth week, and then start to ease throughout the pregnancy. Taking into consideration that everyone is different, these timelines are just as a general rule.

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What causes morning sickness?

The cause of morning sickness is not exactly known, but there a few ideas about what is causing the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. It is probably a combination of the many changes your body is experiencing during your pregnancy. During early pregnancy the hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) starts to rise rapidly. Because nausea tends to peak around the same time as the levels of hCG rises, some say that it may be one of the causes.

Did you felt overwhelmed by the smell of the potato chips during your early pregnancy? Many pregnant women have an enhanced sense of smell and are sensitive to odors, and certain aromas trigger the gag reflex. Also, some studies have shown that this is a cause of high levels of estrogen.

Speaking of estrogen, this hormone, together with progesterone, may be some of the other causes for morning sickness because, like hCG, it starts to rise at high levels in the first few months of pregnancy.

Stress

Another factor for morning sickness may be stress. Although there are no medical studies to prove this, nausea and vomiting may be a response to the stress that some women may feel during their pregnancy. Why does the stress increases during pregnancy? Some stress causes may be preparing to having a baby, or worrying about childbirth.

Another thing that can cause morning sickness is a sensitive stomach. Pregnant woman may experience some stomach troubles, because it becomes more sensitive during pregnancy.

Should I be concerned about my nausea and vomiting?

There are women that have severe nausea and vomiting, and can’t keep anything down. Not even water, or prenatal vitamins. If this happens, the pregnant woman can experience losing more than two pounds, feeling dizzy when standing, feeling dehydrated, abdominal pain, or even fever. If you have these symptoms, you should immediately make an appointment with your doctor.

This can be a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, and it can be treated with IV fluids and medications in the hospital. Hyperemesis gravidarum is actually morning sickness, but with an intensified feeling. It can cause dehydration, and malnutrition, which can endanger the mother’s and fetus’ health. This makes it a serious medical condition, and it may be treated immediately.

How can I get relief from morning sickness?

Depending on the intensity of nausea and vomiting you feel, there are some measures you may take to help. If you experience morning sickness, here are some simple measures you can take to ease your symptoms:

  • Your stomach should never be empty. For this you may eat small meals and snacks throughout the day. Very helpful are high-protein foods and carbohydrates. A useful tip is to eat some snacks or crackers the first thing as you wake up. It helps you feel better is you wake up nauseated. Also, eating slowly helps too.
  • Don’t wake up too rapidly. Getting up slowly, and sitting on the bed for a few minutes before getting up helps a lot decreasing the morning sickness levels.
  • If you know the smells, and foods that trigger your nausea, try to avoid them.
  • Avoid fatty , spicy, and fried foods. They take longer to digest, and can irritate your digestive system.
  • We all know how important water is, especially during pregnancy. A great tip for easing the morning sickness is to drink water, and fluid between the meals, rather than drinking more at one time. This can cause your stomach to feel full. Try and sip water throughout the day, and you’ll be well hydrated.
  • If heavy perfume, or car rides can trigger your nausea, you have to be careful. Open the window, or take ride breaks.
  • Morning sickness usually gets worse if you’re tired. The important thing is to be relaxed. Try to take naps wherever you can if you feel exhausted. You can also relax by watching TV.
  • If you take prenatal vitamins, try to take them when you eat. If you continue to feel nauseated, ask your provider if you can stop taking them, or maybe change them.
  • A lot of mothers have experienced a decrease in their morning sickness levels by taking ginger, and peppermint. These natural remedies tend to help an unsettling stomach.
  • If you don’t find the smells nauseous, try aromatherapy. Essential oils of lemon, mint, and orange may be helpful. You can either use them in a diffuser, or just place a few drops on your pillow.

If these tips didn’t help, schedule an appointment with your provider and talk to him about medication to relieve the symptoms.

Have you experienced severe morning sickness? Share with us if you used any treatments.

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