Morning sickness is that queasy, nauseous feeling that is sometimes accompanied by vomiting that takes place during pregnancy. It is mostly caused by a combination or hormonal fluctuations, although the slowing of your digestive tract can also contribute to the nausea and heartburn.
The hormones hCG, progesterone, and estrogen all greatly increase while in the early weeks and months of pregnancy to levels the body is not used to. These same hormones are also associated with the nausea caused by some birth control pills.
Vomiting and nausea are typically worse in first pregnancies, as your body more readily adjusts to these hormones in subsequent pregnancies. That does not mean, however that you will not have morning sickness in even a fifth pregnancy.
When Does Morning Sickness Start?
The vomiting and nausea typically presents between 6 and 8 weeks of pregnancy. The term Morning Sickness is, however deceptive. The ill feeling can last all day, or for any period of time during the day or night. Some women are even fortunate enough to never experience it. The horrible feeling of queasiness can be triggered by any number of things from the smell of a certain food, to driving.
How Long Will it Last?
Typically, morning sickness fades out around the start of your second trimester. However, some women will have pregnancy nausea all the way up until delivery day while some only in their first trimester. A few may even experience pregnancy related motion sickness. The good news is that typically, the worst of the NVP (Nausea, Vomiting of Pregnancy) only takes place between 12 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.
What You Can Do About It?
There are a variety of ways you can ease your morning (or all day) sickness. You can safely try any combination of the following:
Adjust your diet. Combining healthy protein with complex carbohydrates typically keeps some of the nausea at bay. Try broiled chicken with brown rice for example. If you are still sick when eating protein and carbs in combination, try the BRAT diet.
The BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice, apple-sauce, and toast. However, any combination of bland, soft foods that are low in fiber fit into the BRAT diet.
Avoid foods that worsen your morning sickness. Whether they are greasy, acidic, spicy, or just off putting, try to keep them out of sight and where you won’t smell them as much as possible.
Take your prenatal vitamins at night, and with food. Talk to your physician about chewable B6 vitamins that may digest more easily, and about ones without Iron until your queasiness subsides. If you notice a link between how sick you feel and your vitamins, mention it to your physician as soon as possible. You might need to switch the type you take, or they may take you off of them all together for a few months.
Try Ginger. Whether it is ginger ale, candied ginger, or tossing some fresh ginger into your chicken, real ginger has been shown to ease nausea.
Eat smaller portions more often. This helps aid your body by making it easier to digest your foods.
When all else fails, make sure you drink plenty of fluids. If you are vomiting often, dehydration can make you feel even more sick.
Complications During Your Pregnancy
Sometimes, your morning sickness will seem out of control. If you find that you are not able to eat or drink anything, even water, without vomiting contact your physician. Especially if you’re not able to hold down water for longer then 12 hours. You may actually have a condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which could need intravenous fluids and medication to manage.
Have You Heard The Myths?
There are several myths and old wives tales that are associated with morning sickness. Some of them can be scary, while others are just misleading. The following myths are not medically true.
Increased vomiting can hurt your baby:- Your baby is safe and sound in your uterus, and inside an amniotic sac. While it may make you feel uncomfortable, vomiting will not hurt your baby.
Morning sickness means you will have a healthy pregnancy:- While vomiting will not hurt your baby, it will not help your baby either. There is no evidence that being sick is linked to the health of your baby. Some women never have morning sickness at all, and have perfectly healthy babies.
It will determine the gender of your baby:- This one is especially prevalent, but is also untrue. There is no scientific link between gender and NVP. Sex is determined well before this stage.
Excessive vomiting can hinder the growth of your baby:- While it is very important to make sure you have proper hydration and nutrition during pregnancy, the baby will take what it needs. However, if you are excessively sick notify your physician as soon as possible to rule out other potential problems.
There is no ‘normal’ when it comes to morning sickness. You may be sick all day, every day. You may not be sick at all. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. If you feel something is wrong, never hesitate to consult your physician. You are not burdening them, they have probably heard the same questions before.