Updated: Apr 16
Morning Sickness is often one of the first signs of pregnancy and although it can be a mighty challenge it is useful to understand what causes Morning Sickness and how you can manage Morning Sickness symptoms.
What causes morning sickness?
Scientists are unsure but believe it is due to the surges in hormones particularly Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)- this is the hormone that gives you those 2 lines on your pregnancy test. The title ‘morning’ is very misleading as symptoms can often be at any time of day... yes you heard that right - Anytime Sickness.
How common is it?
Around 85% of women are affected by morning sickness and 50% may also experience vomiting.
How long does it last?
It can begin very early in pregnancy but usually subsides after the first trimester (12 weeks) this is because the placenta takes over to maintain the pregnancy from this stage and the hormone HCG begins to reduce.
What might help?
Stabilising blood sugars is key- eating something small before you go to bed and before you first get out of bed in the morning as well as having small, regular meals including complex carbohydrate sources throughout the day.
Light exercise in fresh air.
Rest / take a nap if you need to your body is working super hard and lots of your baby’s early development happens in the first trimester…. In fact your baby is almost fully developed by around 11 weeks they are tiny but all the fundamental parts are there.
Ginger has been shown by some studies to reduce nausea symptoms and it’s got a heap of health benefits too.
Eating cold over hot meals especially if the smell of cooking triggers your nausea sometimes cold foods can be lighter to tolerate.
Try travel sickness bands they use the same principles as acupuncture.
Peppermint oil on your pressure points can also provide some relief.
How to stay hydrated?
It’s really important you do but you may need to get inventive try small, regular sips of fluid.
Sucking on ice lollies, ice cream frozen fruits or ice cubes may be easier to tolerate.
I can’t keep any healthy food down, will my baby be ok?
This is a common concern of many women suffering morning sickness. It can be useful to remember that your baby takes nutrition from your body and not just from the food you eat AND for the majority of women the symptoms pass after the first trimester leaving you many weeks through which you can re-focus your nutrition. So be gentle on yourself and whatever foods you can tolerate for this time to keep your energy up.
When should I be concerned about morning sickness?
If you are unable to tolerate oral fluids or diet, feel dizzy, vomiting constantly, feel dehydrated you should seek medical advice as you may require hospital admission.
Excessive nausea and vomiting is known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), and often needs hospital treatment.
Exactly how many pregnant women get HG is not known as some cases may go unreported, but it's thought to be around 1 to 3 in every 100.
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