You’ve probably heard a lot about morning sickness in pregnancy, but you may not understand its meaning and how to deal with it. The common misconception about morning sickness in pregnancy is that it’s primarily felt in the morning and disappears as the day goes on, which isn’t true. Although it does feel worse in the morning, morning sickness can be experienced at any time of day or night.
Morning sickness, also known as nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), affects up to seventy percent of all pregnant women during their pregnancy (Especially more during the first trimester). Morning sickness is caused by changes in your body throughout your pregnancy. Your rapidly growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, making it difficult to feel hungry, disrupting the movement of food, and thus leading to digestion troubles. This article will look at why morning sickness occurs and what you can do to help deal with it before exploring how to manage it best during your day-to-day life during pregnancy.
What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness, also known as nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), is nausea, vomiting, or a combination of both experienced by some women during the first few months of pregnancy. Symptoms usually develop during the first trimester but may continue in later months as well. If symptoms are present in the later stages of pregnancy, they can pose serious health risks for both mother and baby.
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Most women will have only mild symptoms, but some will experience moderate or severe nausea. The condition results from hormonal changes during pregnancy which stimulate receptors in the stomach lining, leading to increased secretion of gastric acid and enzymes into your digestive tract. The acid and enzymes irritate your stomach lining, causing an increased release of prostaglandins which stimulate your central nervous system, resulting in feelings of nausea.
Morning sickness causes?
- Hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy.
- Increased sensitivity of your sense of smell.
- Fluctuating hormone levels can cause nausea, which is why morning sickness tends to be worse in the morning.
- Morning sickness may also be caused by a chemical change that occurs when you’re pregnant, called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which causes your stomach lining to produce more acid than usual.
- You might have morning sickness because of something you ate or drank.
- Changes in blood flow during pregnancy can cause nausea.
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Signs and symptoms of this condition
Morning sickness symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and food aversions. Nausea is present in most women during the early phases of pregnancy but might continue to prevail later as well. Most women experience morning sickness symptoms between 6-12 weeks of gestation; however, some may not experience it until mid-pregnancy.
The severity of morning sickness varies from one woman to another. Some women have mild symptoms, while others suffer from severe nausea and vomiting.
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There are no medical tests that can confirm if you are suffering from morning sickness or not, as every case is different.
How to manage this condition?
The exact cause of morning sickness is unclear, but it seems to be related to a sudden change in hormone levels during pregnancy. Morning sickness usually starts around 6 weeks of pregnancy and is less common after 12 weeks, although some women continue to experience nausea through their entire pregnancies. If you’re experiencing nausea or vomiting during pregnancy, there are steps you can take on your own and remedies that can provide relief from these symptoms.
- Eat smaller meals throughout your day: You may manage your nausea better if you eat small, frequent meals instead of three large ones. Eat carbohydrate-rich food just after waking up like crackers within an hour or two of waking up, then eat a snack two hours later. Have your lunch and another snack a few hours after lunchtime, then have a light dinner at night before bed.
- Choose foods that are easy on your stomach: Eat bland, low-fat foods such as crackers, toast, and rice. Avoid greasy or spicy foods, which can make nausea worse.
- Vitamin B-6 supplements: Taking a vitamin B-6 supplement can help manage nausea during pregnancy. However, talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications while you’re pregnant.
- Drink plenty of water: Dehydration can worsen nausea, so drink at least 10-12 glasses of water each day.
- Get enough rest: Fatigue can contribute to nausea, so try to get a good night’s sleep every night. If you have trouble sleeping, take a short nap during the day.
- Ginger tea or ginger ale: Sipping ginger tea or ginger ale may help relieve your nausea.
- Avoid smells that trigger nausea: If certain smells make you feel sick, avoid them as much as possible, such as perfume, paint thinner, cleaning products, cigarette smoke, or cooking odors.
- Avoid fatty foods: Fatty foods can worsen nausea, so avoid them if possible.
- Cut back on caffeine: Caffeine may worsen your nausea, so cut back on caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
The worst symptoms of morning sickness typically occur between weeks 6 and 12 of pregnancy. Other early pregnancy symptoms include bloating, fatigue, breast tenderness, headaches, food cravings or aversions (often for unusual things), and weight gain. Morning sickness can last anywhere from 1-4 weeks into your pregnancy — if it lasts longer, consult your doctor. Any nausea or vomiting is generally a good sign that all is well with you and your baby.