Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is known as morning sickness. Usually, pregnant women experience some discomfort in the morning that eases up as the day progresses. However, these symptoms can occur at any time during the day. Nausea usually starts around the 6th week of pregnancy. Even though it lasts for a few months, it can wear down a woman’s condition leaving her exhausted and miserable.
Nausea during Pregnancy
Nausea during pregnancy is a common complaint of women in early pregnancy, and typically it is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. Around 70 percent of expectant moms experience nausea in the early stages of pregnancy. However, it clears between the 16th and 20th weeks of pregnancy.
Causes of Nausea during Pregnancy
It is hard to pinpoint one exact cause of nausea; rapid hormonal changes may make you nauseated, but there are many other factors that trigger nausea in pregnancy.
An increase in Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) levels in the body during pregnancy leads to nausea.
Estrogen hormone secretion rises rapidly during early pregnancy, which also contributes to morning sickness.
In early pregnancy, a woman's sensitivity to smell is also heightened, thus bad odour may trigger the feeling of vomiting.
Stress is also another factor that leads to nausea.
There is a higher chance of nausea if you are carrying twins or high order multiples. Carrying more than one baby in your womb results in high levels of hCG, estrogen, or other hormones in the body. This, in turn, makes you nauseated.
Nausea in the previous pregnancy may also result in nausea in later pregnancies.
If vomiting or nausea was a side-effect while a woman was under birth control pills before conceiving, there are chances that you will be nauseated during pregnancy too.
Heredity may also be a reason for nausea during pregnancy. In case your mother or sister had severe morning sickness during pregnancy, there is a high chance that you will be susceptible to it too.
Nausea and Its Effect on a Baby
Morning sickness doesn’t have any adverse effect on your baby, as long as you keep yourself hydrated and are able to keep some food down. However, if following a balanced diet is impossible for you because of nausea, make sure that you take your prenatal vitamins without failing. But, if are suffering from nausea throughout the pregnancy, it may result in preterm birth or low weight in a newborn. It is advisable to get medical treatment to reduce nausea or its effects on the foetus.
Ways to Deal With Nausea during Pregnancy
Here are some effective ways to deal with nausea during pregnancy:
Medications will be effective if you are suffering from mild cases of nausea and vomiting.
Eat small meals at frequent intervals throughout the day so that your stomach is never empty. Eat protein-rich foods to ease symptoms of vomiting. On the other hand, some women feel at ease when they take up carbohydrates.
Do not lie down immediately after eating. This slows down the digestion process. Have some snacks as soon as you wake up in the morning and then take rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
Stay away from smell or odour that may trigger nausea. Avoid eating food when it is hot as it has a stronger aroma then. Eat food when it comes to a room temperature.
Avoid eating spicy, acidic and fried fatty foods as these can disturb your digestive system making you nauseated. It is better to stick to mild foods.
Drink liquids containing glucose, salt, and potassium to regain the lost electrolytes in your system.
Breathe in fresh air or walk in an open garden to ease your nausea. Take some time to relax your body and try to take short naps to soothe nausea.
Take some prenatal vitamins with your meals or as directed by your physician. Taking these vitamins can help combat nausea.
Consume ginger or ginger ale that provides relief from an irritated stomach and helps soothe uneasiness. You can also drink peppermint tea after eating to quell nausea.
In case of severe nausea, visit an acupuncturist who can help in treating it during pregnancy.
Vomiting during Pregnancy
Vomiting during pregnancy is a common occurrence. Around 60 -70 percent of women experience vomiting as a symptom of morning sickness when pregnant. Morning sickness cannot be said as a good sign, as it leaves you all tired, but it not harmful for your baby’s health.
Causes of Vomiting during Pregnancy
You may experience vomiting sensation during pregnancy because of the following reasons:
Fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy may make you vomit more often.
If you have a sensitive stomach, a slight change in your diet may also induce vomiting.
As hormones slow down digestion in a pregnant woman, it could trigger indigestion, heartburn, or acid reflux - all these can trigger vomiting.
If you were on contraceptive pills earlier and nausea and vomiting were the side effects then, it may cause vomiting during pregnancy too.
Abnormal levels of thyroid hormones are also known to cause severe vomiting in pregnancy.
Nausea and vomiting in the previous pregnancy.
Motion sickness may also cause vomiting during pregnancy.
Vomiting and Its Effects on a Baby
Vomiting during pregnancy does not have any ill effects on the health of a baby. However, it can affect your baby’s weight. As you vomit frequently, your baby will not receive food and fluids required for his proper growth and thus it may affect his weight. Severe and prolonged vomiting has also been linked to an increased risk of preterm birth and low birth weight in smaller babies. Vomiting during pregnancy can also affect the health of pregnant women.
Ways to Deal with Vomiting during Pregnancy
Vomiting is a common pregnancy symptom and you cannot do away with it. However, there are ways in which you can deal with it. Vomiting frequently during pregnancy will tire you out and your body will become weak. Therefore, you must pay attention to your health. Here are some ways to deal with it.
Do not eat spicy and fried foods. Avoid foods that cause acidity to prevent vomiting sensations.
Stay hydrated. As you vomit your body will run out of fluids making you feel weak. Drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water daily, however, avoid drinking water immediately after meals to prevent gastric reflux or bloating.
Take rest as much as you can. Your body needs it!
Avoid rushing out of your bed like you did earlier. Get up slowly, sit for a few minutes on your bed, then get out of it.
Open the windows of your house and breathe fresh air.
Certain herbal drinks also help ease the vomiting sensation; drink herbal teas, lemonade, or mineral water. In case of excessive vomiting, you can even take fluids rich in sodium and potassium to replenish lost minerals.
Eat foods rich in carbohydrates, like cereals and whole-grain bread. Eating protein-rich foods is also known to subside morning sickness.
WATCH: How Long Does Morning Sickness Last?
Most pregnant women experience morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is because of the rapidly growing baby, uterus, placenta, and hormones. Let us understand how long does it last:
Some women may experience nausea and vomiting throughout the day; some experience it only in the morning, while others may experience it at different times of the day.
Morning sickness typically lasts for 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. However, it can last longer in some women. Also, not all women get morning sickness.
Once you get into the second trimester, the hormones causing morning sickness decrease making you feel better.
In some pregnant women, morning sickness can even continue after 12 weeks, but there is nothing wrong with it.
After doing an ultrasound, if it is observed that everything is alright, then morning sickness is not harmful.
If a woman is expecting twins or triplets, morning sickness may last longer.
No Vomiting during Pregnancy - First Trimester
Morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy, and sometimes when women do not experience morning sickness in their early pregnancy, they do not delay in associating it with a sign of a miscarriage. A lot of women get worried thinking that lack of morning sickness is a sign of low hormone levels in their body and thus there is an increased risk of miscarriage. But, one should not rush to such conclusions. Talk to your gynaecologist, if she suggests that your hormonal levels are good, there is no need to worry! Lack of morning sickness or no vomiting during pregnancy is not a sign of a miscarriage. Many women do not experience nausea or vomiting in their first trimester yet have healthy pregnancies. No vomiting or nausea during pregnancy just indicates that your body is better at handling the rapid rise of hCG levels, estrogen, and other hormones that spike in the first trimester. But don’t get all complacent, as you may experience these symptoms later in pregnancy.
If you experience severe nausea and vomiting, then you may be suffering from a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Although this condition is not common, it is severe. In this condition, you may find it difficult to keep anything down. Neither water nor food. It is much severe than morning sickness. The symptoms of this condition start showing up from 5-10 weeks of pregnancy and subside by the 20th week. Following are the symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum.
low blood pressure when trying to stand up
If you have hyperemesis gravidarum it is recommended that you consult your physician immediately, who shall suggest you a proper treatment.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is different from morning sickness. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy will pass soon. However, if it gets worse, it is suggested that you visit a doctor soon.