Morning Sickness - Causes, Remedies and Prevention
7 mins read
Prenatal Health for Pregnancy
Those constant visits to the bathroom, mark your move towards higher stages of pregnancy. As you enter the first trimester, morning sickness in the form of nausea and vomiting becomes a daily routine. You can deal with this condition by introducing certain healthy food items in your diet.
You will probably hear about how glorious pregnancy is and how after a long 9 month wait, you will be blessed with the most precious gift your life could give you. But very rarely are the downfalls of this wait spoken of, one of the most prominent being the dreaded morning sickness!
Morning sickness during pregnancy refers to the frequent spells of nausea and vomiting experienced by many expecting mothers if not all. They tend to recur during the entire period of the day, but are at the peak in the morning hours. About three quarters of pregnant women face this condition during the first trimester.
Did You Know: Your Placenta Could Be Blamed for Your Morning Sickness!
According to a recent research, a protein called GDF15 found in placenta is the causative agent of morning sickness during pregnancy. Its usual function is related to inflamatory processes during a tissue injury, however it has been found to also trigger an aversion to food.
When Does Morning Sickness Start
Nausea mostly begins around week 6 of pregnancy, but in some cases may even begin at 4 weeks, as every pregnancy is not the same. Within a month, it usually gets worse. However, by week 14, most women feel slightly relieved and at times are also completely free of it. At times, this condition may come back during later periods of pregnancy. Though, morning sickness cannot be completely evaded, women can try to include certain food items in their diet routine to minimise the spells of morning sickness.
Possible Causes of Morning Sickness during Pregnancy
This is the hormone that accelerates during pregnancy and is often held responsible for the constant vomiting spells.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG):
This is another hormone that rises during pregnancy. There is no plausible reason that indicates this as a culprit of nausea, but it has been noticed that the level of nausea tends to accelerate at the same time when the levels of hCG increase in a pregnant woman’s body. Additionally, women with high level of hCG, such as those carrying multiple babies, are said to experience higher level of nausea.
Heightened sensitivity and sense of smell:
Women tend to get too overwhelmed with the intense aromas in the environment. In some cases, certain aromas stimulate the gag reflex.
Certain women have more sensitive gastrointestinal tracts than others, which gets worsened during pregnancy. According to some studies, some women have a stomach bacterium known as Helicobacter Pylori that causes vomiting.
This is another major culprit for morning sickness in pregnant women. Many women react with vomiting and nausea as an abnormal reaction to stress during pregnancy. Here are some ways to cope with stress during pregnancy.
While the causes of morning sickness are not clear, watch these Doctor Recommended Tips To AVOID morning sickness in the video below.
Key Takeaway : The expert in this video talks about taking these 6 simple steps to beat those morning sickness blues.
Pay close attention to your diet
Replace your daily diet with milder/more bland foods
Never skip meals
Use essential oils
Does Morning Sickness affect the Baby/Is it a Good Sign for Healthy Pregnancy
Morning sickness or nausea usually does not have any negative effects on your baby neither is it an indicator of a healthy pregnancy. Nausea can occur due to various factors and is most prominent in the morning because you are on an empty stomach. However, if it prevents you from eating, you may need to start taking prenatal vitamins to nourish your body and your baby.
Another common perception is that women who eventually end up miscarrying never faced any morning sickness during their pregnancy. However, there is no evidence that proves the lack of nausea or its occurrence is a positive sign of a healthy pregnancy.
Remedies for Morning Sickness
Here are some remedies for morning sickness that are recommended both by experts and moms. Try them out in consultation with your doctor to get some relief:
Take dry and plain cereals for breakfast, without milk. This is easy and light on your stomach and at the same time fulfilling.
Salty food before meals:
If you have trouble keeping the food down, try eating something that is salty, right before a meal. Some women also find relief in sour lemonade.
Introduce protein-rich food items such as chicken in your diet, but take them in small quantities.
Go for food that is cold or at room temperature. The cold suppresses the odours which means lesser spells of vomiting. Some moms-to-be also recommend watermelon and popsicles to relieve morning sickness.
They will help you stay hydrated and reduce the likelihood of nausea. Staying dehydrated for long hours must be strictly avoided.
This is helpful in reducing queasiness and preventing morning sickness. You can consume ginger tea or ginger ale made fresh.
Some women vouch for the soothing scents of mint, orange, etc. You can try using an oil diffuser or pour a few drops of these essential oils on your handkerchief. Sniff at it when you feel queasy. Be careful to not use too much as these oils can be quite strong and too much aroma can be counterproductive.
Try to take meals after every two hours; take fruits and vegetables in small portions. Eat light meals spaced out through the day. Remember - don’t miss any of your meals. Not eating on time/skipping meals will make you feel worse and thus sicker.
You can try wearing an acupressure band on your wrist that works at the push of a button. It has been known to relieve sea-sickness, and some women have found it useful as a remedy for morning sickness too.
What to Avoid?
Remember – each pregnancy is different, so what worked for one mom may not work for you. However, there are a few common triggers of morning sickness that you should definitely avoid:
Spicy or greasy food items like deep fried stuff - The smell can make you sick and also cause heartburn.
Garlic, acidic fruits or onions - They tend to stimulate the morning sickness further.
Alcoholic beverages and cigarettes - Alcohol and cigarettes can not only make morning sickness worse but they are also very harmful for your baby’s development. These habits should be completely given up during pregnancy.
High caffeine-level products - They may upset your stomach and make the morning sickness worse.
Vigorous exercise - While light exercise is recommended during pregnancy, avoid an overly vigorous regimen. The heat makes you feel more nauseous.
Strong smells - Avoid being around the strong smells from cleaning products or cooking. They can bring on a feeling of nausea.
Lying down immediately after eating - This increases your risk of heartburn and indigestion, thus contributing to nausea.
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum? - The Extreme Form of Morning Sickness
Some women may also face an extreme form of morning sickness which is commonly known as Hyperemesis gravidarium (HG). It is a more persistent, frequent and longer form of morning sickness that some women may experience. It can last upto their entire pregnancy. If you start to throw up more than 10-20 times in a day at around your fourth week of pregnancy, chances are high that you may be experiencing HG. In such a case, it is advised to seek immediate medical attention.
Morning sickness does not trouble every pregnant woman and the triggers vary from case-to-case. This article should help you identify what sparks off your nausea and how to deal with it.