What is morning sickness and how can I treat it

What is morning sickness and how can I treat it?

So you just found out that you are pregnant…such fantastic and exciting news….but then you start experiencing morning sickness…..

Morning sickness (which can include nausea and tender breasts) usually starts at around the sixth week of pregnancy. While common in the first trimester, some women experience nausea and/or vomiting throughout their pregnancy, day or night. Although referred to morning sickness, you can feel constantly queasy, but never throw up – or you might vomit in the morning but feel fine the rest of the day. Although there are the rare cases where a mom will throw up for nine months, nonstop, the worst nausea will subside after 14 weeks.

Morning sickness, also known as nausea gravidarum and pregnancy sickness affects about 50% of pregnant women.

What causes morning sickness?

Morning sickness has to do with the increase in pregnancy hormones (such as oestrogen, progesterone and hCG) as well as lower blood sugar levels to feed the placenta, as well as a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy. hCG is what is called the pregnancy hormone.

How to deal with morning sickness

Changing your eating habits can definitely help – what, when and how much you eat. Some glucose with fluid first thing in the morning can also help. It is usually recommended that you have something small to eat before you even get out of bed in order to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Eat small portions, more often as overeating could worsen your nausea. The principle is to eat what you feel like eating, thus avoiding foods and smells that aggravate your nausea. Eating ginger biscuits or fresh ginger; eating cold foods, plain fruits and vegetables as well as snacks such as pretzels, jelly and flavoured ice lollies, can also assist.

Ways to improve the symptoms of morning sickness:
  • Rest, rest and more rest. This can help with fatigue and nausea. Try not to eat before sleeping or napping as this can exacerbate nausea or indigestion.
  • Watch your diet. Limiting fatty foods and spices can prevent bowel irritation.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Whether it’s plain or flavoured water, keep your fluid intake high to prevent dehydration. If you don’t want to drink so much, try sucking on ice cubes. Drink ginger ale or ginger tea (peppermint tea also works) or snack on ginger cookies.
  • Take your vitamins. It’s best to take supplements recommended by your healthcare professional before bedtime to prevent any side effects. Taking vitamin B6 may help with nausea, but iron can cause it so talk to your Midwife about the best way to take these.
  • Stay comfortable. Avoid wearing restrictive clothing as these can worsen symptoms of nausea.
What medication can I take to treat morning sickness?

Medications to treat nausea and vomiting are called antiemetics, and these are often used to treat motion sickness, infections and stomach flu. Please ask your Midwife to advise or prescribe safe medication if you feel you need it. Ensure you tell your Midwife about any other over the counter or prescription medicines you are taking to avoid complications or interactions.

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