When it comes to pregnancy, one of the very first things most soon-to-be moms experience (aside from the joy of expecting a child, of course) is morning sickness. But what is morning sickness, what are the symptoms, and are there cures for it? There are many questions pregnant women have about it, and it’s completely natural to be a bit anxious. But fear not, mommas! We have the answers to eight FAQs soon-to-be moms have about morning sickness. Read on for more info!
Morning sickness is a regular part of pregnancy for most women, and is characterized by feelings of nausea and vomiting. It can go by many names such as nausea gravidarum, emesis gravidarum, and nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP). While it is regularly called morning sickness, that does not necessarily mean that you only get it in the morning. The point or time of day you get morning sickness can differ per woman.
There have been no findings as to the exact cause of morning sickness, but most research points to the hormonal changes that your body goes through in preparation for your child. The increase of estrogen and progesterone, as well as the production of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)–hCG basically tells your body that you are going to have a baby–could be some of the main causes of morning sickness.
The main symptoms of morning sickness are nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms can include a sensitive stomach, enhanced smell, and sensitivity to odors. While some women may experience only one symptom, others experience all of them.
70% of pregnant women experience morning sickness. While it is considered a natural part of pregnancy, the absence of morning sickness is not unheard of.
The timing of morning sickness can differ per woman. Generally, most women get morning sickness by their sixth week of pregnancy. However, others can begin to get morning sickness as early as their fourth week of pregnancy.
For most women, morning sickness goes away by their 12th week of pregnancy. There have been cases where morning sickness has lasted shorter than six weeks, and there have also been cases where morning sickness has continued until the end of the pregnancy. However, it might be best to check with your doctor if your symptoms have continued well past your 12th week of pregnancy.
Usually, mild to moderate cases of morning sickness do not affect your baby. However, there are extreme cases of morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) that may cause you to lack nutrients as well as have an electrolyte imbalance–and this may be harmful for both you and your baby. So if you experience excessive or severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, or cannot keep your food down, it is highly recommended that you see your doctor right away.
- Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day, and be sure to never have an empty stomach
- Stick to dry and savory food, and avoid sweet and spicy food
- You can try eating salty potato chips, watermelon, and foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates
- When eating, always make sure to eat slowly to avoid making nausea worse
- Some moms swear by ginger and peppermint (whether in ale, tea, or candy form)
- Cold meals are also preferred over hot meals as there is less odor in cold meals
- Before getting up in the morning, you can try nibbling on crackers or biscuits to help your stomach settle
- After eating, don’t lie down right away as it slows digestion
- Drink liquids
- Drink liquids 30 minutes before and after meals, not with meals
- Drink liquids, in small amounts, throughout the day to avoid dehydration
- Liquids that are high in electrolytes such as Gatorade and Pocari Sweat are some fluids you can try
- Get plenty of rest throughout the day
- You can also take naps
- Make sure to get some fresh air. You can go for a walk or try opening a window
- When getting up in the morning, make sure to get up slowly from the bed
- Try sniffing lemon or ginger to help relieve nausea
- You can also experiment with essential oils, and see which combination relieves you the most
- Also be aware of non-food triggers and odors, and be sure to avoid them as much as possible
- American Pregnancy Association. “Morning Sickness During Pregnancy.” Pregnancy Wellness. Last updated March 28, 2017.
- Baby Center. “Morning Sickness: Causes, Concerns, Treatments.” Pregnancy. Last updated August 2017.
- Nordqvist, Christian. “Morning Sickness: Treatments, Prevention, and When It Starts.” Medical News Today. Last updated March 27, 2017.