Morning Sickness

Topic 3: Morning Sickness

Nobody knows why the first sign of pregnancy for many moms-to-be is an early morning dash to the bathroom.

During pregnancy, up to 80 per cent of women will feel sick, with half of all women experiencing vomiting or retching at some point. So if you spend your early weeks of pregnancy feeling anything but blooming, you're not alone.

When and how does morning sickness appear?

Morning sickness varies a lot among individuals, but knowing what the main symptoms are and when they are likely to occur can help you take measures to deal with it.

Why does morning sickness occur?

As strange as it may seem, the cause of morning sickness has not actually been clearly identified yet. Explanations seen as likely are:

●The hCG hormone secreted from villi in the placenta stimulates the brain's vomiting center

●Changes in hormone balance cause the autonomous nervous system to also become unbalanced

●The mother's body views the incursion of sperm or the fetus as a foreign object and triggers an allergic reaction

These are just a few of the many opinions. In addition to these, emotional factors are also thought to be a cause. Because the cause is not identified, naturally a "silver-bullet" solution guaranteed to cure the symptoms has not yet been discovered.

When does morning sickness start?

In most cases, morning sickness involves symptoms that appear in the first trimester of pregnancy. In early cases, they can start around the time you notice that your menstruation is late. Most cases last from around the 4th week to the 15th week, and the worst part often comes at the 8-9 week mark.

However, the timing also varies among individuals. While for some people it finishes around the 10th week, for others it lasts until the third trimester, whereas others may never experience morning sickness at all.

What are the symptoms of morning sickness?

The main symptom of morning sickness is "vomiting or feeling nauseous." In many cases, symptoms are worst when first waking up in the morning or when the stomach is empty, but this also varies from one person to the next.

Here are some of the main symptoms:

●Vomiting, feeling nauseous

You may feel sick to your stomach and vomit unavoidably, or if your stomach is empty and there's nothing to vomit, the symptoms can be very uncomfortable. Also, some people have symptoms that make them feel nauseous if they don't keep something in their mouth all the time.

● Increased sensitivity to smells

This appears to happen as a result of the autonomous nervous system becoming unstable. You may perceive smells you had not previously noticed, and some smells you enjoyed before such as rice cooking and the steam from cooked food may suddenly become unpleasant.

● Changing tastes in food

You may suddenly no longer be able to eat foods you previously liked, or on the contrary, you may have intense cravings for things you didn't like before.

● Feeling sleepy

Your body may feel sluggish, and you may not be able to stop feeling sleepy no matter how much you sleep.

● Irritability, headaches

During the morning sickness period, many people feel headaches and irritability similar to those felt during menstruation.

What measures can I take to deal with morning sickness?

First and foremost, "not overdoing it" is very important during this period. Even when you're nauseous, you will get hungry, so eat what you want to eat, and think about creating an environment where you can rest when your body feels sluggish!

It's OK if you can't eat a balanced diet!

You may worry that your baby won't grow up healthy if you're unable to eat like you should because of morning sickness. But it's OK. The baby is still very small during the period of morning sickness in the first trimester, so it doesn't need that much nutrition.

Also, it is one of the wonders of pregnancy that your body provides nutrition to your baby on a preferential basis!

You will also need to start taking vitamins, such as folic acid (from the group B vitamins), and it is best that you discuss this with your doctor who will recommend a make and the correct dosage.

Tips for getting through morning sickness

While morning sickness varies from one person to the next, you should get down the basic points for getting through this period.

● When you can’t stomach food, supplements can be useful

The time when you have morning sickness is a period when you don't need to be too concerned about the amount or balance of nutrition. That said, even if you don't have an appetite, try to eat at least a small amount of food when you can, for the sake of your own physical strength. However, research reports have increased in recent years saying that a deficiency of folic acid in the first trimester of pregnancy often leads to miscarriage or to malformations in the fetus. Before, it was considered okay to just eat the fast food and junk food that women may crave during pregnancy, but during this time you need to make a conscious effort to get enough folic acid, as well as the Vitamin B12, B6, and Vitamin C that are required to absorb it. Folic acid is contained in large quantities in strawberries, grapefruit, spinach, and broccoli, among others. When you can't take those because of morning sickness, a good trick is to take multivitamin supplements that contain folic acid.

● Drink plenty of fluids

If you don't drink enough fluids, you may get dehydrated, and your urine may get more concentrated, so try to drink fluids often. One recommendation is ion drinks, which are rich in minerals and help you absorb fluids well.

● Keep ready to eat foods close at hand

Many women feel nauseous when they first wake up in the morning, and that can make the whole day miserable. If you keep something you can put in your mouth right away such as biscuits or crackers at your bedside, and you nibble on that when you wake up, it will make you much more comfortable.

Don't overdo it with work or housework

In this morning sickness period you may have an increased sensitivity to smells. Many women find it difficult to tolerate the smell of cooking or smells on the train to work. In this period, the health of the Mom-to-be and the condition of the baby are not yet stable. Not overdoing it is the first rule.

Get through this by seeking the understanding of your family and, when your morning sickness is bad, having someone else cook, or making do with instant food or ready-made deli foods, for example.

Proactively institute a change of pace

Emotional factors are said to also be a big cause of morning sickness, so instituting a change of pace by meeting friends to chat or distracting yourself by doing things you like, for example, might make you considerably more comfortable.

In these cases, see your doctor!

Even if your morning sickness feels terrible, if you are able to eat meals during breaks in the symptoms and there's no big interference with your daily life, it's OK.

However, if you have the serious condition called "hyperemesis gravidarum" that is described below, it may affect both the Mom and the baby, so see your doctor.

●You vomit several times a day and become dehydrated

●You can barely eat anything at all for several days straight

●Your weight drops to more than 5kg below your pre-pregnancy weight

●Your physical energy declines and you feel faint

Methods of treatment include replenishing fluids and nutrients intravenously, vitamins, supplements or antiemetic medication. In all cases, if you are uncertain, worried or concerned, please contact your doctor immediately for advice. All topics discussed on this site are for informational purposes, and do not replace the advice of your doctor, or the need to be seen by a doctor. Depending on the symptoms, you may be treated on an outpatient basis, or in some cases you may be required to stay in the hospital.

Also, if you still have no appetite because of morning sickness even into the second trimester, it may affect the baby, so discuss it with your doctor during your checkup.

update : 19.09.2017

Our favorites feature uses your browser's cookies. To use this feature, please enable cookies. If you are using Safari on your iPhone or iPad, please turn off the Private Browsing Mode. If you clear the cookie, you also clear the Favorite that you chose.

Share on