Imagine you wake up from sleep late, as usual, feeling woozy and nauseous, wondering if you stayed up drinking last night or last month. You stumble to the bathroom to clean up, but throw up as soon as the toothbrush hits your tongue. You may be having morning sickness in pregnancy (only if you’re pregnant).
What is Morning Sickness in Pregnancy?
Morning sickness in pregnancy is when you feel nausea and/or actually vomit. And while it is called “morning sickness”, it can actually occur at any time of the day. It is so cliché that it affects 7 out of every 10 pregnant women at any time during their pregnancy. But while common, severity of the symptoms varies widely.
The experience of morning sickness is different not only for every woman but different for each pregnancy. Some women never experience it at all. Some just feel a little nauseous for a few hours a day. Some seem to get no rest from it. For most women, morning sickness subsides after the first trimester of pregnancy, but some feel it for the full nine months. There’s no way to predict what your pregnancy will be like.
What causes morning sickness in pregnancy?
Several other factors have been linked to morning sickness but the general consensus is that morning sickness is idiopathic (Doctors jargon for saying they don’t know the exact cause yet). These other factors include;
- Genes – Some experts suggest that you’re more likely to have morning sickness if your mom had the same condition during her child-bearing years.
- Stress – The more stressed out you are, the more likely you are to have stomach upset and feel nauseous even while you’re not pregnant, so it makes sense that stress dials up that nauseous feeling during pregnancy.
- Primigravidas (First-time pregnancies) – First-timers have more issues in pregnancy than veterans mainly because the body has to completely undergo strange and massive changes to accommodate the baby. These changes may be incredibly stressful to the novice body leading to morning sickness and other pregnancy sickly feelings.
- Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar) – Pregnancy means that you now have to eat for two! For so many moms, as their energy requirements increase, they forget to eat more which may lead to low blood sugar. Low blood sugar then causes similar symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sweatiness, light-headedness, etc.
- Multiple Gestations (You’re carrying two babies or more!) More babies = More hormonal changes = more stress = more energy requirement = more fatigue = morning sickness!
How will morning sickness affect your baby?
Morning sickness will make you feel queasy and sickly but almost wouldn’t hurt your baby in most cases. The main danger in morning sickness is that you may become dehydrated due to excessive vomiting (a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum), and this may affect your baby.
Otherwise, your baby is still probably too tiny to be affected by a few days of your wooziness, so fear not.
What can you do to help morning sickness?
In about 50% of women with morning sickness, symptoms disappear after the first trimester or as pregnancy progress. However, there are some things you can do to help ease that sickly feeling.
- Eat small but frequent meals
- Eat easy-to-digest meals
- Rest and rest some more
- Avoid Triggers
- Try Supplements
- Ginger and Lemon Tea…
- …Or Just Lemonade
- Drink more fluids
- Good Oral Hygiene
- Try alternative Home remedies
When do you need to see a doctor?
While you can effectively manage and control morning sickness at home, there are signs that you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- Vomiting more than four times a day (See Hyperemesis gravidarum)
- If you’re feeling morning sickness in the second and third trimester of pregnancy
- If your vomit has blood in it
- When you feel dizzy or light-headed after vomiting
- When you feel dehydrated after vomiting
- If your urine is very small or hasn’t come all-day
- When you have tried some home remedies without any relief
- When you lose more than 3 pounds of pregnancy weight as a result of vomiting
- When you feel other symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, hearing difficulty, fast breathing, or chest pain.
If morning sickness is not too severe, you can get relief by taking some simple steps: Eat in small meals. Keep saltines with you, so if you get nauseous you can get something into your stomach that won’t make you even sicker. Note when you tend to experience nausea. Sometimes it will be triggered by certain foods or certain smells. Once you know what they are, you can avoid them.
And lastly, please visit your doctor if you can’t seem to get any relief or feel any of the alarm signs above.