Being pregnant brings with it so many changes, physically and emotionally, it is understandable for a woman to be overwhelmed. Not all women experience the effects of morning sickness but for those who do, symptoms can range from mild discomfort to debilitating nausea and vomiting daily. For some women this can continue throughout the pregnancy.
Coping with morning sickness can be challenging but there are a number of proven methods to try to overcome those symptoms. Not all of the methods will work for all women but by working through the options and eliminating any process that doesn’t work a solution may be stumbled on. Careful attention to diet, rest and exercise may assist in relieving symptoms.
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is the general term used for nausea and vomiting in the early weeks of pregnancy. It is referred to as “morning sickness” because it is more common for women to experience symptoms on waking through to mid morning or lunch time. For some women, those symptoms can continue throughout the day, making it impossible to hold down fluids or nutrients.
Other women report feelings of nausea when cooking the evening meal or on eating particular foods. Taking notice of what instigates the nausea or what triggers the vomiting can help to prevent an episode occurring in the future, though for some the only cure will be the birth of the baby.
What Causes Morning Sickness and how Long will it Last?
Research into what causes morning sickness is ongoing with nothing proven to be absolute. Theories suggest fluctuations in blood pressure and increased levels of hormones may be contributing factors. The reasons remain unclear as to why some women experience the condition in worse degrees than others or why some remedies relieve the symptoms for one woman but not another.
Generally morning sickness begins in the fourth week of pregnancy and may continue through to the 12th week. For some women this can continue into the second trimester and even throughout the pregnancy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is the term given to severe morning sickness and can lead to dehydration and weight loss. According to Better Health Channel website this can affect one in 1,000 women and needs close medical supervision.
Is There a Cure for Morning Sickness?
There is no magical cure for morning sickness but there are ways of managing the symptoms to help the mother through those first weeks of pregnancy. Some women find natural alternatives helpful such as acupuncture and herbal remedies but none of these have been proven to work for all women. Whereas making small changes to the way you eat and what you eat can be beneficial.
Some things to try to manage the symptoms of morning sickness include the following:
- eat smaller meals at regular intervals
- less fat and spicy foods in the diet
- nibble on dry crackers or toast before getting out of bed
- eliminate from the diet anything that causes nausea
- drink plenty of water
- keep clothes loose, especially round the abdomen
Keeping Positive Throughout the Pregnancy
Keeping positive may not stop morning sickness but it will certainly help maintain well being throughout the pregnancy. This should be a happy time for mother and everyone involved but may seem out of reach while being in the grip of morning sickness but for most women the symptoms will ease at the end of the first trimester. For those with concerns, talking to a medical professional is essential.
Remember to get plenty of rest. Feeling tired is a natural part of being pregnant but being over-tired is a sign that the body needs more sleep.
Better Health Channel, Pregnancy – Morning Sickness
Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service – Morning Sickness