Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Morning Sickness - All Day?

If morning sickness truly happened only in the morning, millions of pregnant women would probably be more than grateful! Morning sickness, technically termed as “nausea and vomiting of pregnancy”, can occur any time of the day and night. Although it typically begins around the 6th week of pregnancy, this queasiness can begin as soon as 2 weeks after conception. And surprisingly, for more than 50 % of women, morning sickness is one of the 1st signs they are going to be a mother.
The nauseas and/or vomiting are usually worst in the morning and tend to ease up throughout the day but that’s not quite the rule.
However, by the 14th week, more than half pregnant women say that their symptoms disappear while it might stick around for another month or more with the rest of the women.

Now why does this very uncomfortable feeling stick with you in the morning and even possibly all day when you are pregnant??
Morning sickness can be caused by changes that occur in the body in the early stages of pregnancy.
Hormones in your body change. One hormone is the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, secreted by the fetus, increases during early pregnancy. The rapidly rising levels of estrogen can also cause the stomach to empty its content more slowly which in return can cause nausea. Moreover, progesterone increases to prevent uterus’ muscles from early childbirth but they relax the stomach and the intestines in the same time causing the gastrointestinal tract to become very sensitive and which lead to excess secretion of stomach acids and gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
Pregnant women are often extremely sensitive to smells and certain odors such as perfume, cooking foods or cigarette smoke.

Who’s more likely to experience morning sickness?
Pregnant women who:
  • Have a history of motion sickness
  • Having a history of migraine
  • Have had morning sickness in previous pregnancies
  • Have thyroid disorders
  • Are carrying more than one child.
 So…how can we prevent and treat morning sickness?
No one has actually found a way to completely prevent morning sickness, but there are steps and tips you can take that can reduce its impact.
  • Avoiding the specific foods and smells that trigger your nausea
  • Eating 5 to 6 small frequent meals instead of 3 huge meals throughout the day
  • Don’t drink fluids along with foods but rather before 30 to 45 minutes before eating
  • Consuming foods that are cold or at room temperature because they tend to have less odor than hot foods
  • Cold fresh lemons
  • Nibbling on plain crackers or plain kaak before you get out of bed in the morning
  • Adding ginger to foods
  • Trying a cup of peppermint tea in the morning
  • Taking Vitamin B 6 can significantly reduce morning sickness; 10 to 25 mg three times a day could be helpful
  • Studies show that taking multivitamin can decrease nausea and vomiting more than a placebo, but either way, it is important to talk to your health care provider before taking any supplements
  • Asking someone to cook for you, if possible, is also helpful, this way odors from cooking won’t disturb you before eating.
  • Avoiding greasy foods
  • Don’t cook or eat spicy food which might irritate the stomach and loosen its muscles which may lead to vomiting
  • Don’t lie down or sleep directly after eating, wait around 30 minutes
  • And try your best not to skip meals because empty stomach may trigger sickness feelings
It’s important to note that in rare cases, 1% of women, morning sickness can aggravate into what is called hyperemesis gravidarum: severe nausea and vomiting. This can harm the mother and the baby and can result in dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, dizziness, weight loss and fainting. So it’s not Ok if you are experiencing severe discomfort and if it persists for more than 24 hours, contacting your doctor is a must.
Keep in mind that morning sickness does not mean your baby is sick.

Brought to you by Paty M; you can also find this published in Moms and to Be Magazine!

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