Morning sickness – Symptoms and causes | Tips, Do’s & Don’ts
Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that occurs during pregnancy. And, despite its name, morning sickness can strike at any time of the day or night.
Many pregnant women have morning sickness, especially during the first trimester. But some women have morning sickness throughout pregnancy. Management options include various home remedies, such as snacking throughout the day and sipping ginger ale or taking over-the-counter medications to help relieve nausea.
Rarely, morning sickness is so severe that it progresses to a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. This is when someone with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy has severe symptoms that may cause severe dehydration or result in the loss of more than 5% of pre-pregnancy body weight. Hyperemesis gravidarum may require hospitalization and treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids, medications, and rarely a feeding tube.
Common signs and symptoms of morning sickness include nausea and vomiting, often triggered by certain odors, spicy foods, heat, excess salivation, or oftentimes no triggers at all. Morning sickness is most common during the first trimester and usually begins nine weeks after conception. Symptoms improve for most expectant mothers by the mid to late second trimester.
When to see a doctor
Contact your health care provider if:
- Nausea or vomiting is severe
- You pass only a small amount of urine or it’s dark in color
- You can’t keep down liquids
- You feel dizzy or faint when you stand up
- Your heart races Request an Appointment at A Clinic
Morning Sickness Causes and Risk Factors
Experts aren’t sure, but pregnancy hormones may cause nausea. In the case of severe nausea and vomiting, there could be another medical condition that isn’t related to pregnancy.
Things that may make you more likely to have morning sickness include:
Morning sickness during a previous pregnancy stomach
before pregnancy. This includes motion sickness, migraines, sensitivity to certain smells or tastes, or taking birth control pills you’re pregnant with twins or other multiples. You’ll have higher levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG than a woman carrying one baby You’re at higher risk of hyperemesis gravidarum if:
You’re expecting a girl.
Hyperemesis gravidarum runs in your family.
You had it during a previous pregnancy.
Morning sickness as an evolutionary survival adaptation
Some experts suggest that morning sickness could be an evolutionary adaptation that protects pregnant mothers and their babies from food poisoning. If the woman with morning sickness does not feel like eating foods, which may be potentially contaminated, such as poultry, eggs, or meat, and prefers foods with a low contamination risk, such as rice, bread, and crackers, the survival chances for her and her child are improved.
Adult humans have defenses against plant toxins, including a wide range of detoxification enzymes produced by the liver. In the developing baby, these defenses are not yet fully developed, and even relatively small amounts of toxins could be harmful.
The baby’s developing organs are most vulnerable to toxins between 6-18 weeks Trusted Source, more or less the time when morning sickness peaks.
Despite its name, morning sickness can come on at any time of day. For some people it strikes in the middle of the night.
Morning sickness may include nausea and vomiting, or just nausea without vomiting. It is much more common during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Pregnant women should call their doctor if:
- symptoms of nausea or vomiting are severe
- they pass only a small amount of urine
- their urine is a dark color
- they cannot keep liquids down
- they feel dizzy when they stand up
- they faint when they stand up
- their heart races
- they vomit blood
When symptoms are very severe, the condition is called hyperemesis gravidarum, which develops in approximately 1-2 percent Trusted Source of all pregnancies.If nausea and vomiting occur, it is usually during the 6th week Most pregnant women find that morning sickness improves after the 12th week of pregnancy. Unfortunately, for some, symptoms persist throughout the entire pregnancy.
Some dietary changes and getting plenty of rest are usually all that is needed to treat morning sickness. Although viewed romantically and humorously, morning sickness can seriously affect the mother’s quality of life and how she goes about her daily activities. Women who receive support from family and friends tend to cope much better.
Helpful Do’s and Don’ts to Ease Morning Sickness
Eat small meals often.
Take your prenatal vitamins with a light snack before you go to bed.
Drink fluids 1/2 hour before or after a meal, but not with meals.
Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning.
Eat whatever you feel like eating, whenever you feel you can.
Ask someone else to cook for you; open the windows, or turn on fans if the odor bothers you.
Get plenty of rest and nap during the day.
Sniff lemons or ginger, drink lemonade or eat watermelon to relieve nausea.
Eat salty potato chips; they have been found to settle stomachs enough to eat a meal.
Do not lie down after eating.
Do not skip meals.
Do not let this condition go untreated.
Do not cook or eat spicy food.
Why is it called morning sickness when I have nausea all day and night?
“Morning sickness” is a misleading term. For some pregnant women, nausea is worse in the morning and eases up during the course of the day. But the condition can happen anytime and, for many women, lasts all day. Some women also experience morning sickness at night Even a mild case of nausea can wear you down, and bouts of round-the-clock nausea and vomiting can leave you exhausted and miserable. Talk with your provider about your symptoms and the options for relief.