Morning sickness typically starts between the fourth and sixth week of pregnancy. This is often the first sign most women get that they are actually pregnant. So, your morning sickness is a clue to start taking better care of your health for you and your baby.
No one knows the exact reason pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body is going through many hormonal changes, which are normal. The pregnancy hormone, ‘human chronic gonadotropin’, is thought to be the cause of morning sickness. Not much research has been done on the subject. Low blood sugar is also believed to be a contributing factor of nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy.
Morning sickness does not mean you’ll be sick and vomiting every morning. It can happen at any time of the day or night. It varies from woman to woman and can be brought on by many different things. Knowing what can cause your morning sickness to get worse can be helpful in preventing severe symptoms. Unfortunately, in some cases, nothing can be done to lessen the severity of morning sickness. If you are vomiting more than twice a day or think you may be losing weight, contact your doctor. He or she may prescribe medication that can lessen the symptoms of morning sickness.
Morning sickness can occur regardless of your lifestyle, but there are many factors that may contribute to causing it to be more severe. Here are some things to do that may help prevent the onset of nausea and vomiting:
- An empty stomach can lead to severe nausea, so don’t let you your stomach get empty. Eat small meals throughout the day.
- Move slowly when getting out of bed in the morning.
- Eat a few crackers (such as Saltines) before getting out of bed.
- Drink plenty of fluids during the day – this can prevent dehydration.
- Get lots of rest, taking naps during the day if possible.
- When cooking, keep your kitchen well ventilated to avoid lingering odors.
- Get a light amount of exercise, which will help you sleep and get rest.
Food is a big factor for most women when dealing with morning sickness. From eating the right foods to smelling the wrong ones, food of all kinds can either help or hurt a sensitive tummy. Some tips for dealing with food during pregnancy are:
- Eat many small meals throughout the day. Eating too much at one time can make you feel sick, but not keeping something in your stomach will bring on nausea.
- Take your prenatal vitamins with food. Some vitamins may cause your stomach to become upset if not taken with food.
- Try to avoid spicy and acidic foods. These foods can irritate your delicate stomach and make your symptoms worse.
- Stay away from high-fat foods. These can also worsen morning sickness symptoms. Eat foods high in protein, as they can help lessen your symptoms.
- Drinking fluids thirty minutes before and thirty minutes after eating can help with symptoms, try not to drink during meals.
- Eat whatever foods you feel like you can keep down. Pregnancy is not a time to start or continue on a diet, unless advised by your doctor.
- Avoid hot foods if your sense of smell is very strong. Cold foods do not smell as strong as hot foods. Eat anytime you feel like you want to.
- Certain foods seem to help most women alleviate morning sickness symptoms. Eating these may help: dry crackers, Melba toast, whole wheat toast/bread, fruit, baked potatoes, pasta etc. These are easy to digest foods and are light on your stomach.
- Some women find relief in drinking carbonated drinks.
- Ginger is believed to help relieve symptoms of morning sickness. Try eating ginger snaps, drinking ginger ale or ginger tea.
Morning sickness can range from making you a little queasy to very sick and unable to get out of bed. The good thing is it usually only lasts through your first trimester of pregnancy and should start disappearing after the twelfth or thirteenth week. Just keep in mind it is a normal part of being pregnant, and you are enduring it for a great cause.