You’re enjoying your early pregnant journey, with only minor breast soreness and increased frequency of urine. Until you wake up one day feeling nauseous.
Is it possible that you’re feeling seasick? Or do you have a severe case of butterflies in your stomach? That’s how many pregnant women describe morning sickness, commonly known as pregnancy nausea and vomiting. And you’ll probably be suffering from this early pregnancy symptom for the next few weeks.
What Exactly Is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that affects around three out of every four pregnant women during their first trimester. The “morning” aspect of this pregnancy symptom, on the other hand, is a bit misleading; it can occur at any time of day or night.
Morning sickness usually begins around week 6 of pregnancy. (It’s no surprise that it’s one of the first symptoms you’re pregnant – it happens only a week after your hCG hormone levels have grown sufficiently to provide a positive pregnancy test.)
Some mothers have nausea later in the pregnancy, between weeks 7 and 9, although this unpleasant pregnancy symptom normally resolves at the beginning of the second trimester.
The vast majority of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting between weeks 12 and 16, with symptoms peaking between weeks 10 and 16.
However, some women continue to have symptoms throughout the second trimester. A few women, particularly those expecting multiples, may experience nausea and vomiting during their pregnancies.
What Exactly Is Severe Morning Sickness?
Severe morning sickness occurs when nausea and vomiting become so severe that a pregnant woman vomits multiple times per day, loses weight, and becomes dehydrated or is at risk of being dehydrated.
If this uncommon pregnancy-related disease is not treated, it can have a negative impact on a woman’s health and her baby’s capacity to thrive.
“Hypereremesis gravidarum” (hi-per-EM-eh-sis grav-ih-DARE-um) is a medical term that means “excessive vomiting during pregnancy.” It normally follows the same pattern as regular morning sickness. However, it can remain much longer, perhaps throughout the entire pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, the symptoms usually become less severe.
The majority of cases of hyperemesis gravidarum occur during a woman’s first pregnancy. Women who have it in one pregnancy, however, are more likely to have it in subsequent pregnancies.
Symptoms Of Morning Sickness
Typical morning sickness symptoms include:
- An unpleasant, nauseating feeling that many pregnant women compare to seasickness or car sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Queasiness that usually occurs in the morning but can occur at any time of day or night
- Aversions to specific smells and foods that are so strong that they can make you sick to your stomach
- A seasick sensation that is frequently accompanied by or soon followed by hunger pangs.
- Nausea that occurs after eating
- Severe nausea that might result in vomiting
Morning sickness is not harmful to your baby. However, you should consult a doctor if you:
- I’m unable to keep any foods or beverages down.
- Are beginning to lose weight
- Suspect your prenatal supplement is exacerbating your pregnancy nausea.
- Feeling dizzy or drowsy
- Are you suffering from a fever or flu-like symptoms?
The Difference Between Morning Sickness And Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of pregnancy nausea and vomiting that affects approximately one in every hundred pregnant women.
The symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum are significantly more chronic and might include vomiting three or more times per day, resulting in dehydration and weight loss.
It usually starts about the same time as regular morning sickness (around 6 weeks), although it can persist the entire pregnancy. If you are diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, you will require treatment to ensure the safety of both you and your baby.
Causes And Risk Factors For Morning Sickness
What causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy? Nobody knows for certain, but many scientists blame pregnancy hormones.
The pregnancy hormone hCG rises around the time morning sickness is at its peak, while rising levels of estrogen and progesterone relax digestive tract muscles, making digestion less efficient.
Morning Sickness Can Affect Anyone, However, You Are At A Higher Risk If You:
- You have a migraine history.
- You’ve always had an upset stomach (for example, if you tend to get carsick or seasick)
- You are pregnant with multiples (you will have greater hCG levels).
- It’s your first pregnancy.
- During a prior pregnancy, you had nausea and vomiting.
- Your mother or sister suffered from morning sickness.
How to Avoid or Treat Morning Sickness
While the only method to get rid of pregnancy nausea is to give it time, these home remedies for morning sickness may provide some relief:
- Avoid scents that make you sick.
- Prenatal vitamins should be taken with a meal.
- Keep a snack next to your bed. Nausea is most likely to occur when your stomach is empty, such as after a night’s sleep. Consume low-fat, easily digestible foods such as crackers or cereal.
- Aim for six mini-meals during the day (rather than three large ones).
- After each meal, brush your teeth. A fresh-tasting mouth may minimize nausea and reduce the risk of tooth damage from vomiting.
You Can Also Discuss With Your Doctor The Following Pregnant Nausea Treatments:
- You’re changing your prenatal vitamin. You might benefit from a B6 supplement with less (or no) iron.
- Take vitamin B6 or doxylamine, an antihistamine (found in Unisom SleepTabs).
- Diclegis and Bonjesta are FDA-approved prescription medications that have been shown to be safe and effective in the treatment of pregnant nausea and vomiting. Doctors sometimes prescribe anti-nausea medicine (like scopolamine, Phenergan, or Reglan).
- Acupuncture, acupressure, biofeedback, and hypnosis are examples of complementary medical techniques. If nothing else works, they’re worth a go.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
Women with severe morning sickness can feel better and acquire the nutrition they need to flourish, thanks to treatment. Changes in lifestyle can also help alleviate nausea and vomiting and make the pregnancy more enjoyable.
Symptoms normally improve over time. And, of course, they come to an end when a woman’s next journey begins: motherhood.