Morning Sickness — What You Need to Know

Morning sickness is one of the first symptoms you’ll experience during the first trimester and, regardless of its name, you may suffer from it at any time of the day or night. Whilst it’s strongest for many women during the first trimester, be prepared to have it during the second trimester. If you start feeling like this without knowing that you’re pregnant, it can be a good sign that you are! We’ve put together some info to help you understand and manage morning sickness a little better.

The symptoms of morning sickness

  • Feeling queasy.
  • The nauseous feeling may make you physically sick.
  • Vomiting after eating
  • As your senses are heightened, you may suddenly have an aversion to certain foods, feeling repulsed by the sight or smell of them. This can make you feel nauseous and can make you sick!

General morning sickness is a typical symptom of pregnancy and won’t harm you or your baby. However, more severe forms of morning sickness may prevent you from keeping food down and cause you to lose weight, in which case you should speak to your doctor. The condition hyperemesis gravidarum, is particularly dangerous as you can become severely dehydrated because of excessive vomiting. It can lead to hospitalisation so your doctor will need to rule this out immediately.

What causes it?

It’s unclear what actually causes morning sickness but it’s thought that the hormonal changes your body goes through when you’re pregnant are partly to blame. Excess saliva may bring on feelings of queasiness in the same way as a metallic taste in your mouth does. Your sense of smell will be heightened and your taste buds will change, both of which may make you feel sick when smelling or looking at different types of foods.

Low blood sugar levels and feeling too hot can also contribute towards morning sickness, whilst stress may give you an upset tummy too. These can all lead to the feeling of exhaustion during your pregnancy which in turn can make you feel sick.

How to combat morning sickness

You can help stave off the feelings of morning sickness by:

  •         Eating small meals frequently instead of fewer large meals.
  •         Drinking specially formulated tea or sucking sweets.
  •         Stocking up on healthy snacks and eating these between meals to prevent the onset of queasiness.
  •         Drinking plenty of water.
  •         Eating bland, easily digestible foods rather than fatty, spicy or sugary ones.
  •         Avoiding strong odours.
  •         Getting plenty of rest.
  •         Stopping the tendency to rush around.
  •         Wearing an acupressure bracelet.

It’s also important to take a prenatal vitamin. These will give your body essential nutrients for your pregnancy and help compensate for any that are lost when you’re sick. Having said that, some women find that prenatal vitamins can make them feel sick.  If this applies to you, try to take them with food or ask your doctor for an alternative vitamin.

Switching up your diet may also help. Try adding these to your diet:

  •         Citrus fruit: Both the smell and taste of citrus fruit may make you feel better.
  •         Ginger: Whether you prefer drinking ginger tea or ginger ale and eating ginger biscuits or sucking on ginger sweets, you’ll find the queasiness eases and you won’t be sick so frequently.
  •         Peppermint: Peppermint sweets are good for helping to reduce the feeling of nausea.
  •         Fizzy drinks, milkshakes and smoothies: Staying hydrated will help to quell morning sickness and smoothies are a good way to get nutrients without eating.
  •         Some types of tea: Avoid caffeinated tea if possible but try fruit or herbal teas to ease your symptoms. Lemon and ginger teas also work great too. 

Adverse effects

It’s important to be able to recognise the more severe symptoms of morning sickness, which warrant a visit to your doctor. They can include:

  •         Feeling dizzy when standing up
  •         Being unable to keep food or liquids down
  •         Suffering from frequent headaches
  •         Signs of blood when you’re being sick
  •         Severe vomiting
  •         A racing heart
  •         Dark-coloured urine or only being able to urinate in small amounts

These could be signs of hyperemesis gravidarum, which we mentioned earlier. If left unchecked, this condition can be harmful to you and your baby so it’s essential  you speak with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

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