Morning Sickness: A guide to reasons, concerns and cures
Created by Ankita A Talwar Updated on Sep 18, 2018
Nothing can bust the happiness of being pregnant than the first bout of morning sickness. While most of us have it in the first trimester, barring a few super lucky moms-to-be who don’t get hit by it at all, some lesser fortunate ones, like me, suffer from morning sickness till the very last. Waking up every morning to that nauseous feeling, almost made me wish at times that I wasn’t pregnant. But then, there are cures and medicines that help. Here’s something you should know about morning sickness.
Each pregnancy is different
Some women have it more, some have it less—the morning sickness. It is synonymous with bouts of vomiting, nausea and a continued disinterest in food (which incidentally is counter productive to morning sickness). Doctors still aren't sure exactly what causes morning sickness, but the most popular theory is that morning sickness is the body's reaction to the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced at higher levels during the first trimester than at any other time during pregnancy.
It generally gets triggered off by some odour your hormones have taken a particular offence to---generally, strong smelling foods such as fish, garlic, or eggs—or like in my case, the car perfume my husband used in his car. Once the smell triggers off a reaction, you end up puking anything and everything you have eaten.
But a well documented reason for morning sickness is being empty stomach when pregnant.
Also, morning sickness is a misnomer—these bouts of nausea can hit women at any time during the day, but generally have a pattern and occur around the same time/conditions.
Your baby is still perfectly healthy
Morning sickness doesn’t affect the health and the safety of the foetus. The foetus is well protected in the amniotic sac and your jerking to puke, will not harm the baby. But sustained nausea, where a pregnant mother throws up frequently, or compromises on her intake of food cause of the nauseous feeling, can lead to nutritional deficiencies for both the mother and the baby.
Dealing with morning sickness
Here are some ways to deal with this:
1) Know your triggers: Try and spot what irritates your senses enough to send you on a puking fit and avoid those things—strong smelling foods, smell of cooking, travelling in closed cars etc.
2) Spot the pattern: Maintain a chart to figure out when this discomfort is at its peak. Is it early morning, or early evenings? This will give you a clue to the triggers and timings, how long can you sustain yourself on a meal etc., and you would be better prepared the next time around.
3) Keep munchies handy: Like mentioned earlier, an empty stomach aggravates nausea. Therefore, keep healthy snacks ready. Fruits like apples, pears, dry snacks such as crackers and biscuits, dried plums and apricots, a few raisins (which can be carried around in your shopping bag), etc are somethings that provide the body with the required carbohydrates to tackle nausea. If you get affected in the morning, keep a box of biscuits on your bedside table to eat one, every time you take a loo break at night.
4) Listen to your body: Each one’s body responds differently, so while you may have heard of the many benefits of ginger ale, something as simple as nimbu paani might do the trick for you. Experiment with foods of your choice and preferences and see which helps in controlling the onset and the symptoms of morning sickness.
5) Have smaller meals than a large breakfast: Again to deal with the syndrome of empty stomach, break up your breakfast into smaller bits and ensure you munch on something every hour or two—even if it means nibbling on a small apple. Keep this pattern across meals.
6) Avoid spicy and gassy foods: Any indigestion will aggravate morning sickness and so keep off too greasy a preparation, spicy or even gassy foods such as cauliflower and cabbage. Have in moderation.
7) Keep yourself well hydrated: Dehydration is a common and a serious side effect of morning sickness, so drink plenty of healthy fluids through the day. Tender coconut water, nimbu paani, fresh juice, herbal teas are some great options. Sip gradually rather than gulping at one go.
Medicines and Morning Sickness
This one requires gynaecologist’s advise, though the common diktats are :
1) There are safe medicines for it: Women who are very seriously afflicted by morning nutrition can ask their doctors for help. There are very safe medicines which when taken on time can reduce the severity of the symptoms. These need to be taken before the symptoms set in or else the pill will come out with the puke. So ideally, if nausea hits you in the morning, have the pill the previous night.
2) Certain supplements can trigger off nausea: For some women, something like iron pills can aggravate the condition further. So, even though iron pills are advised during pregnancy, your doctor can help you with the dosage and nutrition advice.
3) Vitamin B6 can help: There are some studies which say that Vitamin B6 works as a tummy soother and hence may help in morning sickness. But check with your doctor on this.
So while it most cases of morning sickness are ‘normal’, there are some cases of it being ‘outrageous’ even and continuing well beyond the normal 10-12 months of pregnancy, where the expecting mother is unable to keep any food or fluid down. If your’s is one of the outrageous episodes, discuss your options with your gynaecologist. After all , pregnancy is supposed to be a blessing and not a punishment.
| Sep 18, 2018
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| May 26, 2016
| Nov 26, 2015
Very helpful blog...
| Nov 20, 2015
very good info... i am sure this will help all pregnant moms