Coping With Morning Sickness During Pregnancy


Morning sickness, also known as nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, is common during the early days of pregnancy. While it happens to be unpleasant, it doesn’t put any harmful risk on your baby’s health and usually clears up between the 16th to 20th week.


Some women may get an extremely severe form of nausea called hyperemesis gravidarum. It affects around one in 1,000 pregnant women. The symptoms of HG include weight loss, repeated vomiting, and dehydration. Women affected with HG require special treatment and it usually involves hospitalization.


The possible risks of untreated HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) include:


  • Extreme depression and anxiety

  • Malnourishment of the fetus

  • Excessive strain on organs, including the heart, kidneys, and brain

  • Electrolyte imbalances


Morning sickness can be a misleading term as it can affect you at any time of the day or night, and some women may feel sick all day long. Studies suggest that hormonal changes in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are one of the most probable causes of morning sickness.


Its symptoms start decreasing as your pregnancy progresses. In some women, symptoms gradually disappear by the third month of their pregnancy. However, some women experience morning sickness for longer than this. In fact, about 1 in 10 women continues to experience it even after the 20 weeks.


Morning Sickness and Your Baby:


Many women think that the action of vomiting may threaten their baby. They are concerned that vomiting and retching may strain the abdominal muscles and give rise to localized aching and soreness. However, the physical mechanics of vomiting doesn’t harm the baby in the womb. It’s because the fetus is protected inside its sac of amniotic fluid.


A number of studies have found that moderate sickness is correlated with a reduced risk of miscarriage. But, prolonged vomiting (leading you to dehydration and weight loss) can deprive your baby of proper nutrition and increase the chances of your child being underweight at birth.


Cures for morning sickness:


If you have morning sickness, your GP or midwife will initially suggest you alter your diet and daily lifestyle habits to help reduce the symptoms.


The changes include:


  • Getting enough rest, tiredness can make nausea worse

  • If you feel morning sickness as the first thing in the morning, try getting up slowly - have dry toast or a plain biscuit before you get up

  • Drinking plenty of fluids and sipping them frequently rather than in large amounts, helps prevent vomiting

  • Increasing intake of small, frequent meals that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates (such as rice, bread, and pasta)

  • Consuming cold meals rather than hot meals, cold meals don’t give off the smell that hot meals do, which may make you sick

  • Preventing eating food that you don’t like or make you feel sick

  • Not thinking about nausea as much as you can - nausea gets worse the more you ponder over it.

  • Wearing clothes without waistbands that fit you comfortably.


The time to see a doctor:


If you are having excessive vomiting and aren’t able to keep any drink or food down, there is a possibility that you could become malnourished or dehydrated.


Visit your GP or midwife if below-given symptoms are found:


  • Your urine has got dark-colored or do not pass for more than eight hours

  • Unable to keep fluids or food down for 20 hours

  • When standing up, feel weak, dizzy or faint

  • Feel incessant abdominal pain

  • Have a high temperature (fever) above 36C

  • Blood in vomit


Another cause of nausea and vomiting is Urinary tract infections (UTIs). A UTI is an infection that can harm the bladders as well as affect the kidneys.

In summary:


You may find that self-help, a combination of dietary changes, and natural remedies can help you tolerate morning sickness until it eases off. However, if nothing works, and you still suffer, see your doctor as early as possible.