What is Morning Sickness?
It is a condition or rather one of the pregnancy symptoms that you might get during the first trimester where you have the feeling of nausea and vomiting. It is not something to be alarmed about because though it might cause you discomfort, it is of common occurrence in most women and is not harmful to the baby or you.
Morning sickness usually occurs during the 6th week of pregnancy but in some it may start even during the 2nd week. It typically begins early in the morning and the feeling wanes as the day progresses. However, it can occur at any time of the day. The morning sickness improves after the 12th week of pregnancy.
For some women nausea may be mild while in others it may be severe enough to cause vomiting. Severe morning sickness can cause dehydration, low blood potassium, alkalosis where the pH of the blood increases drastically, and weight loss. In that case, you will need to consult your ob-gyn.
Causes of Morning Sickness
Although health experts are not exactly sure what causes morning sickness, it is general believed that hormonal changes are responsible for the condition. Following are some probable causes:
Increased estrogen and progesterone levels
Production of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone that maintains progesterone production that is vital for pregnancy
Low blood sugar, but it has not yet been proved
Certain odors like perfumes or petrol
Odor from certain foods
Vitamin or mineral deficiency
Anxiety and worry
There are certain things you can do or avoid to reduce the frequency and severity of morning sickness. For example:
Avoid having an empty stomach.
Eat frequent meals but with small portions.
Stay away from fried and fatty foods.
Donít mix solids and liquids since this can cause bloating and acid reflux and aggravate nausea. Having them separately can be helpful.
Get plenty of rest.
Keep yourself well hydrated at all times.
Drink a cup of ginger tea in the morning. If you are not much into tea, you can try taking ginger supplements. One study even suggested that ginger is better than vitamin B6 in relieving nausea and decreasing vomiting episodes. Ginger is safe during pregnancy, but evidence is insufficient regarding the maximum safe dosage of ginger, consequence of over-dosage, and whether it might interact with any drug you may be taking. So, donít overdo it.
Lemon inhalation therapy in which you just inhale the scent of lemon is another simple way of dealing with morning sickness. Scent of a lemon can effectively reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, say researchers from University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. They found that the nausea and vomiting intensity significantly reduced from the second day of therapy and improved further on day 4 of their experiment. This is a perfectly harmless therapy, so use it as many times as you feel the need.
Raspberry leaf tea is another way to fight the nausea and vomiting. It not only reduces morning sickness, it also prepares the uterus for birth by relaxing the smooth muscles of the uterus. Scientists say 1.5 to 2.4g of tea leaf per day is safe. However, many studies have reported raspberry leaf tea to be harmful during pregnancy. So, talk to your doctor if you are planning to use the tea for reducing morning sickness.
Chew some fennel seeds (saunf) whenever you feel queasy. This simple home remedy not only relieves nausea associated with morning sickness, but also helps with digestion.
You can try nibbling on dry biscuits or some light snack, such as a toast, immediately after waking up to ease your morning sickness.
You also might find it helpful to eat fruit bars or fresh fruits. This will also help you replenish the lost nutrients.
Aromatherapy with chamomile oil or peppermint oil too is advised by some for reducing morning sickness. However, scientific evidence reported no significant benefits with their use for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.