Morning Sickness 101


Craving a nice juicy steak? Oh, but does the thought of meat also make you want to throw up?

Well, you may be experiencing some of that morning sickness we all hear about. Except it's not just in the morning. It's in the afternoons too. And evenings. And at night.

It's all day, every day.

Morning sickness is basically nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Most expecting moms experience this during the first few weeks of pregnancy through the first trimester. However, some not so lucky women experience this throughout their whole pregnancy.

The exact cause of morning sickness remains unknown; it may have to do with hormones and may be triggered by stress, fatigue or even traveling. For me, brushing my teeth in the mornings would often cause vomiting; maybe it was the taste or smell of the toothpaste.

But fear not, morning sickness usually does not affect fetal development. In severe cases, continuous vomiting can cause the mother to lose weight, which in turn may decrease the nutrients that the fetus receives. This is another reason why taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid are important during pregnancy.

The best way to minimize morning sickness is to avoid triggers that may lead to nausea and vomiting. If food is the culprit, try to eat small snacks throughout the day instead of skipping meals and compensating with a huge meal. Salty treats such as crackers and ginger ale also help; avoid fatty foods that may cause vomiting.

It's important to be hydrated so drink plenty of fluids. One suggestion was to freeze Gatorade in ice cube trays and suck on those when even the thought of drinking water felt nauseous.

Riding in cars always made me nauseous, so I always carried a pack of Mentos chewable candy with me. Chewing one always did the trick. Sucking on ginger candy or smelling lemons are also proven ways to fight nausea.

For severe cases of morning sickness, prescription medication is available. Talk to your doctor if you feel that your nausea and vomiting is uncontrollable.

An extreme case of morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum. In these situations, the expectant mother may be hospitalized and given IV fluids to ensure that the necessary nutrients are reaching the fetus.

It is important to stay positive and rest as much as possible during pregnancy. As mentioned, take comfort in the fact that most cases of morning sickness usually disappear after the first trimester. In the meantime, try some of the remedies and precautions suggested to make a difference.

Feel free to comment with any other home remedies that worked for you! You may help someone else in a similar situation!

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Take care and happy pregnancy!

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  • Anita Koppuzhayil
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