Nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy are often referred to as morning sickness.The intensity of symptoms varies among women and can begin in the morning and fade by afternoon or even stay all day for some. Hormonal changes during early pregnancy trigger these symptoms in up to 50% of the pregnant women and often cause depression and uneasiness in the expecting mother.
Nausea may start around 6 weeks of pregnancy and is most likely to fade away by 14 weeks in most women.
Some possible causes include:
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)- Although not known as a direct cause; nausea seems to be most intense during period of elevated hCG.
- Estrogen. Estrogen levels increase rapidly during early pregnancy and may also be responsible for nausea.
- An enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to odors – Peculiar smell of certain foods may cause discomfort in some women. Again, the sensitivity varies from one to another.
- A sensitive stomach – Some women’s digestive tracts are simply more sensitive to the changes of early pregnancy.
- Stress- Nausea and vomiting can also result from excessive stress among susceptible women.
Few tips to control the symptoms include: .
- When you wake up with morning sickness, munch on some dry snacks such as nuts, crackers, toast, etc
- Small frequent meals are better tolerated than 3 big ones. These meals need to be balanced with sufficient proteins and fiber rich foods instead of refined carbohydrates or sugary beverages
- Try to engage in some short activity involving sitting or walking 10-15 minutes post-meal instead of lying down immediately.
- Sit for few minutes before getting up from bed instead of rising immediately
- Avoid strong smelling foods or typical foods with pungent odours. These may trigger symptoms in some though not all pregnant women
- Bland and cold foods may be better tolerated than spicy, oily or hot foods.
- Take small sips of fluids throughout the day to avoid bloating and dehydration . Avoid gulping down fluids too quickly and especially not with meals
- Make time for frequent short walks to relieve stress and relax.
- Make sure to get enough rest. Sleep for 7-8 hours at night and take short nap through the day
- To avoid thinking about the unpleasant symptoms mothers can indulge in some creative hobbies or reading books
- Regular intake of prenatal vitamins with food or just before bed suits some mothers better.
- Ginger tea prepared by grating fresh ginger into hot water helps ease the stomach problems and uneasiness in most women. Similarly, peppermint tea or candies provide relief for some