Morning Sickness of Pregnancy: What I Wish I Knew About Morning Sickness Before I Fell Pregnant
The right morning sickness remedies will bring quick and lasting relief to your morning sickness symptoms.
What is Morning Sickness?
For a lot of women, pregnancy is not all it’s cut out to be; Hollywood might paint a picture of an easy time where you get to give in to all your cravings without anyone raising a brow or where people give up their seats at the sight of you waddling over.
However, for a lot of women, pregnancy can be tough. It is a time when you get faced with so much pregnancy symptoms, your life changes.
While morning sickness symptoms don’t last long for a lot of women, the duration it runs can be overwhelming both physically and psychologically, as the baby forms and continues to grow in you.
This sickness symptoms can begin as early as four weeks into the pregnancy (two weeks for a few women) and last up to the thirteenth week, and these nine weeks will see you going through all sorts of pregnancy symptoms from heartburn to sore breasts, fatigue, and nausea.
A few women usually can manage their symptoms, counting down until the day they all disappear. However, for a few others, their morning sickness is usually so severe, they would need every sort of helping to get through the typical three months phase.
When morning sickness is so severe, you are said to be suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. For some women, this can last longer than the regular three months as studies have found 10% of women with hyperemesis report experiencing it for the entire duration of the pregnancy.
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that occurs in early pregnancy, usually in the first trimester, and is characterized by nausea and vomiting.
It usually begins as early as four weeks into the pregnancy, starting with mild nausea, but deepens to include frequent vomiting as the pregnancy progresses.
Contrary to its name, morning sickness is not a sickness that presents in the mornings alone, but can begin at any time of the day and could also run through the entire day. It can be triggered by just about anything, especially strong odors.
While a lot of women would love to have a pregnancy devoid of morning sickness, a lot don’t as over 75% of pregnant women experience it.
What Causes Morning Sickness?
This sickness is caused by an increase in the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone produced by the placenta after the fertilized egg gets implanted in the womb.
This hormone regulates or maintains the production of progesterone and estrogen, two critical hormones needed for the development of your baby.
While this is the main and the most commonly diagnosed cause of morning sickness, other likely reasons include:
- Having a low blood sugar and
- Having a family history of hyperemesis gravidarum
How Soon Will You Start to Feel Morning Sickness?
For most women, morning sickness starts by week six of pregnancy with mild nausea and some vomiting and then deepens, running to the week 12 or 13.
Most women are usually over this phase by week 16 and would feel stronger to carry out their regular activities.
Some Key Facts About Morning Sickness You Should Know
Here are some important facts about morning sickness of pregnancy symptoms and hyperemesis you should know.
- An estimated 75 – 80% of pregnant women experience morning sickness symptoms.
- An estimated 3-10% of women suffer from hyperemesis.
- Morning sickness is entirely harmless to your baby as the growing fetus still manages to get the nutrients they need from your system.
However, it can become harmful if you are continuously unable to hold down any food, and you should see your doctor if you become dehydrated and continue to lose weight drastically.
- Even though morning sickness is very uncomfortable, it is believed to be a good thing as it signifies the placenta is doing well, and the baby is developing as he should.
- A few partners of pregnant women suffering from this sickness have also been reported to experience the same, a condition referred to as the couvade syndrome or sympathy pregnancy.
- During couvade syndrome, the men could experience other pregnancy symptoms like growing breasts, cravings, a growing stomach, weight gain, constipation, and heartburn.
- Women are likely to experience hyperemesis gravidarum if they are expecting twins, have a family history of it, or have had it in previous pregnancies.
- An estimated 60% of women who experienced hyperemesis in one pregnancy find it doesn’t repeat in subsequent pregnancies.
- Pregnancy symptoms vary from mom to mom and also vary in severity. Also, a woman who experienced such terrible morning sickness symptoms in one pregnancy might have very little or no pregnancy symptoms in the next.
- Although unproven, severe morning sickness is usually a sign you are having a girl.
Morning sickness is only considered dangerous and requiring medical intervention when a woman shows any of the following signs:
- She vomits red or a darker colored blood when she pukes.
- She loses up to two pounds in weight.
- She vomits as much as four times a day.
- She’s unable to hold down anything, even water for 24 hours and above.
In such situations, she may need to be given food/liquid intravenously, so she doesn’t become dehydrated.
Common Morning Sickness Symptoms to Look Out For
Here are the regular morning sickness symptoms you are likely to experience:
- Tiredness or Fatigue
- Smell Sensitivity
- Constant Headaches
- Decrease in Urination
- Dark Coloured Urine
- Rapid Heartbeat
Food That Makes Your Morning Sickness Worse: What to Avoid
With morning sickness symptoms comes an aversion to certain foods or a number of foods. Sadly, for a few pregnant women, this aversion continues all through their pregnancy, making them throw up at the smell or taste of such food.
Health experts recommend identifying such foods, so you know to avoid them as best you can.
- Garlic and Onions
- Hot or Spicy Foods (like chicken taco melts, spicy chicken chili with garlic croutons, and Jalapeno popper burgers)
- Foods with powerful aroma (like curry or banana)
- Caffeinated drinks (like coffee and some strong teas).
- A few other women report getting a worse case of morning sickness when they skipped breakfast.
- Taking previtamins (especially folic acid) has also been known to worsen morning sickness in a few pregnant women.
On the other spectrum, here are foods recommended to help alleviate the symptoms and discomfort of morning sickness:
- Lemon water
- Bland Foods (like crackers and pretzels)
- Plain fruits and vegetables
- Cold sandwiches
- Simple soups
- Ginger tea
- Peppermint tea
- Flavored popsicles
- Protein bars
- Hard candies
- Preggie pop drops with vitamin B6 for nausea
- Potato chips
- Ginger cookies
Other things that can bring relief from morning sickness
When It’s Morning Sickness, When It’s Something Worse: Some Signs of Hyperemesis Gravidarum to Look Out for
If you’re ever confused if what you’re experiencing is morning sickness or its more evil twin (hyperemesis), here are some signs of the latter to look out for:
Morning sickness typically comes with nausea and may be accompanied by vomiting.
However, with hyperemesis, vomiting is always present and would be so severe as to leave you spent and dehydrated. This vomiting also doesn’t stop after three months but could continue until medical intervention is sought.
With the constant vomiting, you are bound to lose a lot of weight, up to 5% of your pre-pregnancy weight. You are likely to experience a rapid increase in your heart rate and a drop in your blood pressure.
There’s also a decrease in your toilet activities (mostly urination) due to your inability to keep down food).
You will experience constant headaches, dizziness, and possibly confusion.
Treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum depends on its severity and typically include:
- A change in your lifestyle habits (eating smaller foods and taking drinks in smaller quantities).
- Taking cold foods if hot ones make you vomit.
- Taking supplements to make up for excessive vomiting.
- Taking ginger tea as a way to manage the feeling of nausea.
- Taking vitamins like Pyridoxine and Thiamine to manage the nausea and vomiting respectively.
In more severe cases, you may need to check into a hospital where you will be fitted with IV fluids and fed via foods so you can have food and medications in your system.
Tags: Morning sickness of pregnancy, hyperemesis facts, morning sickness of pregnancy