Morning Sickness & Nausea During Pregnancy

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Dr. Manu Lakshmi

11 Feb 2020

As beautiful and memorable as the phase of pregnancy is in a woman’s life, it does have some ups and downs. Most women are frequently subjected to the troubles of morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy.

In this article, we will discuss some essential points on morning sickness and nausea followed by some effective remedies for morning sickness and then go on to bust some common myths about the same!

What is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is also called “nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP)”. It is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy and happens around the 4th and 16th week of pregnancy in most women. Despite the name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day. However, it is more common, statistically, in the mornings.

Pregnant woman feeling sick.

A woman having morning sickness tends to vomit frequently and feels very tired. In most cases, nausea is not a sign of a serious health problem. Furthermore, some studies indicate that morning sickness during pregnancy can be a sign of a healthy pregnancy.

Did you know that about 75-80% of the women experience morning sickness during their pregnancy?

Causes of Morning Sickness

The most common cause of morning sickness is hormonal changes. Pregnancy increases the levels of the hormones like estrogen, progesterone, human chorionic gonadotropin that play together in the body in a way that causes nausea.

A very interesting theory for the cause of morning sickness is that it is a “defence mechanism” that protects the baby against the toxins ingested by the mother. One of the numerous pieces of evidence that support this theory is that, statistically, women who have no morning sickness are more likely to miscarry. This may be because such women are more likely to ingest substances that are harmful to the fetus.

Excessive fatigue because of physical health conditions or mental health issues can contribute largely to morning sickness in pregnant women.

Emotional stress due to depression or anxiety can cause the body to release various chemicals and hormones and cause nausea.

Women pregnant with more than one child (twins, triplets, etc.) tend to suffer more from morning sickness than women bearing just one child.

Remedies and Treatments for Morning Sickness

Staying hydrated is one of the most important practices, not just to cope with morning sickness, but also as a generic health advisory. Water is essential for the human body and can make you feel wonderful!

Getting plenty of rest is vital. Being tired can greatly worsen the morning sickness.

Ingestion of fluid foods in small and regular amounts energizes the body and also keeps it hydrated while helping to reduce vomiting.

 Just like the previous suggestion, solid food should also be taken in small and regular amounts. Hot and spicy food should be avoided. Foods rich in carbohydrates are recommended during such times.

Many studies and observations have shown that the inclusion of ginger and its supplements in the diet helps to reduce nausea and morning sickness.

Apart from the quick home remedies, there also treatments you can avail at a hospital or at home using prescribed medicines. However, it is highly recommended to consult with your Gynecologist and not to self-medicate or self-diagnose such a delicate condition.

Can Morning Sickness Be Serious?

Just like any other condition, morning sickness can elevate to a greater degree of seriousness of proper care is not taken. The seriousness of morning sickness in some pregnant women increases irrespective of their routine and diet.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)” is a complication in pregnancy characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. This can be caused due to excessive hormonal changes, especially due to a rapid increase of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin

Symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum include:

  • Severe vomiting (sometimes even blood)
  • Persistent nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Low blood pressure
  • Extreme fatigue and tiredness
  • Fainting
  • High heart rate
  • A decrease in urination and urine is dark in colour
  • Loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy body weight

Any woman experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms should promptly consult with an experienced Gynecologist doctor for treatment to avoid complications in pregnancy.

Dr Manu Lakshmi ( Best Gynecologist in Chennai)

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