Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that arises when you’re pregnant. Since your sense of smell is extra keen when you’re expecting, you might also have intense aversions to some foods and smells.
However, the “morning” component of this sign of pregnancy is quite a misnomer. If you’re among the approximate three in four pregnant moms who suffer from morning sickness symptoms, you should know that nausea and vomiting will actually hit at any time during the day or night.
Causes of morning sickness
What induces morning sickness? No one knows for sure, but hypotheses are not lacking. A couple of variables that could be at play:
- Increased pregnancy hormone hCG levels, which peak around the time of morning sickness, are the worst.
- Increased levels of estrogen and progesterone, which relax the digestive tract muscles and make it less effective to digest
- The metallic taste during pregnancy that several women feel
- Quick stretching of the muscles of the uterus
- A sharper sense of smell owing to pregnancy hormones
- Gastrointestinal reflux (GERD) or heartburn, which are more common in pregnancy
- Excess saliva can increase feelings of nausea
Not all pregnant women, and not in the same way, suffer morning sickness. Some only have queasy feelings sometimes. Others feel queasy round the clock, but once in a while, they never vomit. A few very frequently vomit.
Several factors can increase your risk of morning sickness. They include:
Higher-than-average levels of pregnancy hormones (because you’re carrying multiples) will increase morning sickness. Although nausea can be decreased or removed by lower-than-average hormone levels, you can also have perfectly normal hormone levels and experience minimal (if any) morning sickness.
A sensitive brain
Some brains are actually more susceptible than others, meaning that they are more likely to react to hormones and other causes of nausea during pregnancy.
For instance, if you have a sensitive stomach, you’re more likely to get more serious pregnancy nausea and vomiting. When you’re rarely queasy, you’re less prone to get morning sickness when you’re pregnant.
Gastrointestinal rage can be caused by emotional stress. So it’s not shocking that when you’re extremely depressed, morning sickness appears to intensify. That’s not to say the morning sickness is in your head. Nevertheless, if you’re feeling on the brink, in particular, nausea and vomiting can escalate.
Physical or mental exhaustion may cause symptoms of morning sickness. Extreme morning sickness will increase fatigue, on the flip-side.
For the first time, women who are pregnant appear to be more vulnerable to morning sickness and have signs of more severe morning sickness.
If your body has never been pregnant before, it can be less “prepared” for hormone spikes and other changes that you experience. The many unknowns of pregnancy, which may result in an upset stomach, can also make you feel a little nervous.
If it isn’t your first pregnancy, the strains of caring for older kids may distract you from nausea. And because the body has been there, done that, the physical changes in pregnancy might not be so surprising.
For everyone, generalities aren’t ever 100 percent valid. For instance, you may notice that you’re queasier in your second pregnancy than you were in your first.
If your mom or sister have morning sickness, some evidence suggests that you are more likely to experience the illness yourself.
Some women discover that feeling hot leads to feelings of nausea. But, as is the case for all these factors, there is sometimes no evident cause for morning sickness.
Possible morning sickness complications
A lack of appetite can easily result from nausea and vomiting. Many pregnant women fear that their babies will be affected by this. Usually, moderate morning sickness is not harmful.
Women who have morning sickness well past the first 3 to 4 months of pregnancy should talk to their physician. If you do not gain any weight during pregnancy, seek assistance as well.
Typically, morning sickness is not severe enough to impede fetal growth and development. Nausea causes certain pregnant women to suffer from extreme vomiting and weight loss.
This disease is called Hyperemesisgravidarum. It tends to cause imbalances of electrolytes and unintentional weight loss. This condition will eventually damage your baby if left untreated.
Call your doctor right away if you encounter the following:
- Failure to hold food down
- Weight Loss of 2 or more pounds
- Unusual urination with small amounts of dark coloured urine
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fast heart rate
- Extreme nausea within the second trimester
- Blood in your vomit
- Recurrent headaches
- Pain in the abdomen
- Bleeding or spotting
In general, extreme cases of morning sickness require medical attention. Intravenous (IV) fluids for rehydration are often needed for Hyperemesisgravidarum.
Treatment for morning sickness
Your doctor can prescribe nausea-relieving supplements or medicines to help you with food and fluid retention. Medications that could be recommended by your doctor include:
- Antihistamines: to help with motion sickness and nausea
- Phenothiazine: to assist in relieving severe nausea and vomiting
- metoclopramide (Reglan): to assist the stomach transfer food into the intestines and help with nausea and vomiting
- Antacids: to release acid from the stomach and to reduce acid reflux
Do not take these drugs on your own without consulting the doctor.
Some individuals discover that alternative treatments can also help alleviate morning sickness. Nonetheless, make sure that you try these only after discussing them with your doctor. Such remedies include:
- Vitamin B-6 supplements
- Prenatal vitamins
- Ginger products, including ginger ale, ginger tea, and ginger drops
- Saltine crackers
Tests for morning sickness
Your doctor may recommend a few tests to ensure you and your baby are healthy, based on your symptoms. They include:
Urine testing is used to determine whether you’re dehydrated.
Blood chemistry tests
Your doctor may recommend tests for blood chemistry, including:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Detailed metabolic panel
- A detailed metabolic panel (Chem-20) to assess the electrolytes in your blood
These tests will decide if you’re:
- Malnourished, or in some vitamins deficient
Ultrasound creates pictures of your baby using sound waves. The doctor then uses these photos and sounds to verify if your baby is growing at a safe pace.
Preventing morning sickness
Taking the steps below will help avoid or reduce nausea:
- Drink plenty of water! Drink water before and after a meal
- Start taking naps
- Ventilate your home and workspace to remove scents that make you nauseous
- Stop eating spicy foods
- Eat little meals
- Avoid fatty foods
- Take supplements at night
- Stop smoking cigarettes
It is crucial that you contact your doctor if none of these prevention measures work or you experience morning sickness after the first 3 to 4 months of your pregnancy.
Also, to explore these options, be sure to speak to your doctor before beginning any drugs or herbal remedies.