One of the First Signs... Morning Sickness.

May 21, 2016

 

One of the first signs of pregnancy is yes..  you’ve guessed it - morning sickness!

 

Definition:

Nausea and vomiting usually begin around the 6th week of pregnancy and peak around the ninth week. For most women the symptoms taper off or disappear towards the end of the first trimester at 14 weeks. According to specialists, approximately 70 % of women experience nausea while approximately 50 % experience vomiting. Symptoms may present early in the morning and reduce as the day progresses, but for some they are sick all day. Others are affected in either the morning or evening time and for some they tend to suffer if they are sleep deprived.

 

Causes:

No one knows for sure what causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, but it's thought to be a combination of the many physical changes taking place in your body. Possible causes include:

  • An increase in the hormone - Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone rises rapidly during early pregnancy. Nausea tends to peak around the same time as levels of hCG. Cases where women have higher levels of hCG such as carrying multiples, are associated with higher rates of nausea and vomiting

  • An increase in the circulating level of the Oestrogen. This hormone, which also rises rapidly in early pregnancy, is thought to add to the degree of sickness

  • A heightened sense of smell and sensitivity to odours in early pregnancy

  • A sensitive stomach. Some women's gastrointestinal tracts are simply more sensitive to the changes of early pregnancy

  • Stress. Some researchers have proposed that certain women are psychologically predisposed to having nausea and vomiting during pregnancy as an abnormal response to stress. However, there's no conclusive evidence to support this theory

  • Low blood sugar due to the growing demands on the body  

  • An increase in Progesterone known to relax the body’s muscles and ligaments to accommodate the growing baby.

Top Tips:

 

  • Eat little and often - even if you are not hungry. Eating a small amount every two to three hours is much better than having two or three large meals as an empty stomach will increase the chances of nausea. Foods high in protein and carbohydrates can help fight nausea but avoid spicy and fatty foods

  • Drink plenty of fluids - aim for 10 —12 glasses a day, however avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks

  • Avoid stressful situations and try to relax as often as possible

  • Try to get out for fresh air every day by taking a short walk

  • It may help to eat a small snack before you go to bed or as soon as you wake up. Leave a snack such as crackers next to your bed for when you wake up

  • Do not brush your teeth immediately after eating as this can cause vomiting

  • Some women find ginger tea helpful in settling their nausea

  • Give yourself a break. Your body's working overtime on growing that baby - you deserve it!

In more severe cases, vomiting may cause dehydration, weight loss, high blood acidity level and a low potassium level. This condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and occurs in about 1% of all pregnancies and requires medical attention.

If symptoms persist always seek the advice of your Health Care Professional..

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