Nasty old morning sickness. It really is a lot more troublesome than it sounds. And the morning part is completely misleading as it can strike any time of the day or night. The medical term for morning sickness is ‘nausea and vomiting during pregnancy’ and for many women, it is one of the first indicators of pregnancy.
Over 90 per cent of women will suffer from morning sickness at some point during their pregnancy. It is most likely to occur during the first trimester when oestrogen levels are high. It usually starts around the 6 week mark but for some unlucky mums it can kick in as early as 4 weeks. For most mums it will being to ease off at around 14 weeks, others will need to struggle through another month or so of queasiness, whilst a very small percentage will have symptoms that persist throughout the entirety of their pregnancy.
The intensity of symptoms can vary from woman to woman too. Hyperemesis gravidarum (HD) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting that usually occurs between 4 and 7 weeks. This extreme version of morning sickness is relatively rare – it will typically only affect between 0.3% and 1.5% of pregnancies. For those unlucky few that means severe vomiting, weight loss, dehydration and general misery. Women with HD will struggle to keep anything down, even their own saliva. The milder version of morning sickness is terribly unpleasant but wont affect your baby’s development. Similarly, HD will ensure you feel absolutely awful but once diagnosed and treated by your doctor, it is unlikely that your baby will be harmed.
Doctors are not too sure of the causes of morning sickness. All those pregnancy hormones rushing around your system, combined with low blood sugar and a heightened sense of smell are likely suspects. Avoid fried and high fat foods, as these will only make your symptoms worse. Spicy food is also likely to get you in to trouble. Eating small meals more often can help, as your stomach is never completely empty or too full.
To lessen the likelihood of nausea, stick to bland foods that are also filling, like bananas and pasta. Lemon and ginger are known as natural nausea remedies. Pop some lemon slices in to water or squeeze some in to your morning tea. Infuse water with slices of ginger or nibble on ginger biscuits. If you are suffering from severe sickness, make sure you go and see your GP, as this may lead to dehydration, which could affect your baby.
Even celeb mums have the run to the bathroom blues. Here’s how these A-listers coped with morning sicknes
“I had to stand in front of my refrigerator, which was open, dipping pretzels in cream cheese and stuffing them in my mouth. If I did that, I was good. Otherwise I was nauseous.”
“I had pretty bad morning sickness. It was so bad for me, actually, I was convinced that I was, like, maybe birthing a vampire baby like the one from Twilight.”
“To be honest, I’ve had really bad morning sickness, day sickness, night sickness. I can barely get out of bed.”
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