What is Morning Sickness?
Despite it’s name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night and is experienced by about 80% of pregnant women. Morning sickness is the feeling of nausea or vomiting experienced by most women in the 2nd half of the first trimester of pregnancy. Some women can experience morning sickness for their entire pregnancy or sometimes in the first and last trimester.
Morning sickness can range from a mild feeling of nausea to, in the most extreme cases, severe vomiting resulting in dehydration which may result in hospitalisation.
The cause of morning sickness is not fully known but it may be related to the many changes happening in the body, such as:
- Pregnancy hormone levels increasing
- The increase or decrease of blood pressure
- Metabolic changes
- Chemical and physical changes within the body
Ways to reduce Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a very normal part of pregnancy and normally doesn’t require any treatment, however there are some things that you can do to try and help reduce the symptoms.
- Eat small snacks often – often women experience more nausea symptoms on an empty stomach so eating small snacks often rather than 3 big meals a day can help with keeping your stomach full and avoid that empty tummy nausea feeling.
- Eat dry crackers – if you begin to feel nauseous, having a few dry crackers can often help alleviate the nausea and prevent vomiting.
- Ginger – foods containing Ginger or Ginger tablets may help with reducing the nauseous feeling and is safe to be taken during pregnancy.
- Plenty of fluids – ensure that you are keeping up your water intake, this not only helps with the nausea but also helps to prevent dehydration if you are vomiting.
When to seek help
Most cases of morning sickness do not require treatment, but as with anything during your pregnancy if you are concerned, please ask at your next appointment.
If you are experiencing extreme vomiting and not able to keep fluids down, you may be experiencing Hyperemesis gravidarum. This is a very rare form of morning sickness that only affects around 1-2% of pregnant women. Women suffering from Hyperemesis gravidarum are at risk of dehydration and weight loss.
Please seek help from your obstetrician, GP or local hospital if you have been unable to keep fluids down for over 48 hours.