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Morning Sickness

A lot of people have morning sickness during pregnancy. Learn more about what morning sickness is, why people get morning nausea, and what you can do to avoid or lessen the effects of morning sickness. Learn ways to make your pregnancy a healthy one.

One of the most distinctive features of pregnancy is morning sickness. Not all women experience morning sickness, and some experience it throughout the pregnancy. Most women, however, experience morning sickness during the first trimester (to varying degrees), and see an easing of symptoms in the second trimester. It is important to note that morning sickness is not entirely accurate. While most women feel nausea in the mornings (hence the term), morning sickness can actually occur at any time during the day. Most of the time, the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy is triggered by the smell food, or by eating certain kinds of food.

Causes of morning sickness

Because each woman is different, her response to pregnancy will vary. There are different causes of morning sickness, and in many cases a combination of factors is the likely culprit. Here are some of the possible causes of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy:

  • Hormones: There are two main hormones that rise rapidly during the early stages of pregnancy. Estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) both see great increases just after pregnancy. While there is no scientific reason why these hormones might cause morning sickness, the changes to the body that are caused by these hormones are considered possible reasons for nausea.
  • Tricky stomach: If you already have a sensitive or tricky stomach, you are more likely to experience morning sickness. A sensitive stomach will react in a more exaggerated way to the changes going on in the body during pregnancy.
  • Odors and gag reflex: Some odors naturally cause a gag reflex even when you aren’t pregnant. When you are pregnant, the changes to your body make you more sensitive to smells, and can enhance the gag reflex, causing vomiting.
  • Stress: While this hasn’t been proven, there are some who believe that the stress and anxiety you might feel during pregnancy, as well as the stress on your body caused by the pregnancy, might trigger morning sickness.

You will also find that you have a great chance of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy if you are having multiples, you are carrying a girl, you get motion sickness, you get migraines or if there is predisposition (genetic or from a previous pregnancy) for morning sickness.

In most cases, your morning sickness will not affect the health of your baby. However, you should try to eat, and make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you lose too much weight, or become dehydrated, that can harm the fetus.

Treating morning sickness

Many women find morning sickness extremely disagreeable. This is understandable. Fortunately, there are some things you can do in order to reduce the effects of nausea during pregnancy, and prevent vomiting. Here are some treatments you might try if you are afflicted with morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day, rather than having large meals only a few times a day.
  • Consider foods with high protein content.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but don’t drink so much that you feel uncomfortably full. Cold carbonated beverages can help. Try to avoid cola, since the caffeine can reduce blood flow to the baby. Ginger ale (made with real ginger) can be a good choice, since ginger is supposed to help calm the stomach.
  • Avoid food smells that trigger your feelings of nausea.
  • Stay away from fatty and fried foods, since these can irritate your stomach.
  • Bland foods can reduce nausea, and so can foods eaten at room temperature.
  • Get up slowly in the morning, rather than getting up quickly. This can keep your stomach from getting riled.
  • Get plenty of rest and maintain your health, as this can help you body accept the changes.
  • Be aware of non-food triggers to your morning sickness, such as stuffy rooms and flickering lights.

If your morning sickness is severe, you might consider talking to your health care professional about medications and other measures that can be taken. This is especially vital if you cannot even keep liquids down. You do not want to risk your health and the baby’s health by becoming dehydrated.

In the end, you might not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your morning sickness. However, if you take measures to reduce it, you will find that your pregnancy is a little more pleasant, especially if you are like most women who are over their nausea by the end of the first trimester.

Related Article: Pregnancy by Trimester >>