The nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, often called “morning sickness,” can actually occur during any time of the day or night. While these symptoms are often unpleasant and disrupt an expectant mom’s daily routine, morning sickness actually indicates that the placenta is growing. This, of course, can help ensure a healthy baby and delivery.
Morning sickness usually begins at around the sixth week of pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Most women no longer experience a significant degree of nausea or vomiting by the 12th week of pregnancy.
Morning sickness is generally caused by the increased levels of hormones in a pregnant woman’s body. However, some food and odors can also increase nausea and lead to vomiting, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Also, getting out of bed too quickly or lying down after eating can cause morning sickness.
While morning sickness is not necessarily preventable, you can reduce your chances of experiencing repeated and prolonged episodes of nausea and vomiting by following a few eating and drinking guidelines. The American Pregnancy Association recommends you drink small amounts of fluid about 30 minutes before your meals but not while eating. Also, it’s a good idea to get plenty of rest and avoid overheated places; fatigue and overheating can exacerbate pregnancy-related nausea.
If your morning sickness symptoms are already well underway, you can still possibly treat these side effects without using medicines not approved by your doctor. The American Pregnancy Association notes that sniffing lemons, drinking lemonade and eating watermelon may treat morning sickness. Also, the Mayo Clinic recommends trying about 1 gram of powdered ginger each day in divided doses to treat morning sickness. You may also need to stop taking vitamins temporarily that have high amounts of iron, especially if your stomach irritation becomes severe.
If your morning sickness does not go away or you start losing weight, you need to see a doctor immediately. Severe nausea and vomiting can indicate the potentially serious condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, according to the American Pregnancy Association. While basic morning sickness likely won’t harm you and your baby, hyperemesis gravidarum causes significant electrolyte loss and can put you both in medical danger. You may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids if this happens, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- watermelon slices image by William Berry from Fotolia.com