Pregnant women are said to have a “glow” about them. While this is usually meant as a compliment, some newly pregnant moms might feel more green around the gills than glowing with good health. Morning sickness is a term used to describe a group of symptoms usually associated with early pregnancy. Up to 90 percent of pregnant women suffer from nausea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and some suffer from more serious symptoms as well.
The term “morning sickness” is a misnomer, since the symptoms can happen at any time of the day or night, according to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Many women complain that the symptoms are strongest in the morning, which could be due to having an empty stomach. Other theories suggest that the sudden change from resting to activity can trigger morning sickness.
The symptoms of morning sickness usually start an average of five weeks after conception, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and last until the 15th or 16th week of pregnancy. In some women, symptoms last for much longer than that. For a few unlucky moms, the symptoms will last the entire pregnancy.
The exact cause or causes of morning sickness are not known, but there are several theories. One is that the rapid hormonal changes in a pregnant woman’s body trigger the symptoms. The enhanced sense of smell that arises with pregnancy may also cause nausea and vomiting. High emotions and a poor diet are also considered to be possible contributors. A lack of vitamin B in the body and low blood sugar may also trigger the symptoms, according to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics website.
Nausea is the most common symptom of morning sickness. Up to a third of women also complain of vomiting, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website. Headaches are also common, as is dizziness or vertigo.
Ginger has been proven to reduce the symptoms of morning sickness, according to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Women who suffer from morning sickness might try drinking ginger tea or other ginger products. Pregnant women should also eat small, nutritious meals and avoid spicy or greasy food. Soda crackers, salty liquids (such as broth) and foods high in protein can reduce nausea.
Morning sickness is not usually considered dangerous for the mother or baby, but there are some things that can indicate a more serious problem. Women who vomit blood, vomit more than three times a day or cannot keep liquids down should see a doctor right away. Pregnant mothers should also see a doctor if the morning sickness causes weight loss or continues past the fourth month of pregnancy.