Morning Sickness and Nausea During Pregnancy

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What is Morning Sickness and Nausea During Pregnancy?

Morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy is a common dilemma for many mothers-to-be.  It is a bit of a misnomer.  Morning sickness can strike morning, noon and night. You start to feel exhausted,  your queasy stomach feels like you might throw up at any moment. And oddly enough, it serves many women as a happy indication that their pregnancy is real, confirming physically what the little blue line on the pregnancy test made known previously. Unpleasant as it is, it has a purpose. Still, how to relieve nausea is truly a pregnancy goal for many mothers.

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What is Morning Sickness?

When do you get morning sickness? Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting brought on by a surge of pregnancy hormones. Morning sickness at 5 weeks gestation is common. Morning sickness during pregnancy occurs 70-80 percent of the time. It typically passes after the first trimester but can sometimes last longer and even the entire pregnancy for some weary moms. Most mothers will not need medical care to treat the nausea but will experiment with various home remedies and new eating habits that will lessen the severity of their nausea.  Is not having morning sickness a bad sign? The short answer is no. If you find yourself pregnant without any nausea, you may feel lucky, confused, or even worried. Because morning sickness is such a commonly discussed first trimester symptom, it can seem odd if you don’t have it. There is a wide range of intensity to morning sickness from light and occasional; intense and constant; and 20-30% of pregnant women who do not experience morning sickness at all. 

Morning Sickness Causes

The surge of the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG) along with lowered blood sugar is believed to be the cause of morning sickness.  Some research indicates that women carrying multiples and females may experience heightened nausea, although researchers noted that other factors, including the age of the mother, whether she smoked, and her BMI pre-pregnancy also affected outcomes of the study.

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Morning Sickness Symptoms

Many factors including your hormones, level of rest, and diet can all play a role in how nauseous you feel. Rarely, will morning sickness require medical intervention unless you are among the few women with hyperemesis gravidarum.  Mothers who struggle with hyperemesis gravidarum experience severe morning sickness, dehydration and weight loss that can require prescription nausea medication for pregnancy and hospitalization. Thankfully it only occurs in less than 2 percent of pregnancies. Typical morning sickness symptoms are nausea, sweating, vomiting, and sensitivity to food smells.

Can Morning Sickness Hurt My Baby?

Morning sickness does not hurt your baby or indicate that the baby is sick. As mentioned previously it is a sign that pregnancy hormones, produced by the placenta, are increasing as your baby develops.  It is important to communicate with your doctor if you cannot keep fluids, food or prenatal vitamins down for an extended period or are vomiting multiple times a day for several days as you may be one of the minority of moms with hyperemesis gravidarum and may need additional medical support.

Morning Sickness Remedies

How to get rid of pregnancy nausea? The following remedies have been helpful to many queasy moms. A pregnancy nausea cure is not known, and not all remedies work for every nauseated mother, but with some experimentation you may find a remedy that helps relieve your discomfort. Check with your doctor before using any herbal remedy or over-the-counter drugs while pregnant.

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy:

  • Eat saltine crackers, dry toast, or dry cereal before you get out of bed to calm your stomach.
  • Eat five or six small meals instead of three big ones.
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods.
  • Eat bland foods that are easy to digest, like rice, bananas, chicken broth, gelatin, or ice pops.
  • Take prenatal vitamins with food later in the day or before bed instead of first thing in the morning.
  • Eat salty potato chips; they have been found to settle stomachs enough to eat a meal.
  • Take in plenty of fluids. Suck on ice or sip water, weak tea, or clear sodas like ginger ale when you feel nauseated. Aim for six to eight cups of non-caffeinated fluids per day.

Other helpful remedies:

  • Use acupressure wristbands.
  • Acupuncture in which hair-thin needles are put into your skin at specific points.
  • Take herbal ginger supplements.
  • Use essential oils (lavender, ginger, peppermint, spearmint, cardamom and fennel).
  • Try hypnosis.
  • Rinsing your mouth after vomiting with baking soda and water will keep the acid in your stomach from damaging your teeth.
  • Get exercise.
  • Get plenty of rest and nap during the day.
  • Avoid warm places; feeling hot adds to nausea.
  • Avoid smells that upset your stomach.
  • Get fresh air. Go outdoors and take a walk, or just open a window.


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