By Ghazal Alagh
Usually experienced in the first trimester, morning sickness is experienced by over 50 per cent of pregnant women. The constant hangover due to frequent vomiting and nausea may come as a roadblock in your exciting journey of being a mother. Contrary to its name, morning sickness can occur anytime during the day or night and is a natural part of pregnancy which is harmless to your little one.
The severity of morning sickness varies from woman to woman. Common symptoms experienced by most of the expectant mothers are:
- Excessive salivation
- Sensitivity to Smell
The exact cause of the condition is still not known but morning sickness is attributed to the increased levels of hormones during pregnancy. It may also be caused by lower blood sugar levels, stress, heightened sense of smell, motion sickness, and HCG hormones.
The probability of having morning sickness is higher in women who have:
- Experienced it in their previous pregnancy.
- Suffer from migraine.
- Expecting twins/ triplets.
- Suffer from obesity.
- Have a family history of morning sickness.
Though morning sickness is a natural process and goes away on its own, the following can help in minimising the discomfort:
- Take plenty of rest.
- Increase fluid intake at regular intervals to ease queasiness.
- Avoid cooking since the smell of food or spices may trigger nausea/vomiting.
- Do not starve yourself as an empty stomach can worsen it.
- Do light exercise regularly to de-stress yourself.
- Take ginger supplements to get comfort from nausea and vomiting.
- Talk a walk in the fresh air to keep nausea under control.
- Rich in potassium, bananas are great to combat nausea.
- Sniffing mint can bring instant relief.
- Vitamin B6 supplements are also known to reduce the condition.
- Have a protein-rich diet.
Morning sickness usually goes away by the second trimester, but in some cases may remain throughout the pregnancy. Generally, the pregnancy sickness is mild and does not cause any harm to your baby but in rare cases, it may become severe and develop into a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which may cause severe dehydration or even lead to loss of body weight. Hyperemesis gravidarum is treated with intravenous (IV) fluids and may need hospitalisation of the person.
Morning sickness is just a rough phase in the beautiful voyage to motherhood, so don’t worry if you are experiencing it. You just need to take care of yourself a bit more, get a lot of rest and this too shall pass. Just in case the severity of the sickness increases, consult your doctor immediately to ensure a safe pregnancy.
(The writer is co-founder of MamaEarth.)