Just about the time you find out you’re pregnant and start getting excited it hits you, that nagging nausea that may or may not be accompanied by vomiting. Hello, morning sickness. No one likes it but around 70% of pregnant women will experience it.
The smell of the fridge, raw chicken, maybe even simply brushing your teeth or drinking water may bring on the feeling that you are going to hurl. Morning sickness is easily one of the worst side effects of pregnancy. Luckily, for most women, it only lasts for a few weeks to months and it does not negatively impact your growing baby. Still, that doesn’t always make it easy to stomach.
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is extremely common in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is any sort of nausea and/or vomiting you experience when you are pregnant. Despite its name, it does not have to occur in the morning. Some women feel sick all day, while others only feel sick at certain times of the day or on and off.
Morning sickness is no fun and will likely negatively impact your day, especially for women who experience vomiting. While rare, the most severe form of pregnancy sickness is known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and may even require hospitalization.
Go easy on yourself and take some reassurance in the fact that morning sickness generally ceases between 12 to 20 weeks of pregnancy – right around the time you may maternity belly support bands.
Causes of Morning Sickness
Research shows that you can blame your hormones for morning sickness, in specific human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This hormone is produced by the placenta after the fertilized egg attaches to your uterine lining. It is believed that women who experience extreme morning sickness produce higher levels of HCG. In addition, carrying multiples may increase morning sickness.
Interestingly, high pregnancy hormone levels do not always correlate to more nausea or vomiting. Some research suggests that viable placental tissue is another cause of nausea and vomiting. Yet, just because you feel great with no sickness at all does not mean you have reason to be concerned. The health of your pregnancy has nothing to do with how sick you do or don’t feel.
Top Remedies for Morning Sickness
There’s no cure-all for morning sickness, and what works for one person may not work for another. The best cure is time, because within a few weeks to months you should be feeling so much better. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help find some relief from your symptoms in the meantime.
Get Plenty of Rest
The first trimester brings nausea and severe exhaustion. Make sure to listen to your body and get plenty of rest, because the more tired you feel, the worse your morning sickness will be.
Some women experience relief through acupuncture, which can help ease nausea and vomiting by increasing the production of endorphins and ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) via your pituitary gland. As a result, this obstructs areas of the brain that control nausea and vomiting.
Eat Smaller Meals
Becoming too full or too hungry will make you more nauseous so make sure to eat small meals throughout the day.
Avoid Nausea Triggering Foods
The foods that trigger your nausea are not going to be the same as the foods that trigger someone else’s nausea. Keep a food journal and document how you feel after eating each food to determine which foods work best with your body at this time. Some women find that super heavy, sweet, spicy, fatty, or hot foods make them feel worse. Chicken is a common culprit for pregnant women. It might not even be eating food that makes you nauseous, but simply smelling it.
Drink or Eat Ginger
Drinking ginger tea or eating foods that contain ginger has been shown to help reduce nausea for some. Always talk to your doctor before taking a ginger supplement.
Take Vitamin B6
Research shows that taking Vitamin B6 can help reduce nausea, although it does not appear to help vomiting. Women with extreme morning sickness have shown lower levels of B6 in their blood. This is important because B6 helps the body process certain amino acids that may actually reduce nausea.
Talk to Your Doctor About Anti-Nausea Medication
If none of the above remedies work and morning sickness is negatively impacting your day to day life, ability to work and/or care for your other children, your doctor or midwife may prescribe anti-nausea medication.
When to See a Doctor for Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is an incredibly normal part of pregnancy, but it never hurts to bring it up to your doctor when you go to your monthly checkup. Let them know your symptoms and how it is impacting you. Simply talking it over and hearing that it’s perfectly normal from a medical professional can help ease feelings of unease.
In severe cases it’s important to reach out to your doctor ahead of your next scheduled visit. Call your midwife or general practitioner as soon as possible if you experience the following symptoms:
- You cannot keep down any fluids or solids for 24 hours – this could lead to dehydration and malnutrition.
- A fever accompanies your nausea and vomiting.
- Your urine is very dark in color or you have not had to pee in 8+ hours.
- You are experiencing bad stomach pains.
- Blood comes up in your vomit.
- You faint or feel extremely weak or dizzy when going from sitting to standing.
Go easy on yourself, being pregnant is no easy task. Let the laundry pile up and take a nap, there’s nothing more important than getting rest and focusing on self care at this time.
Shop Belly Bandit
About the time you start to notice that cute belly showing, your morning sickness symptoms should be starting to resolve. It’s around this time you will want to consider maternity fashion and maternity belly support bands. Our Belly Bandit® support bands are specially designed to support you in all of the right places, because let’s be real, when you’re pregnant you need all the help you can get.