Pregnancy

Why Does Morning Sickness Occur And How Can I Stop It!

morning sicknessMorning sickness is probably one of the most unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy. Although it is called -morning sickness’ a lot of women may experience nausea and vomiting in the early evening hours, or even in mid-afternoon. In the same vein, there are also many women who happily go through pregnancy never experiencing the waves of nausea and the bouts of vomiting. Morning sickness symptoms are present, on average, in about one in every two hundred and fifty pregnancies, and the symptoms vary from being mild to severe.

 

What causes morning sickness?

Up until know, the medical world has been unable to successfully establish a single cause for morning sickness. The most common cause has been linked to the high amount of the pregnancy hormone HCG present in the bloodstream. This hormone is at an all-time high level during the first trimester, which may explain why, once women are in their second trimester of pregnancy, morning sickness is less severe or in most cases disappears totally! The HCG or pregnancy hormone causes the uterus muscles to stretch rapidly and to relax. This is done to prepare the uterus for the growing baby. This action causes digestion problems and leads to an excess amount of stomach acid which results in nausea and vomiting may occur. The reason why morning sickness was so termed is because women feel unwell or ill when their stomachs are empty (usually on waking) and the excess stomach acids results in the waves of nausea or vomiting.

Many doctors believe that emotional factors also play a large role and that women in western cultures have associated morning sickness with pregnancy (and will suffer from the symptoms). In primitive societies, morning sickness is unheard of! Research into morning sickness has also indicated that a woman who is unhappy about the pregnancy, or if the pregnancy is unplanned will suffer from severe nausea and bouts of uncontrollable vomiting. However, in cases where women are content and with the pregnancy, morning sickness is very slight or they suffer from no morning sickness symptoms at all.

Women pregnant with their first child, tend to suffer from morning sickness far more in their first pregnancy than in any subsequent pregnancies, and this may indicate that they are unable to cope with the rush of hormones during the first pregnancy. Later, their bodies are better equipped to deal with the surge of hormones and to this end morning sickness is less severe or not experienced.

 

Morning sickness treatments

At present, no medication has been approved to treat morning sickness but an obstetrician may recommend various treatments that will ease the symptoms, and these include:

  • Antacids, such as Gaviscon, work well to reduce the excess stomach acid;
  • Increasing the intake of vitamin B6;
  • Women who suffer from severe morning sickness can reduce the symptoms by eating smaller meals throughout the day. Rather than three heavy meals, try eating six small meals, such as fruit or yoghurts – avoid foods high in sugar and fat;
  • Crackers or dry toast before getting up will help to reduce nausea. Eating dry crackers or bland food throughout the day will also help to relieve the symptoms of nausea;
  • Foods which are high in proteins are great at keeping waves of nausea at bay;
  • Try to reduce the volume of fluids and opt to drink smaller amounts during the day;
  • Women who experience bouts of vomiting, will need to replace lost body fluids, and they can do this by drinking small amounts of water, herbal teas, or fruit juices (dilute the fruit juices, if necessary);
  • Before bedtime, a high protein snack may help to reduce morning sickness, the next day;
  • Use a plain tasting toothpaste that will not trigger queasiness;
  • Eat slower and chew food well, try identify smells or foods that are known nausea triggers and avoid them;
  • Avoid stress – relax and take it easy!

 

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