Battling Morning Sickness: First Trimester Blues
Why do you get morning sickness?
Though the exact cause of morning sickness is not clear, it is believed to result from the surging levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), produced in pregnant women. The levels of hCG are highest in the first trimester of pregnancy, which could be when morning sickness afflicts the most. An interesting observation is that despite its name, morning sickness could occur at any time of the day.
The occurrence of morning sickness is a good indicator that pregnancy hormone levels are increasing in the mother’s body; research has shown little or no morning sickness to be related to an increased rate of miscarriage.
How to tackle morning sickness
Morning sickness strikes during the initial weeks of pregnancy, a time that is otherwise full of excitement for a newly pregnant woman. Here are some tips to adjust to the effects of pregnancy hormone and deal with morning sickness:
- Eating small portions; eat frequently – For most women, nausea is at its worst when they haven’t eaten in a while, like upon waking up in the morning. Munching on some cereals or biscuits the moment one wakes up can help deal with morning nausea. The key lies in eating smaller meals to allow food to be digested and reduces the chances of vomiting.
- Eating foods that are metabolised quickly – Bland carbohydrates like bread, pasta and rice are good for pregnant women fighting morning sickness; also the body digests foods rich in protein slowly, increasing their chances of retention. These can be eaten during the day to reduce the nausea feeling.
- Staying hydrated – It is important for pregnant women to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily to combat dehydration that accompanies morning sickness. If the feeling of nausea is strong enough to prevent keeping down water too, carbonated drinks like lime soda or ginger ale can make sure the body gets adequate fluids.
- Ginger – Many women battling morning sickness favour a natural home remedy against morning sickness, which is ginger. Small amounts of grated ginger (no more than 1 gram per day) in water or tea can help quell the uneasy feeling.
- Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 (a maximum of 25 mg per day) tablets can calm the stomach and is safe to use during pregnancy. It is known to alleviate morning sickness symptoms in many pregnant women.
- Getting medical help – In case modulating diet and eating pattern does not provide relief from morning sickness, and if the intensity is severe enough to prevent daily activities, a pregnant woman should consult her doctor. Very severe cases of morning sickness can cause disrupt the chemical balance in the body and lead to dehydration. There are medications available to tackle morning sickness that are safe for use during pregnancy.
“Doing Battle With Morning Sickness,” WebMD.com, http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/battle-morning-sickness
“Morning Sickness Misery,” WebMD.com, Carol Sorgen, http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/morning-sickness-misery
“Morning Sickness Relief: Eating With Morning Sickness,” American Pregnancy Association http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/survivingmorningsickness.html
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