Morning sickness

Morning sickness is experienced by up to half of all women in pregnancy.  It usually starts at around 6 weeks and while it is probably the most common side effect of pregnancy the reality is, not all women get physically sick. You may just feel sick and that can interfere with normal day to day life. It is not confined to mornings either, it can happen anytime of the day or night. You might be worried that if you are being sick often, your baby isn’t  getting enough of what they need but rest assured that no matter how little you manage to keep down, your baby will take all it needs to strive and develop. So while you might be feeling absolutely terrible, your baby will be fine.

It is not known why some women experience morning sickness and others sail through pregnancy completely unaffected. It is believed that the high levels of hormones in your system are to blame, particularly Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) which is at its highest during the 1st trimester. HCG supports the development of the baby at the beginning of pregnancy and starts to decrease around week 13, when the placenta is ready to take over. This might explain why most morning sickness disappears between the 13th -15th weeks.

If you find that your sickness occurs in the morning, it can be related to low blood sugar levels. This is caused by not eating for long periods, such as when you sleep.

You are more likely to experience morning sickness if:

  • It’s your first pregnancy
  • You are having a multiple birth, such as twins or triplets
  • You experience travel or motion sickness
  • You are obese
  • You are stressed.

While there is no magic cure for morning sickness – here are some tips to help you cope;

  • Have a plain biscuit or cracker before you get out of bed in the morning to increase your blood sugars (Low blood sugar is caused by not eating for long periods, such as when you are asleep)
  • Get lots of rest as tiredness can make nausea feel much worse
  • Eat small meals regularly
  • Avoid fatty foods as they are harder to digest
  • Avoid strong smells and flavours as this can make nausea worse
  • Try foods containing ginger, such as ginger tea or biscuits, or crystallised or root ginger.
  • Herbal tea such as peppermint tea can help settle your stomach.
  • Acupressure or acupuncture works effectively. You can have acupuncture or get acupressure wristbands – like the ones used for sea sickness

1 in 500 women experience a more serious form of morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarium. This is a condition where women are severely nauseated and continually vomit, often to the point of dehydration or exhaustion. It usually requires hospital admission where women receive fluids and anti-sickness medication to make them feel better.

No matter how bad you are suffering from sickness, or how awful you are feeling from the nausea, remember it doesn’t last forever and you should be back to normal in your second trimester. It will all be worth it when you are cradling you beautiful little baby in your arms.

If you need some more tips on getting through morning sickness why not contact our Careline.