Morning sickness is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy and one of the most annoying.
The term is used to describe nausea and vomiting experienced by a pregnant woman. The term is slightly misleading because it suggests that the nausea and vomiting will be limited to the morning hours, but that is not true. Morning sickness can be experienced at any time of the day.
Feeling nauseous is not pleasant, and many expecting moms who consult with me progress from feeling irritated, to anxious to depressed because of it.
What helps when the nausea is getting you down?
- Knowing why you are feeling nauseous
- Recognizing that nausea is a good thing in pregnancy
- Understanding what you can do to minimize nausea
What causes morning sickness?
The exact cause of morning sickness is yet to be discovered, but the following are suspected to be the cause.
- Elevated levels of Estrogen
- Elevated levels of hCG
- A slow digestive system
- An enhanced sense of smell
- Anxiety and stress
How to keep your spirits high during morning sickness?
When you are feeling crushed by nausea remember the following
- Vomiting is proof that you have enough hormones in circulation to keep your pregnancy going well.
- The queasy feeling that compels you to look suspiciously at everything edible is keeping your baby safe from toxins you may unknowingly ingest.
- You are not starving your baby by not being able to eat. In the first trimester, your baby is so small that you do not need to eat more than what you were eating pre-pregnancy to nourish it.
Tips to cope with morning sickness
- Avoid rushing – Don’t jump out of bed in the morning. Spend some time lying awake before you get up.
- Eat something as soon as you wake up – Nausea is usually more severe on an empty stomach. Nibble on something dry, salty and crunchy as soon as you wake up.
3. Keep your blood sugar stable – Fluctuating blood sugars can cause nausea. Eat small meals frequently.
4. Balance your meals – Eating too much sugary food may cause more nausea. Try and eat foods that provide complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats in every bite.
5. Add soothing spices – Use spices like ginger, jeera, hing and ajwain to facilitate digestion. Indigestion can cause vomiting.
6. Avoid strong smells – Eat cold food instead of hot food so that the aromas don’t trigger your nausea.
7. Stay hydrated – Drink enough water in small sips. Do not gulp water. Dehydration can make you feel like vomiting, so can too much water.
8. Avoid deep fried food – Fatty food stays in the stomach for longer and can cause nausea.
9. Walk around – When you feel like vomiting distract yourself by walking around. Try to get some fresh air.
10. Rest – When you are exhausted, you are likely to experience more nausea.
Remember, that while some degree of nausea is normal, if you are vomiting too much you must contact your doctor for help. You may require medication to stop the vomiting and correct the dehydration resulting from it.
Dr. Debmita Dutta MBBS, MD
Dr. Debmita Dutta is a practicing doctor, a parenting consultant, a published parenting author and the founder of the website WPA whatparentsask.com – She is based in Bangalore and conducts online and offline Parenting workshops at schools and corporate organizations. She also conducts online and offline prenatal classes for expecting parents and infant care classes for new parents.