What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness is stomach upset, nausea, or vomiting that often happens during pregnancy. More than half of pregnant women have morning sickness during the first trimester. It usually goes away by about 14 weeks of pregnancy, when the level of pregnancy hormones gets lower.
When morning sickness is severe it is called hyperemesis gravidarum. If you have severe morning sickness, you may need intravenous (IV) treatment at home, or you may need to go to the hospital for treatment..
How does it occur?
It is not well understood why some women develop morning sickness and others do not. Women with high levels of pregnancy hormones tend to have morning sickness. Usually it is not as bad in pregnancies after the first pregnancy. It is also more common when a woman is pregnant with more than 1 baby – – for example, with twins.
What are the symptoms?
Mild symptoms include nausea, queasy stomach, and vomiting 1 to 2 times a day.
The symptoms of severe morning sickness include:
· Repeated vomiting soon after eating or drinking anything, including water
· Weight loss
· Dark-coloured urine
· Dizziness or lightheadedness
How is it diagnosed?
Your primary care provider will ask about your symptoms. You may have lab tests of your blood and urine.
How is it treated?
Your treatment may include changes in diet. Things that you can do that might help relieve mild morning sickness are:
· Eating foods with no fiber that are high in protein, such as cheese
· Eat small meals often 4 to 6 times a day) instead of 2 or 3 larger meals.
· Avoid strong odours and greasy or spic y foods.
· Eating foods that are bland and dry
· Eat more foods with vitamin B6, such as green, leafy vegetables
· Drinking salty fluids, such as broth, cola, and Gatorade
· Drink between meals instead of with meals
· Eating dry toast or crackers or a couple of slices of apple before you get out of bed (movement often makes morning sickness worse)
· Wear acupressure wrist bands (like the wrist bands used for motion sickness).
· Take antihistamine medicine recommended by your primary care provider that is safe during pregnancy.
· Take vitamin B6 shots
Because you are losing fluids when you throw up, it is important to stay hydrated. Even if liquids stay down just an hour, your body still absorbs a lot in that time. Try sucking on ice chips or Popsicles. Take small sips often rather than drinking a whole glass of fluid all at once. Some women find that drinking small sips of peppermint tea relieves their symptoms.
Check with your primary care provider before you use any natural remedies.
Moderate morning sickness may be treated with:
· Medicine prescribed by your primary care provider to reduce nausea and vomiting
· Hypnosis or acupuncture as alternative treatments
· Intravenous (IV) fluid to relieve or prevent dehydration
Severe morning sickness may require:
· Staying at the hospital
· Not eating or drinking anything for 1 to 3 days, then slowly introducing food into your diet
· Fluids given into a view (IV)
· An ultrasound exam.
A dietitian can help you plan a way to eat balanced diet. You may also want to talk to a social worker about what kind of help you may need at home.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on Morning sickness visit the following:
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada at: http://sogc.org/publications/nausea-and-vomiting-during-pregnancy/