My best friend came back this month from U.S and I was so excited. This time it was more special as she was bringing the most beautiful gift with her. Yes! You guessed it right. She is expecting and will be here till the time the baby is delivered. So, I went to the airport to pick her and it was so good to see her again and then when she sat in the car suddenly she felt like throwing up. After a while this subsided and she explained to me that she was currently working her way through morning sickness. To which I started letting my curiosity run its course – What is morning sickness?; When you start facing this? ; What are the other symptoms associated with it? and so on and my questions were non-stop.
After collecting ample amount of information related to morning sickness and spending some quality time with her I decided to jot down my experience which could help new expecting mothers and answer their queries.
Morning sickness; a common misnomer, is used to address the nausea that pregnant women experience primarily in their first trimester. In a small percentage this nausea is also followed by vomiting.
Although, this phase does not last long but it is a tough phase to handle and vomiting every day is never a soothing experience.There are multiple reasons associated with the occurrence of morning sickness. These can be hormonal changes, sensitive stomach, sensitivity to odours which we will read in below section in detail.
Sometimes, morning sickness can be observed after 4 to 6 weeks as well. If it is continued for a long time, it can also lead to dehydration which should be taken care of.
How to know whether the nausea is pregnancy related?
When you wake up in the morning and you start feeling uneasy. That uneasiness is associated with stomach. Then you start wondering whether it is the food that you ate yesterday that is the reason for this or does it have something to do with being pregnant?
How can one really differentiate between the two? Let’s further discuss on the differences among Normal Nausea and Morning Sickness:
Normal Nausea :
Nausea is a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach with an involuntary urge to vomit. It may precede vomiting which ultimately results in one bringing up all their stomach content which is making them feel uneasy.
Nausea is a symptom of many disease processes and is not a disease in itself. We would discuss few of the conditions in which one could experience the nausea.
Stress could be one of the reason which could make one feel uncomfortable and make them want to puke.
Seasickness or travelling
Seasickness or travelling, can make one feel nausea as some people are sensitive to the motions experienced during travelling and their body does not comfortably accept these conditions.
Food poisoning is yet another condition where a contaminated food can affect one’s digestive system and can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
Overeating and not keeping a check on the amount of food one needs to consume can eventually aggravate nausea.
Consumption of alcohol
Consumption of alcohol, especially for those not accustomed to the effects of alcohol can feel excessive nausea after a night of binge drinking.
Medical conditions like ulcers, tumors, cancer can also be a cause of nausea.
With Morning Sickness some of the symptoms one might observe include –
- Excessive salivation
- Sensitivity to odours
One should ideally consult with a physician to clear doubts concerning the nausea symptoms they are experiencing.
When does Morning Sickness Start?
Some might wonder what is the duration of morning sickness? My friend started experiencing it from starting of the 4th week of her pregnancy. She added that the onset of morning sickness is generally between 4th to 6th week but sometimes one can also experience the same as soon as they miss their period.
I was curious to know for how long this phase lasts. She answered that it can last up to the 16th week of pregnancy but some women might experience it throughout their pregnancy or if they are lucky enough they will not go through this at all.
What causes Morning Sickness/Nausea?
“Morning Sickness the only time you feel crap and can smile about it “
After experiencing the mood swings and the morning sickness phase, I went to the doctor with my friend with an array of questions prepared for the doctor.
So my question to her was – What is the cause of morning sickness?
To which she replied – There is no specific reason for the same. There are multiple changes occur when a woman is expecting and those multiple changes can be a cause for the morning sickness and these include:
Increased level of pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which has been linked with morning sickness. The concept is when a fertilized egg gets attached to the uterine lining, the body begins to produce the hormone hCG.
Oestrogen is yet another hormone which is increased when one is pregnant, which can be associated with morning sickness.
Loss of some nutrients can also be a cause. Morning sickness usually subsides during 14 and 16 week and for some it could last longer.
She also added that once the hCG level drops it might ease the nausea, to which I raised another question that why the change occurred?
She smiled and answered that once the placenta takes over nourishing the baby, hCG level drops.
How To Identify Morning Sickness
“You can’t drink any alcohol and you still get a hangover every morning”
Nausea is all about vomiting, mood swings, discomfort, dizziness, weakness as well as aversions to certain smells and food.
I noticed that my friend was once a fan of chilly potato and now after her pregnancy she started hating them and that was a bad news for me since I loved them too. Slowly she started being sensitive towards certain smells. I must say pregnancy is not an easy phase.
How to cure Nausea?
“The Morning Sickness will all be worth it in Nine Months”
Doctors provide various medications to get relief from nausea and that includes Vitamin B6 and other medicines which is a combination of vitamins and other nutrients that would ease the nausea. If the nausea is caused by a gastrointestinal issue then other medications are given. Consulting your doctor is a great option to consider when you are tired of morning sickness.
Foods that help to reduce nausea?
“Surviving Morning Sickness Gracefully”
Morning sickness can be treated by medicines that includes multi vitamins so that an expectant mom can get some relief from the symptoms of morning sickness.
Before, the allopathic medicines came into picture our earlier generations went for nature based methods to get relief from such conditions. My friend and I started looking for the same as natural products are beneficial to the body and not harmful. We also went to our grandmom for some experienced advice. After, our days of research we found out some foods that can soothe the journey through during this phase.
A list below highlight some of the foods that help curtail some of the symptoms of morning sickness.
Miracle food with lot of benefits from curing cold to being a miracle remedy in nausea. It neutralizes stomach acid. One can take it in different forms by adding it to your foods, tea, ginger ale or you can have it raw.
It is yet another superfood to go for when you feel nausea. It will soothe your stomach. You can smell the lemon as well to make yourself better from the morning sickness.
This has yet another great smell that can aid you with morning sickness making you feel better.
Choose complex carbs (whole grain breads and pastas, legumes, vegetables, beans) rather than going for heavy foods as the digestive system slows down when you are expecting. Whole grains are really helpful as they also hold onto water which helps to prevent constipation.
Veggies contain fibre which are good for digestion and are great food to have while you are expecting.
Yogurt is yet another food that one can have to avoid morning sickness.
There are many choices to pick from which include Red Raspberry, Lemon, Spearmint, Peppermint, Peach or Chamomile. They are beneficial in hydrating your body and it is believed that it leads to shorter contractions and raspberry leaf has been suggested to tone the uterine muscle. Herbal teas are known for their antioxidant properties which is a boost for the immune system.
Due to their neutral tastes, crackers are suggested as a go to snack during morning sickness. Pregnant women are recommended to keep a pack handy at all times.
Foods to Avoid
While my friend was going through this period of Morning Sickness we kept on noting what food should she go for.
It is really important when you are going for positives look out for negatives too as food knowledge is highly important because wrong food can lead to complications. We should keep a check on food that needs to be avoided during this stage as there are many that can aggravate the nausea.
So I started observing the same and of course we had grandma to guide us through this journey.
I prepared a list on what food we should avoid to get rid of Morning Sickness or soothe it.
Citric fruits like oranges and limes are likely to increase indigestion and nausea. Therefore it is best to keep the citric fruits at bay. It is good to note that this effect isn’t the same for all women therefore it might work for some, while the others might have to stay away from it.
Fried and foods saturated with oil, are enticing at times as they are tasty but they are a great contributor to Morning Sickness. They should be avoided or should be taken in less quantity.
Some expecting ladies become lactose intolerant that make them feel more nausea when they get in range of that smell. Therefore dairy products should be kept in a check as well the quantity should be considered.
Chilis are yet another ingredient that one should avoid as lot of spices can create more issues than doing any good. Spicy food can cause heartburn. During this phase pregnant women are prone to heartburn due to the change in hormonal levels.
Unfortunately, I had to cut my visit short as I had to leave on an assignment. This month was full of experiences and full of fun. After meeting her I collected a lot of information regarding nausea and this experience I thought should be shared with all the mother who are expecting to impart some much needed wisdom during your upcoming pregnancy.
Nausea is a tough situation to handle but it is a good sign as well as it is due to the hormones that peak during the pregnancy. Morning sickness is a part of your 9 month journey but be careful with your choice of foods. I know that pregnancy comes with lot of pain and uneasiness but dealing with it in an informed manner and proper consultation is a sign of intelligence..
All expecting mothers should keep this thing in note that one should have a beautiful journey by being aware and prepared. Enjoy Motherhood!