To Your Pregnancy : Treat Morning Sickness Now
Dr Brian Swallow, one of the organisers, became interested in pregnancy sickness after his wife Valerie suffered from it severely during both her pregnancies. You even get employers who think women are exaggerating its severity so they can have time off work," says Swallow. Around seven in 10 pregnant women have episodes of nausea during pregnancy; but a smaller number, around one in 50, suffers the kind of extreme sickness, or "hyperemesis gravidarum", experienced by Harrison.
And for one in , the symptoms are bad enough to require hospital treatment, usually because they've become so dehydrated that they need intravenous fluids. Before the arrival of drips, in the s, women even died of it," says Barnie-Adshead. Yet despite its potential seriousness, many women feel their symptoms aren't taken seriously enough by the medical establishment. The problem, says Swallow, is that there is no clearly defined way of dealing with it medically. Some doctors may be very good at knowing how to help — but for too many women, the response of their GP will be that it's just something you have to put up with.
The cause of pregnancy sickness isn't clear. We know it's hormonally-linked, but we're unsure whether the sickness affects the hormones, or whether the hormones cause the sickness.
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One theory is that evolution has preprogrammed pregnant women to reject food because it could contain substances that are harmful to the embryo. In early pregnancy, when sickness is more common, you don't need a lot of extra calories, so going off food because you're feeling sick could be a protective mechanism. Morning sickness affects around 80 percent of all pregnant females. Women who use hormonal contraception or HRT hormone replacement therapy may also have symptoms similar to morning sickness. In the vast majority of cases, morning sickness, although an unpleasant experience, has no health risk for the baby and is a regular part of pregnancy.
In fact, some studies indicate that morning sickness during pregnancy can be a sign of a healthy pregnancy, with lower rates of miscarriages and stillbirths, compared with pregnancies with no nausea or vomiting. Here are some key points about morning sickness. More detail and supporting information is in the main article. For most cases of morning sickness, treatment by a doctor is not necessary. However, there are some things that might alleviate symptoms.
A full list of these can be found in our article top tips to minimize morning sickness. However, here are a few ideas:.
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Rest - tiredness can make nausea worse. Getting plenty of rest is vital. Liquids - fluid intake should be regular and in small amounts, rather than less often and in large quantities. This may help reduce vomiting. Sucking ice cubes made from water or fruit juice or trying lollipops can help. Food - consuming more meals per day, with smaller portions may help, especially high-carbohydrate meals.
Dry and savory foods, such as crackers or crispbread are usually better tolerated than sweet or spicy foods. Cold meals are often better tolerated than hot ones because they have less odor. Empty stomach - pregnant women with morning sickness should try to avoid having an empty stomach. Early morning - many women find that eating plain biscuits about 20 minutes before getting up helps.
Triggers - it does not take long to identify nausea triggers. Avoiding them helps reduce the frequency and severity of nausea and vomiting. Medical treatment - if symptoms are still severe, despite attempting self-care measures, the doctor may recommend a short course of anti-sickness medication antiemetic , which is safe to use during pregnancy.
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Ginger supplement - some studies have shown that ginger supplement may help reduce nausea symptoms during pregnancy. Women should purchase this from a reputable source. Ginger supplements are available for purchase in health food stores or online. B-6 and doxylamine - this combination is sold over the counter as Unisom SleepTabs.
It has been recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for treating morning sickness during the first trimester. Trials have found this combination to be effective at reducing nausea and vomiting in up to 70 percent of cases. Side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth , headache , nervousness, and stomach pain. Unisom SleepTabs are available for purchase over the counter or online. Diclegis - this drug is FDA-approved for use by pregnant women. One clinical trial found that Diclegis completely relieved nausea in 44 percent of women with morning sickness.
Another study found that more than 70 percent of women reported improvements in symptoms. Acupressure - this is the application of pressure on specific points on the body to control symptoms. It involves wearing a special band sometimes called a sea-band on the forearm. Some limited evidence suggests that this may help improve nausea and vomiting symptoms in pregnant women, although large-scale trials are lacking. The exact causes of morning sickness are still not known; however, most agree that hormonal changes probably play a role:.
Estrogen levels - experts believe it might be partly due to an increase in the circulating level of estrogen , which can be times higher during pregnancy, compared with levels found in women who are not pregnant. However, there is no evidence to show a difference in estrogen levels between pregnant women with or without morning sickness. Progesterone levels - when a woman is pregnant, her levels of progesterone also rise.
High levels of progesterone relax the uterus womb muscles to prevent early childbirth. However, it may also relax the stomach and intestines, resulting in excess stomach acids and GERD gastroesophageal reflux disease, or acid reflux. Hypoglycemia - low blood sugar, caused by the placenta draining energy from the mother's body. However, there are no studies to prove this.
The all-day hell of extreme morning sickness
Human chorionic gonadotropin hCG - this hormone is first produced by the developing embryo soon after conception and then later by the placenta. Some experts suggest there may be a link between hCG and morning sickness. Sense of smell - during pregnancy, there may be an increase in sensitivity to odors, which might overstimulate normal nausea triggers. Any woman who is pregnant has the potential for developing morning sickness. However, the risk is higher if:. Some experts suggest that morning sickness could be an evolutionary adaptation that protects pregnant mothers and their babies from food poisoning.
If the woman with morning sickness does not feel like eating foods, which may be potentially contaminated, such as poultry, eggs, or meat, and prefers foods with a low contamination risk, such as rice, bread, and crackers, the survival chances for her and her child are improved.
Adult humans have defenses against plant toxins, including a wide range of detoxification enzymes produced by the liver. In the developing baby, these defenses are not yet fully developed, and even relatively small amounts of toxins could be harmful. The baby's developing organs are most vulnerable to toxins between weeks , more or less the time when morning sickness peaks. Not every pregnant woman will get morning sickness.
These ideas have not been scientifically proven to work but they have helped some women, so you might like to try them out:. If you do decide to tell them about your pregnancy, this is a good time to talk about any changes to your work that might help.
For example, you might need easier access to a toilet. Or if smells from the kitchen or canteen are triggering your sickness, maybe you could move somewhere else until you feel better. You may have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. If you are vomiting several times a day or are not able to eat and drink at all without being sick, you may be dehydrated, which is why you feel so bad.
There are several medicines that are safe to use in pregnancy, including anti-sickness drugs anti-emetics or steroids. This will usually be for a few days so the doctors can assess the condition and work out the best way to manage it for you and your baby. Congratulations on your pregnancy! This page covers the evidence-based recommendations from midwives of things to do and not do in pregnancy. Find out how healthy you are with our simple calculator tools and see what changes you can make to help you have a healthier pregnancy. Smoking, drinking, folic acid and miscarriage.
Get answers to some of the common worries in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Nausea, extreme tiredness, sore breasts, cramps Flying is fine. And sex actually gets better for some. The truth behind 10 of the most misunderstood pregnancy myths. You may have heard about morning sickness and extreme tiredness, but what about these other common but less talked about pregnancy symptoms. Your first antenatal appointment with a midwife is called a 'booking' visit and will take longer than later visits. Folic acid is a vitamin B9 which is important in the early weeks of pregnancy because it helps close the neural tube. Next review date April 10th, I had a really different case of morning sickness this time!
Morning sickness - information and support | Tommy’s
I didn't get it until after the 12 week mark. And, even now, at 28 weeks, it happens occassionally in the mornings : No nausea either, just like really bad acid reflux. Hi, I'm 22 weeks exactly and I'm still being sick up to 5 times a day. At my worst weeks I was being sick times a day and vomiting blood. I know the amount of times I've been sick has gone down dramatically, but is it normal to still be vomiting at this stage in my pregnancy?
I'm really worried as I'm still struggling to eat and I've lost approx. For most women the nausea and sickness usually settles by 12 to 14 weeks however, some women will continue to have symptoms beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. Hi I am 7 weeks and up until now only thing I've had is tiredness however this week I've started to feel sick although havnt actually been sick and have diarrhea is this common?
Hi Susan, It is possible that you may have a stomach bug as you are having diarrhoea too, this is not normally a pregnancy symptom. We would advise you to keep hydrated and snack on foods when you can. If it goes on longer than a few days or you are struggling to keep down water then do see your GP. Best wishes Tommy's midwife. I found out I am pregnant recently and since I got a cold.
Is that normal? Is it me or my body adjusting to the baby? This is my first and I young. Hi Congratulations on your pregnancy. Yes when you are pregnant your immune system is weaker and it is very common to have colds and feeling unwell, especially as it is the winter at the moment and this is more common anyways. You are limited in what you can take in pregnancy so try to rest, and drink plenty of water with lots of fruits and vegetables and you should feel better soon. If you have high temperature and paracetamol does not bring it down or you feel flu like symptoms then do see your midwife or GP for advice.
Best wishes, Tommy's midwives x. Hi, Thank you for your comment. Pregnancy sickness can be really debilitating for some women and they can suffer really badly.
This normally settles done around 12 weeks, as you enter the second trimester, but for some it can last a bit longer. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and eating well. If this continues then you can always speak to your GP or midwife and see if you can be prescribed something to help. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x. Hi there It can be normal for sickness to come and go. For some lucky ladies, they never once experience nausea or vomiting. For others, they experience a lot more of it. Unfortunately it's pot luck where you will fall. Just because in a previous pregnancy you experienced one thing, doesn't mean that you will experience it the same way again.
Every pregnancy is different. They will be able to perform an early scan and review you to make sure all is ok. I really do hope that you can stop worrying too much and try to relax a little.