Whether you just found out you’re expecting or have known you’re pregnant for a few weeks, you might have experienced morning sickness. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is common. In fact, according to the US National Library of Medicine, up to 80% of pregnant women experience morning sickness in their first trimester.
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When does morning sickness start?
Morning sickness typically begins between weeks four and six of pregnancy, and can be experienced any time of day, not just the mornings. For most women, the intense nausea and vomiting subside around weeks 13-15, although some can experience morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy.
Why do pregnant women get morning sickness?
Women experience morning sickness for a variety of reasons, including
- A heightened sensitivity to certain smells (meat, garbage)
- Enhanced gastric reflux
- Rising hCG hormone levels and rising estrogen levels
How can I find morning sickness relief?
There are several ways to help morning sickness. Try the morning sickness remedies below to help alleviate your symptoms:
- Ask your doctor about taking folic acid before you conceive, then taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid at night once you’re pregnant.
- Eat before you get hungry.
- Don’t overeat.
- Try not to lie down for at least 30 minutes after eating.
- Brush your teeth after eating.
- If your nausea is worse in the mornings, keep saltine crackers by your bed and eat one before you sit up in the morning.
- Consume food and drinks with lemon and ginger.
- Sniff fresh lemon, ginger and oranges.
- Avoid strong perfumes, incense, strong smells, spicy foods, crowded rooms and loud noises.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid getting hot or overheated.
- Eat a saltine cracker first thing in the morning before sitting up in bed. Follow the saltine with a sip of Sprite or ginger ale. Then, sit up for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
- Take antacids as directed by your physician for heartburn or reflux.
- Try eating several small meals/snacks throughout the day that are high in protein and carbohydrates, such as crackers, low fat yogurt, bread, cottage cheese and ginger snaps.
- Stay hydrated. Though water is your best source of hydration, you can try sour or fizzy drinks such as lemonade or ginger ale if it is easier on your stomach.
- Drink very cold beverages.
While the above remedies can often help typical morning sickness, women with severe cases may be prescribed medication to ensure adequate nutrition is maintained throughout the pregnancy.
When should I call my doctor about morning sickness?
Even though morning sickness is a common part of pregnancy, sometimes severe cases require extra attention. Though you shouldn’t feel alarmed or panic if you experience the following symptoms, you should call your OB/GYN immediately to make sure you don’t need medical attention.
- Your vomiting is preventing you from keeping any food or fluids down.
- You experience fever or pain with morning sickness.
- You become dehydrated from vomiting. You may be dehydrated if your urine becomes dark, your heart begins racing or you experience shortness of breath while doing normal daily tasks.
What are some common morning sickness myths?
Myth #1: If you had morning sickness with your first child, you’ll definitely experience it with any subsequent pregnancies.
About a third of women don’t have morning sickness that mirrors the symptoms from an earlier pregnancy.
Myth #2: If you have morning sickness past your first trimester, something is wrong with your baby.
Women generally experience morning sickness between the 4th and 14th weeks of pregnancy, but many experience morning sickness through until the end of their pregnancy.
Myth #3: If you have morning sickness, your baby will be a girl.
Although some studies have claimed that women who experienced morning sickness birthed female babies, this conclusion is not considered well founded.
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