Morning Sickness & Nausea During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms

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Morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy, truth be told, is not the nicest feeling to wake up to. Pregnancy opens doors to multiple pains and aches in a woman’s body, the kind of sensation she otherwise was oblivious of.

Tired of waking up and heading directly to the pot – not to poop but to throw up? Let us help you through it! Read on to learn about the causes, symptoms, and probable treatments to deal with pregnancy morning sickness like a boss!

What Is Morning Sickness ?

Morning sickness is the term used for nausea and vomiting that takes place during the term of pregnancy. As a pregnant woman, you can expect your sense of smell and taste to heighten, which, in turn, causes an aversion towards certain foods and smells- perhaps even the foods you loved most pre-pregnancy!

Though called ‘morning sickness,’ the bouts of nausea and vomiting can actually take place at any time during the day or at night in pregnant women and is not limited only to mornings. While some lucky women might not experience morning sickness at all, typically, three on five women go through this misery.

At What Point In Pregnancy Does Morning Sickness Start ?

Typically, morning sickness starts at around the 6th-week mark into pregnancy and not on the first morning after ‘trying’ for a baby as seen in rom-com movies. The first trimester can be expected to be the hardest as the first trimester is when morning sickness peaks to its best.

How Long Does Morning Sickness Last ?

As per the American College of Obstetricians,  morning sickness starts to get less intense and begins to curb down by the 14th week of pregnancy. Though this number is obviously different from woman to woman, it is recommended to see a doctor if your morning sickness does not go down at all after the 14th week,  as it could be an indication of a condition called ‘hyperemesis gravidarum.’

HG or hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe condition that causes extreme, persistent, and unpleasant episodes of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy causing dehydration, weight loss, and even an electrolyte imbalance.

What Causes Morning Sickness During Pregnancy ?

The absolute cause of morning sickness has not yet been fully determined by researchers. However, multiple changes that take place in a woman’s body during pregnancy is considered to be one of the most probable reasons for it. Increased hormone levels during the first few weeks and low blood sugar levels are regarded as the most common causes of morning sickness during pregnancy.

A few other, less popular reasons for morning sickness also include the proteins released by the placenta, but again, doctors and researchers are still in their pursuit to determine the absolute cause behind morning sickness during pregnancy.

A few other theories associated with morning sickness include-

1. Increased levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG. hCG, it should be noted, is heightened at the time morning sickness

2. High levels of estrogen and progesterone tend to relax the muscles of the digestive, making digestion less efficient

3. Rapid stretching of the uterine muscles

4. A heightened sense of smell could also cause a nauseated reaction

5. Pregnancy Heartburns

However, as the good news of reassurance, some doctors even say that nausea during pregnancy could be a good sign and that women who suffer from nausea and vomiting during the first trimester are at a lower risk of miscarriage than those who don’t.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Morning Sickness ?

Not only do the signs and symptoms of morning sickness vary from woman to woman, but so does the degree of these signs and symptoms. While some women might only experience occasional episodes of vomiting limited to mornings, some might go through full-blown, persistent episodes of vomiting and nausea each day, all day.

Though it can be difficult to predetermine what kind of pregnancy and what symptoms or degree of morning sickness you’d have to suffer from, the most obvious symptom of morning sickness, obviously, is vomiting and nausea.  Some other non-obvious symptoms and signs of morning sickness, however, can include-

1. Seasickness or carsickness

2. Randomly occurring queasiness in the day or night

3. Strong aversions to certain smells and foods making you want to puke

4. A seasick feeling followed by hunger pangs

5. Post-meal nausea

How To Differentiate Morning Sickness From Just Sickness ?

As a pregnant woman, life can become a little more difficult than expected. Anything that happens to you as a pregnant woman, be it a fever, indigestion, or morning sickness– is typically all associated with a baby. However, when and how do you know if what you consider harmless morning sickness is actually something more serious?

Signs that your morning sickness is not morning sickness include:

1. A late occurring morning sickness

As mentioned, morning sickness typically begins between the 6th-9th week of pregnancy. If you have started to feel nausea only after this period, it most likely is not morning sickness and you should speak to your doctor asap.

2. Abdominal pain

Morning sickness, apart from the temporary discomfort and feeling of being drained, does not cause stomach or abdominal pain. If you feel unrealistic pain in your stomach, abdomen, or even tenderness, it might be signs of an ulcer or food poisoning. Don’t blame the baby!

3. Fever and headache
Persistent fever and/or headaches with nausea could be signs of sickness and not morning sickness. Always good to be double sure.

4. A swollen neck In case you are suffering from nausea, examine the front of your neck for swelling. A swollen thyroid gland at the front of the neck might be the cause of nausea and not your baby.

How to Treat Morning Sickness? How to Treat Morning Sickness ?

Though there are a few tips and tricks that can help reduce symptoms of morning sickness and nausea, we also want to make this clear: these are only some tips and none of them offer 100% guaranteed results. Try out a couple, test what works best for you, and let us know in the comment section too!

1. Eat!

Doctors recommend eating as much as possible and not leaving your stomach empty as that often causes an onset of morning sickness. It might also sound bizarre but try keeping something to munch on right by your bedside and crunch as soon as you wake up.

2. Indulge in smaller meals

Though it is recommended to eat, it is also recommended to keep the portions small but the frequency high. Try not feeding your stomach too much as that can make digestion less efficient.

 3. Answer your cravings and aversions

While eating a tub of blueberry ice cream in the middle of the night might not be the most sensible thing to do, everything is okay during pregnancy. Keep your stomach happy, avoid foods that make you nauseous, and pamper yourself with foods that make you happy!

4. Identify what works for you

While carbs like crackers and cheese help some women get rid of morning sickness and nusea the symptoms thereof, some women find relief from munching on protein-laden foods like nuts and chicken

5. Ask your doctor for supplements

If you have a reason to believe your morning sickness is a little too overbearing, there really is no shame in reaching out to your doctor to end your suffering. Your doctor might prescribe supplements or drugs like Vitamin B6 and Doxylamine to help curb morning sickness. But the keyword here remains ‘speak to your doctor,’ before using any medication.

6. Foods like ginger, lemon, and watermelon are also known to offer some relief, however, it is a matter of trial and error before you figure out what works best!

Final Takeaway-

As a pregnant woman, there are so many caps to wear. You might even be still working and looking forward to maternity leave only halfway into your pregnancy and morning sickness and nausea at work or in public could be awful. Try and pack a survival kit with some mouthwash, a fresh set of change of clothes, some wet wipes, and perhaps breath mints to deal with morning sickness even on the go. Above all, we know it is easier said than done, but remember – morning sickness is only temporary and after all, not a price too heavy to pay for your baby, is it?

FAQs: Morning Sickness and Nausea During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and What to Expect

1. Does stress cause morning sickness during pregnancy ?

Some women do have more sensitive brains than others that can get triggered by hormones worse than others. Having said that, yes, emotional stress can trigger gastrointestinal troubles like nausea in pregnant women, making morning sickness a bitter reality.

2. Are first-time pregnant women more prone to morning sickness ?

Since first-time women and their bodies are new to the experience of carrying a baby, they are typically more prone to morning sickness than seasoned mothers. A surge of hormones and the anxiety of the unknown can cause stress and thereby an upset stomach or morning sickness.

3. What are Sea-Band wristlets ?

Sea-Band wristlets are 1-inch wide bands designed to put pressure on an acupressure point in the inner wrist to help lower the symptoms and occurrence of morning sickness. Sea-Band wristlets can be bought over-the-counter at a pharmacy. Other such bands in the market aimed to reduce the occurrence of morning sickness include battery-operated wristbands like Relief Bands that use gentle electrical stimulation; or Psi Band, which is a two acupuncture wristband with adjustable knobs to place on the inside of your wrists.
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