Morning sickness refers to nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite during pregnancy. Despite the name, it can be experienced at any time of the day and sometimes a general feeling of nausea can persist all day long. Every woman is different and even each pregnancy for the same woman can be different. Morning sickness generally happens during the first trimester (first three months). For some women, it can last longer but usually by the time you reach 12-13 weeks the nausea will disappear.
Causes can vary but generally speaking it is due to the physical changes in your body during pregnancy included hormonal changes. Other things that can make it worse include stress, lack of sleep or frequent traveling. Know that morning sickness will not affect the baby as long are you are still able to drink fluids and eat at least a little.
There is no cure for morning sickness but there are ways to help alleviate the symptoms:
- Eat smaller means more often throughout the day
- Nibble on crackers like saltines or dry cereal
- Drink plenty of fluids as much as possible
- Ginger drops (similar to cough drops), teas or ginger ale
- Get fresh air
- Avoid strong odors
- Take your prenatal vitamins whenever able to with food
- Get plenty of rest
- Some women find relief through an acupressure wristband which you can get at a local pharmacy
Call a doctor or urgent care facility if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Nausea and vomiting that is severe and not improving (vomiting more than 3-4 times in a 24 hour period)
- You have lost more than 2 pounds of weight
- You are vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- You are unable to keep fluids down for 24 hours
- You are craving something unusual such as dirt or chalk (pica)
Your doctor may prescribe something to help only if the symptoms are severe enough, but do not take any medications unless you have consulted your doctor.