Many women experience morning sickness in the first trimester. However many more experience it in the second and/or third trimester. Some women even find it even continues for several weeks after the birth of their baby, until their hormones settle down. Up to 50% of women experience some type of pregnancy nausea or vomiting.
Morning Sickness is a misnomer; it can actually occur at any time of day or night. The medical term for it is nausea gravidarum.
Morning sickness can vary widely, ranging through the following:
- From mild nausea to severe and violent vomiting and heaving.
- Only sick during one short time of day or continual, all day discomfort.
- Starting at 2-7 weeks and lasting till 12-14 weeks. In some cases it can last all the way till the end of pregnancy, or return in the third trimester.
- In some cases occurring only at the end of pregnancy and/or during labour.
Types of Morning Sickness
- Nausea – Some women experience mild nausea early in pregnancy (more commonly in the morning) but it never becomes very severe.
- All day sickness – Many women experience nausea and/or vomiting that lasts all day long, often interfering with their jobs and life in general.
- Hyperemesis Gravidarum – A severe, medically diagnosed form of ‘morning sickness’. Usual symptoms are violent, nonstop vomiting and problems keeping food or liquid down. Often women with this disorder can end up in hospital with severe dehydration.
Bright green or yellow vomit – Not everyone experiences this but it can happen. This is the bile content of the stomach and is usually thrown up in the morning when the stomach is empty and has nothing else to dispose of. If for no other reason, try eating something before getting out of bed, since bile can be very acidic and painful to throw up.
Vomiting at any time of the day – The term “morning sickness” is a complete misnomer, since it can happen anytime of day. So don’t think you’re the exception if you feel terrible in the middle of the day or right before bed.
Blood, extreme pain or inability to keep anything down – If you experience this you need to see your doctor or a hospital immediately. If you can’t keep anything down, chances are you will become dehydrated which is definitely bad for a pregnant body (or any body!)
Will Morning Sickness Hurt My Baby?
Some people worry that all the throwing up can harm baby or cause a miscarriage. Actually – the worse your morning sickness is, the healthier your baby is, according to studies. The sickness is caused by hormones released in the body and the more of those you have, the better baby can develop!
The main thing you do need to be aware of is how hydrated you are – dehydration during pregnancy can be dangerous so keep up your liquids.
Tips for Morning Sickness Relief
- Aromatherapy – You’ll find that some smells (even ones you’ve previously liked) set off severe nausea or vomiting while pregnant. However, some smells will also make you feel better. Try something mild and see if it helps. Ideas include incense sticks such as sandalwood or lavender.
- B6 tablet – Check with your doctor or pharmacist about what dose to take. They are commonly used for many female issues including menstrual problems.
- Berocca – Drop one of these pills into a glass and let it fizz into a yummy drink. The only thing to watch is that you get the correct type – some do contain Vitamin A, which is bad for baby. If you aren’t sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Bland food – By eating plain food, you’re less likely to get an upset stomach. Try to avoid anything too spicy or flavourful.
- Citrus fruits – Try an orange or a lemon drink. Not only is it refreshing, it may help you feel a bit better.
- Drinking – Try to avoid drinking in the half hour before and half hour after each meal. Too much liquid combined with the food in your stomach can increase your nausea.
- Dry toast – One of the most recommended morning sickness cures along with crackers. Many women claim it works wonders but doesn’t work for everyone.
- Dry crackers – Another option if toast isn’t working.
- Evening food – Try to eat a small meal just before going to bed.
- Ginger – One of the top recommended products for morning sickness. You can try it fresh, dried, in a pill or in an item like a ginger bread man or ginger ale drink. Many women say that flat ginger ale and dry crackers help a lot.
- Ice blocks – Certainly better if you’re pregnant in summer. Helps settle the stomach. Try something plain like juice and avoid anything sweet and sugary that might make you feel worse.
- Mint tea – Another product highly recommended by many women.
- Morning Food – Before you even leave your bed, try to have a dry biscuit and some water or flat ginger ale. If you have a really nice husband he might make you some toast…
- No fatty fried food – Try and avoid anything with a high fat and oil content as this will upset your stomach more.
- Pumpkin seeds – Some women swear by pepitas.
- Sea bands – These simple bands can be worn like a bracelet on each wrist. They press on an acupressure point that can often reduce or stop nausea.
- Small, regular meals – Try not to let your stomach growl that it’s hungry. Instead, try to eat a small meal every 2-3 hours, even if it’s only an apple or half a bowl of pasta.
- Spirulina – Some women have found this natural green algae used in a drink helps relieve morning sickness (plus it’s good for you!)
- Sucking on a lolly – The sucking effect can often help alleviate the nausea. “Preggie Pops” are a well known and specially formulated sucker that many women use for morning sickness.
- Vegemite – In case you’re from outside Australia, it’s a black spread with high B6 content. It has a unique taste (if you aren’t Australian!) Sniffing or eating it on toast can help relieve nausea.
- Maxalon – A pill that can be taken every 8 hours and is a ‘Class A’ for use in pregnancy. The best time to take it is as soon as you are awake, thereby helping keep breakfast down.
- Zofran – Theories on this pill vary widely. It is traditionally used to alleviate nausea in chemotherapy patients. It hasn’t been widely tested on pregnant women, so some doctors may be iffy about prescribing it. It is a ‘Class C’ drug for use in pregnancy.
Want to know the one morning sickness remedy that works but no one told you about? Read about the amazing mineral that helps morning sickness, here.