Morning Sickness

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The nausea and vomiting women experience during pregnancy or “Morning Sickness” can happen anytime of the day, even though it is called morning sickness. The hormones of pregnancy (increased hCG levels) have a role to play in inducing morning sickness, which probably explains why those expecting twins have more morning sickness. Beyond this it is not very clear how or what triggers morning sickness. Multiple factors may contribute.

Do all women experience morning sickness during pregnancy?

No. At least one third of the pregnant women do not seem to experience this. This is normal too. There is no definitive evidence to suggest the presence or absence of morning sickness has an impact on foetal health.

When does morning sickness start?

Mothers-to-be begin to experience this any time from four weeks to six weeks of pregnancy. It usually lasts till the fourth month. Some women experience morning sickness through their pregnancy.

Whatever one eats seems to come out. Will Morning Sickness lead to nutritional problems for the mother or the foetus?

Usually, no. Dehydration is a possibility. A very small percentage of pregnant women are affected by an aggravated form of morning sickness. Unless you feel that bouts of nausea are severe and you are losing weight, there is nothing to worry about.

How can morning sickness be managed?

  • Take small but nutritious meals. Do not skip meals.
  • You may have food cravings. It is okay to give in to these but try to avoid strong odours and spicy food.
  • Dry food like roti or toast may be more agreeable
  • If you are also cooking the meal, keep the kitchen well ventilated, so that the odours do not become unbearable.
  • If cooking is stressful, think of alternatives like getting help or ordering from a caterer, but do not use this an excuse to stop eating a proper meal.
  • Eat an early dinner.
  • Drink plenty of fluids but avoid aerated drinks.
  • Do not reduce your normal dietary intake, thinking eating less will reduce nausea.

Is it safe to take medication for morning sickness, if it interferes with routine?

Safe medication is available to reduce morning sickness. But have your doctor prescribe them for you. Do not take any medication without a doctor’s advice.

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