Managing morning sickness
By Pregnancy, Birth and Baby
Morning sickness is an unpleasant but common symptom of early pregnancy and in many cases goes away by the end of the first three months. It is sometimes considered to be a minor inconvenience of pregnancy, but it can have a significant effect on day-to-day activities so it’s good to know how to make morning sickness more manageable.
The exact cause of morning sickness is unknown
It is characterised by feelings of nausea, with or without vomiting, and although called morning sickness it can happen at any time of the day. Factors such as having had a previous pregnancy with nausea and vomiting, family history of morning sickness, a history of motion sickness, obesity, stress and multiple pregnancies, such as twins or triplets, are associated with an increased risk of developing morning sickness.
Morning sickness won’t cause any problems for your unborn baby, but it is important you contact your doctor if you experience severe and ongoing vomiting.
Eat well to manage morning sickness
Try to eat smaller meals more often, and don’t skip meals as this can make the nausea worse. Sometimes eating a dry biscuit when you get up in the morning and having a healthy snack such as fruit or yoghurt before you go to bed will help.
Strong smells can make nausea worse and food has a stronger smell when it is heated, so try to prepare your food when you feel better, or have someone help you with the cooking if you can. Limit your intake of spicy, fatty and fried foods. A simple guide is that if the taste, look or smell of something makes you feel sick, don’t eat it.
Fluids are important If you are vomiting, it is very important to keep your fluids up. Try to have lots of small drinks rather than one large drink, and try a variety of fluids including water, fruit juice, lemonade and clear soups. Sometimes it can be helpful to try crushed ice, slushies, ice blocks, or even suck on frozen fruit, such as grapes or orange segments.
Make sure you get plenty of rest, as morning sickness can be exhausting. The support of family and friends can help to make morning sickness more manageable.
When will the symptoms stop?
Morning sickness usually starts to get better after the first three months of pregnancy, but some women will experience nausea for longer. About 1 in 10 women will continue to feel sick after week 20 of their pregnancy. While morning sickness is inconvenient and unpleasant, it is a very common symptom of pregnancy. Unless your doctor has specifically prescribed you with medications, and knows you are pregnant, don’t take any medications to manage your morning sickness as this can be dangerous for you and your unborn baby.
Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.