Is Morning Sickness A Good Sign
Is Morning Sickness A Good Sign? When I was pregnant, I wondered why my husband didn’t feel nauseous when he ate or drank anything at all. “Must not get sick,” I decided. That wasn’t strictly true — his mom had morning sickness throughout her entire pregnancy. But it did seem to me like morning sickness should only affect you if you eat certain foods. After all, how could something so small make someone feel as though they were going to throw up? Well, actually there is one major reason.
Morning sickness (also known as queasiness) can strike anyone for any number of reasons. It’s caused by a variety of things including changes in hormone levels, medications, food allergies, motion sickness and even stress. The frequency and intensity varies from woman to woman.
Some women may experience mild stomach cramps; others may suffer extreme nausea and vomiting. Some may need help staying upright while eating; some may find it difficult to keep down liquids such as juice or water. And then there are those who will experience constant, unrelenting nausea day after day, sometimes 24 hours per day.
The cause and treatment of this condition vary widely depending on what causes it. In general, however, most doctors agree that nausea during the first trimester doesn’t necessarily mean your body isn’t functioning normally. Instead, it’s more likely related to hormonal changes occurring within your body.
For example, nausea has been linked to rising estrogen levels since higher estrogen levels tend to increase nausea. Women who take birth control pills typically see an increase in their estrogen level, which explains why many women experience nausea when taking oral contraceptives. Additionally, a change in blood flow through the digestive system also may contribute to nausea because fluid buildup in the intestines during pregnancy tends to slow the digestion process. Finally, nausea may occur simply because you’re experiencing morning fatigue.
In fact, studies show that people with morning sickness have a lower risk of miscarriage than do people without these symptoms. However, remember that no two mornings are alike. Each pregnancy is unique, and each person experiences different levels of morning sickness. Your best bet is to talk about your feelings with your doctor, nurse or midwife to determine whether your particular set of circumstances warrants treatment. If your nausea is severe enough to interfere with daily life, then treatment may be necessary to prevent dehydration and vitamin deficiency.
Keep reading for home remedies and tips to cope with nausea.
Tips for Coping With Nausea
Whether you’re suffering from morning sickness or another type of nausea, here are some tips for coping with nausea.
1. Eat frequently but smaller meals. When you’re trying to stay away from specific foods that bring on nausea, it’s easy to overeat. Eating frequently, but smaller amounts, helps regulate your appetite. Also, try drinking lots of fluids. Avoid beverages containing caffeine, alcohol or chocolate. You’ll want to avoid citrus juices as well, especially grapefruit juice, which can upset your stomach.
2. Set yourself up for success. Plan ahead before you leave the house. Bring along snacks and drinks to tide you over until you reach a place where you can replenish your supply. Keep fresh fruit on hand, as well as crackers. Try keeping ginger candy around, too. Ginger contains properties that aid in digestion.
3. Know when to call the doctor. If your nausea lasts longer than three days or if you notice other symptoms such as diarrhea, chest pain or difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider immediately. These symptoms may indicate a problem with your overall health rather than just your nausea.
4. Take medication wisely. Over-the-counter antihistamines can provide temporary relief from nausea and its accompanying discomfort. Ask your doctor about prescription medications as well. For instance, Domperidone usually relieves nausea and vomiting associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
5. Try acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting thin needles into various points along the body. This therapy is believed to balance energy channels in the body, thus reducing the effect of negative emotions like anxiety and depression. One study found that participants reported feeling better faster after receiving acupuncture than after taking ibuprofen [Source: Pomeroy].
6. Get moving. Exercise reduces nausea, particularly among women who exercise regularly before becoming pregnant. Even moderate activity such as walking can help stimulate circulation and improve digestion.
7. Make sure you’re hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids such as water, decaffeinated herbal tea and broth. Liquids are easier to digest than solids.
8. Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your chance of miscarriages, preterm labor and low birth weight infants. Smokers are also more susceptible to headaches, dizziness and irritability. Quit smoking now!
9. Try acupressure. This technique involves applying pressure to key acupoints along the limbs and torso. By regulating the flow of qi (life force), acupressure aims to relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Ask your physician about using this method if you believe it may benefit you.
10. Be patient. Although nausea generally subsides after the first trimester, it may continue beyond that point. Just know that it does pass.
11. Take folic acid supplements. Folate — a nutrient contained in orange juice, green leafy vegetables, legumes, fortified breads and cereals, tuna fish and liver — plays a critical role in developing babies’ brains and hearts. Researchers speculate that folate may reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifuda and anencephaly by 50 percent. Talk to your doctor about supplementing your diet with extra folate. To obtain optimal results, begin supplementation at least four weeks prior to getting pregnant.
12. Watch your salt intake. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which puts both mother and baby at greater risk of complications during delivery. Limit your salt consumption to 2,300 milligrams (mg) daily, or 1 teaspoon table salt.
13. Have sex. Sex stimulates cervical mucus production, which protects sperm from toxins and bacteria. Plus, intercourse provides comfort and support for expectant mothers.
14. Stay connected. Find out what programs are available to connect you with local resources for expecting families. Many hospitals offer free phone lines specifically designed for new parents. Call your local hospital or check Web sites like NICU HelpLine to find out.
15. Join a support group. Having a social outlet allows you to share your feelings with other moms. Support groups also provide an opportunity to meet potential babysitters.
16. Give yourself permission to rest. Sleep deprivation leads to mood swings and poor concentration. As a result, you may miss important events in your child’s development. Allow yourself to rest.
17. Accept help. Recognize that you can’t do everything alone. Seek assistance from family members, friends and professional caregivers. They can play crucial roles in helping you manage your time effectively and providing emotional support.
18. Remember that you’re doing great work. Every pregnancy begins with fertilization. You’ve given rise to a being who will grow and develop inside of you, creating brand new human beings every few months. Celebrate the miracle that is your pregnancy.
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