Morning sickness is considered one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Research has shown that it affects approximately 70% of women during the first trimester. It can start as early the 2nd week, and may last until the 14th or 16th week of pregnancy. Typically, its symptoms occur upon waking up, but some women experience it all throughout the day. Although the causes are not really known, it is believed that the physiologic changes in pregnancy, particularly the rise of pregnancy hormones, trigger the symptoms.
Symptoms of morning sickness are typically nausea with or without vomiting. Some women consider this as the hardest part of being pregnant, because it interferes with their daily activities. And because it is brought about by the normal changes of pregnancy, there is no cure. However, there are effective ways to deal with morning sickness. Here are some simple steps:
1. Eat soda crackers before you get up from bed. The long hours of sleep has left your stomach empty. This can help raise your blood sugar levels before you start your day.
2. Avoid certain smells and foods that may trigger your nausea. Most pregnant women develop a heightened sense of smell because of the increase in their hormones. It is important to remember what may trigger your bouts of nausea, that way you can stay away from it.
3. Eat small but frequent meals. An empty stomach makes your nausea worse.
4. Drink lots of fluids. It is important to be well hydrated especially if you had bouts of vomiting.
5. Ginger is popular for its sickness relieving properties. Ginger teas, biscuits and capsules may be helpful in settling your stomach.
6. Try having the BRATT diet. This is short for bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, and tea. Experts say that these may calm a queasy stomach and reduce intestinal contractions thus controlling vomiting.
7. Take it easy. Tiredness, anxiety and stress make the symptoms worse. Try having short naps during the day so you can relax. Evenly spacing your activities between rest periods may also help.
8. Consult your health care provider if he can give you supplements. Vitamin B6 and B12 have been found to help reduce nausea and vomiting.
9. Try having sugar free mints when you are feeling nauseated. It’s a quick fix but some women find it effective.
10. Take your prenatal vitamins late in the day. Some women tolerate it better if they take the vitamins late in the afternoon. The high iron content in most prenatal vitamins causes nausea. If you can’t tolerate it, ask your doctor as he may prescribe a low iron alternative.
Morning sickness is a natural part of pregnancy. It is a normal process that your body goes through to prepare for the baby’s growth. The good thing about it is, symptoms usually stop after the first trimester. The discomforts may vary for most women but overall, pregnancy is still a unique and wonderful experience.
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