The Maternity Glow Guide To Morning Sickness

The Maternity Glow Guide To Morning Sickness

There’s no way around it—one of the hardest parts of being pregnant is dealing with the dreaded morning sickness! 

While you may get lucky and completely dodge morning sickness or only experience a small bout of it, unfortunately a lot of women suffer pretty badly from the symptoms (I did!) 

So if you’re newly pregnant, read on to learn what to expect when it comes to morning sickness and—more importantly—loads of tips and tricks to help you cope with it to stay strong! 

What Exactly Is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness comes in many forms, but it’s mainly nausea that comes in the first trimester of pregnancy (though it can occur at any point throughout pregnancy).

It affects about 80% of pregnant women, and common symptoms include dizziness, vomiting, an aching stomach, blurriness and fatigue.

Yikes!

What Causes Morning Sickness?

Would you believe that no one really knows for sure what causes morning sickness?

Doctors believe that it’s a combination of several things, though. 

Increase in Hormones

When you get pregnant, you have an increase in hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin)—and when you get a positive pregnancy test, these levels are heightened, so this is when nausea peaks the most (I know, fun, right?) 

Estrogen is another key hormone that surges at this time, which could also make you not feel well. 

Heightened Sense of Smell

Next, some doctors believe that when you become pregnant, you have a heightened sense of smell and this leads you to be more sensitive to odors.

So, certain food smells may make you gag (like meats and tuna).

If you’re affected by smells, you may want to stay clear of confined spaces (like office cubicles or faculty lounges) that can be filled with various smells around lunch time during your work day.

Stress!

Some women are very stressed and anxious when they first get a positive pregnancy test, or when they leave their initial ultrasound.

This, on top of hormonal changes, can also cause sickness.

Dumb Luck

Finally, some doctors believe that there are some lucky ladies that are just more prone to having a sensitive stomach, which doesn’t fare well with all the changes going on during initial pregnancy, so it leads to nausea and vomiting.

When Does Morning Sickness Start?

Morning sickness typically begins around your sixth week of pregnancy, or right about when you’d get a positive pregnancy test. Some women don’t experience sickness until the eight to ten week marks.

Regardless of when you experience it, you can expect it to subside drastically by about fourteen weeks.

Although, some unlucky mommies-to-be can experience it well into their second trimester!

What Does Morning Sickness Feel Like?

Morning sickness feels like you’ve just stepped off a carnival ride that has spun you around repeatedly.

You’re a bit sweaty, clammy, warm, nauseous, dizzy, and full of slight panic all at the same time.

Sounds amazing, right?

10 Symptoms of Morning Sickness

Morning sickness can come in many forms. Here are some of the top symptoms:

  • 1
    Vomiting. This can occur infrequently or excessively.
  • 2
    Nausea. You usually feel nauseous right when you step out of bed. So, keep some saltine crackers by your bedside to help alleviate this feeling.
  • 3
    Dizziness. Dizziness occurs mainly from the nausea, or not drinking or eating enough.
  • 4
    Fatigue. Some mornings, you’ll feel as though you could sleep the day away.
  • 5
    Lack of appetite. When you’re dizzy and nauseous, the last thing you’ll want to do is eat.
  • 6
    Headache. This is a result of surging hormones.
  • 7
    Dehydration. An after effect of vomiting.
  • 8
    Weight loss. You may not gain much weight the first trimester if you vomit often, or lose your appetite.
  • 9
    Lack of urination. This is a huge side effect of being dehydrated.
  • 10
    Fast heartbeat. Surging hormones and stress can lead to an increased heartbeat.

10 Remedies for Morning Sickness

Morning sickness can’t exactly be cured, but its symptoms can be relieved.

Here are ten things you can try in order to feel better, sooner:

  • Ginger. Many women drink ginger tea or they suck on ginger laced lollipops.
  • Lemon water. The last thing you may want to do is drink something sour when your stomach feels sour itself, but some doctors suggest it to their patients. 
  • Peppermint. Consider sucking on a peppermint candy or chewing on some peppermint gum. Not only will it settle your stomach, but it will make your breath smell better!
  • Bland food. Toast or saltine crackers are bland foods that can help settle an upset tummy.
  • Small meals. You’ll feel less queasy if you eat small meals, more frequently throughout the day.
  • Get moving. The last thing you’ll feel like doing when you’re sick is moving around. But, when you make exercise a regular part of your day, you’ll feel happier (thanks to endorphins) and you’ll have more energy, which can help power you through the sickness.
  • Stay hydrated. The more hydrated you are, the better you’ll feel. 
  • Acupuncture. This ancient practice isn’t just great for the mind, but the body as well. It targets nerve endings that can target your nausea.
  • Breathing techniques. Prenatal yoga can help you in more ways than one. In addition to preparing your body for labor and delivery, it can teach you how to breath and channel calmness, which is essential when you’re not feeling well.
  • B6. Your prenatal vitamin is loaded with nutrients that you need, but if you add some more B6 to your diet, you may notice less morning sickness. Doctors advise their patients to take 3 doses of 25 mg each day!

Additional Things You Can Try

Morning sickness is all about managing the discomfort! So if none of the 10 things above work, keep these tips on mind too:

  • Rest. Your body is growing another life inside of it—so, needless to say, it’s working pretty hard. You need to make sure you’re getting enough rest, especially if you’ve been having bouts of sickness. So, push up your evening bedtime to ensure you’re catching plenty of zzz’s.
  • Avoid screen time at night. This can not only interfere with your sleep, but some women report feeling dizzy after viewing flickering lights and lit screens on phones, computers, and tablets.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing. Some women remark that they feel anxious, sweaty, and extra uncomfortable when in form-fitting clothing and getting sick. Keep things cool, calm, and loose by wearing items that are less restrictive.
  • Watch your iron. Sometimes, it just comes down to iron consumption that makes you feel sick. Be sure to drink plenty of orange juice with your supplement, or ask your doctor to prescribe you a lower dosage of iron in extreme cases. And, never take iron on an empty stomach. 
  • Keep mentally active. So many doctors suggest light exercise during pregnancy to help release endorphins and help you feel better. But, many also suggest keeping your mind occupied. You can get pretty stressed out and anxious when pregnant, which can lead to upset stomachs, vomiting, and dizziness. So, grab a puzzle, complete a crossword puzzle, or read a book to help ease your mind and distract yourself. 

Foods to Avoid

While you may try to eat more frequently throughout your day to avoid sickness, there are some foods you should definitely avoid, as they may make you feel more sick. 

They include:

  • Spicy food. Say no to salsa, hot peppers, chili, hot sauce-these are all no-no’s for your tummy.
  • Caffeine. You aren’t really supposed to drink more than a cup of caffeine a day when pregnant. But, you may want to cut it out altogether if your stomach is constantly upset or if you feel dizzy. Coffee has a tendency to dehydrate you, which is the last thing you need!
  • Fatty foods. Certainly not easy to digest, fatty foods shouldn’t be consumed because they tend to be oily as well.

Foods to Eat

Bland foods will be your best friend. Load up on foods like:

  • check
    Plain crackers
  • check
    Rice cakes
  • check
    Toast
  • check
    Bananas
  • check
    Dry Cereal
  • check
    Pretzels

These foods coat your stomach and help you keep your liquids down.

Cold foods also soothe a sore throat, which you can get from vomiting. Watermelon is a great, cold snack that is loaded with water and is easy to digest.

Some women keep electrolyte popsicles in their freezer, or they make their own out of Gatorade after a bad bout of sickness. 

Can You Get a Prescription?

Some women suffer from morning sickness so badly that it interferes with their day and ability to work.

While work will most likely be understanding, things can get pretty miserable.

This is when some women seek out medical help from their Ob/gyn. Most of the time, they’ll prescribe a prescription to help with symptoms.

As always, you should take these scripts with lots of caution, and be sure to have a serious discussion with your doctor about side effects and overall effectiveness.

Among the most popular prescriptions written are:

  • Zofran. Some women rave about Zofran, while others loathe it. The drug allows to be able to sit up, but doesn’t do much about stopping the vomit. Others complained of constipation while taking it as well. 
  • Reglan. This drug helps your nausea go away, but it makes users extremely tired. So, this may be ok to take on the weekend, but is not ideal for the work week.
  • Prochlorperazine. This also gets mixed reviews. It does work for some women, but for others, the vomiting continued. 

You may wish to take the over the over the counter route, which tends to be safer, more convenient, and at times, more effective. 

Moms-to-be love Seabands (especially for the nausea) and also something called Unisom. You can take it at night before bed, and downed a dose of B6 in the morning. 

Always remember to consult with your doctor!

Wrapping Up

A positive pregnancy test means your body is about to go through some major changes.

Whether you get hit hard with morning sickness, or whether you bypass it completely, at least you’ll know what to expect and how to handle it in order to make it more manageable until it passes.

Kate Trout
 

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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