Many call the feeling of nausea and vomiting ‘morning sickness’. This is because the bouts are generally felt and are much worse during the mornings and get better over the course of the day. But this doesn’t mean that the feeling of nausea cannot attack the mother later on in the day.
Nausea is not a harmful or threatening occurrence per se – rather is often seen as an indication of a healthy pregnancy, but the feeling and discomfort that it brings about, can surely make the expecting mother feel lethargic, low, and fatigued.
It is commonly known to be caused by the following reasons:
- Production of hCG hormone –The pregnancy hormone, starts getting produced inside the body begins once the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.
How it directly affects the occurrence of nausea is unknown, but because they both peak around the same time, they’re assumed to have a clear connection.
Women who have higher levels of hCG, for instance when they are carrying multiples, are reported to face higher rates of nausea and vomiting.
- Oestrogen is another hormone that rises during early pregnancy and contributes to queasiness.
- A newly pregnant woman’s olfactory senses get heightened during pregnancy. Certain aromas instantly trigger the gag reflex and can lead to nausea and vomiting.
- A sensitive stomach would be made worse while trying to adapt to the changes of pregnancy.
- Stress or fatigue is suggested to cause a physical reaction within the body, which may also lead to nausea and vomiting.
Nausea can be further aggravated if the expecting mother has had nausea or vomiting during previous pregnancy, has a history of motion sickness or migraine, or even a history of nausea or vomiting as a side effect of taking birth control pills (probably related to the body’s response to oestrogen).
Some common remedies and things that a mother can follow to reduce discomfort during pregnancy are:
- Avoid food and liquids and smells that may trigger nausea.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of three big meals.
- Drink less water with your meals; instead, drink them between meals.
- Drink water and fluids all throughout the day to avoid chances of getting dehydrated
- Keep rooms well ventilated or have a fan close-by for easier breathing. If neither of these is possible, take time to go outside to get some fresh air.
- Sniff ginger or lemons, or drink ginger ale or lemonade, which can help ease the feeling of nausea.
- Get up slowly from any resting position, and do not lie down immediately after food
- Acupuncture can help some women; some women try out acupressure wrist bands too
- Salty chips, pickles, lemonades, soft bread, noodles, ginger ale, liquid juice, apple slices, mashed potatoes are some quick food items that can help tide over the feeling of nausea.
Most cases of nausea are natural and commonly-occurring by-products of pregnancy and goes away with time. However if mothers feel that the disorder is just too severe or it refuses to subside, then a doctor must be seen.
In severe cases, nausea can point towards complications in pregnancy like Hyperemesis Gravidarum – a condition that causes mothers to lose essential nutrients needed during pregnancy, or Molar Pregnancy, which occurs when an abnormal growth of tissue develops within the uterus.