Morning sickness is a common condition affecting pregnant women which causes nausea and vomiting. Not all women will experience morning sickness, and not all women will experience morning sickness in the same ways.

Morning sickness usually affects more than half of all pregnant women. While it generally occurs in the first trimester, morning sickness can also affect women later in their pregnancies. Many women experience their first symptoms beginning in the sixth week and ending around the twelfth week of pregnancy.

Other women may begin to experience symptoms as early as the fourth week of pregnancy, and some might have morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy.

Many pregnant women who suffer from morning sickness experience nausea and vomiting beginning in the morning and decreasing as the day continues. However, contrary to its name, morning sickness can strike any time during the day and can come on gradually or almost instantly.

In most pregnancies, morning sickness will not cause any harm to the mother or the unborn baby, but if a pregnant woman is having a hard time keeping down food or liquid she will need to contact her LMC for advice. Excessive vomiting can cause other complications like dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance, which may be dangerous for both mother and baby.

What causes Morning Sickness?

The causes are not clearly understood but are thought to be due to a combination of physiological, hormonal and even genetic factors, which will vary from woman to woman.

Generally mild or moderate morning sickness is no need for concern and may be associated with good outcomes for the pregnancy.

Remedies for Morning Sickness

While there is no cure-all for morning sickness, there are things that pregnant women can do to help ease the symptoms of morning sickness, including the following:

1.    Eat small regular meals throughout the day, rather than three large meals.

2.    Avoid getting too hungry as this can increase feelings of nausea. Have plain, dry or salty foods like crisps, crackers, or dry toast as regular snacks over the day.

3.    Keep plain crackers by your bed and eat them 15 minutes before you get up as this can take the edge off early morning nausea.

4.    Avoid foods and smells which will make you feel nauseous. Someone else may need to take over the cooking for a while.

5.    Take time to rest; if naps are needed, take them.

6.    Eat what you feel like; sometimes the foods you crave can help you feel better.

7.    Sip on fluids every hour or two to prevent getting dehydrated. Sometimes a mixture of fruit juice and water can be more appealing than just plain water, and will help provide your body with glucose. Avoid juices that are too acidic (e.g. orange juice) and try a mild option such as apple juice. Sweet drinks sipped through a straw can be soothing, try lemonade, ginger ale or soda with lemon.

8.    Avoid fatty, spicy foods.

9.    Some people have tried ginger tea or ginger flavoured foods with some success. Acupressure or Vitamin B6 tablets may also help but before trying these always seek advice from your LMC.

The most important thing to remember with morning sickness is that it is temporary. The symptoms will subside and soon enough your bundle of joy will be welcomed into the family.

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