Feb 28, 2009

Coping With Morning Sickness

What causes morning sickness?

Nobody knows what exactly causes morning
sickness, but there are a number of factors
believed to be associated with it.
  • heightened sense of smell
  • excess stomach acid
  • increased stress and fatigue
  • genetic predisposition
  • physiological changes going on inside the body
  • higher levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

The most widely accepted theory as to the cause of morning sickness is something called hCG (human chorionic gonadotopin). Once implantation occurs in your body, hCG starts to produce. The levels increase until around the 12th week of pregnancy, then the levels will start to decrease. At the time when the hCG levels drop is usually when the effects of morning sickness also subside.

Although it is called "morning sickness", it doesn't necessarily occur only in the morning. The effects of morning sickness can be felt anytime during the day - in some women all day long.

Morning sickness can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. In some unlucky cases, morning sickness can last almost the entire pregnancy.

Women who suffer from morning sickness will usually begin feeling the effects in the 4th to 6th week of pregnancy. By the 16th week, the symptoms normally subside - unless you are one of the few unlucky women who may suffer for weeks or even months to come. But don't be discouraged - many people agree that having morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy!

Tips for coping with morning sickness

If you suffer from morning sickness, the suggestions below may help alleviate the symptoms.
  • Get plenty of rest at night, and try to have a nap during the day.
  • Try to keep your body temperature cool. I found that being warmer heightened my sense of nausea.
  • An hour before getting out of bed, eat some dry soda crackers, then get out of bed slowly. An empty stomach can make nausea worse.
  • Eat smaller frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Plan meals that won't leave a smell in the house.
  • Don't drink a large amount of liquid on an empty stomach.
  • Ginger is known to help ease the effects of nausea.
  • Avoid dehydration, especially if you are vomiting. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids in small amounts throughout the day.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins before bed instead of in the morning.
  • If it's alright with your doctor, take a vitamin B6 supplement to help with nausea.

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