Common Discomforts: Morning sickness or Nausea during Pregnancy

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You may have seen it in the movies or on television shows – the moment a woman’s pregnancy has to be announced, she is seen feeling nauseous and throwing up. And the cat is out of the bag! 

Though each pregnancy is unique, the first trimester of pregnancy is usually marked by discomfort due to nausea and frequent throwing up. Also known as ‘morning sickness’, this may be more pronounced in some women as compared to others. 

Why does it happen?

A woman carrying a fetus is going through hormonal changes along with physiological and emotional ones, and this is usually associated with the body’s hormones trying to adjust.

A deficiency of dietary magnesium and potassium, low blood sugar as well as low levels of vitamin B6 are also linked to nausea.

To manage this: Include whole foods in your meals and have the prescribed multivitamins every single day. 

When does it occur?

Though it is called morning sickness, it happens any time during the day or even night. It is usually experienced between the first 6 to 14 weeks of pregnancy, and eventually reduces and more or less stops.

If it happens for the first time only after 10 or 11 weeks, speak to your doctor.

Is it harmful for the baby?

Although uncomfortable and stressful, morning sickness is not likely to be harmful for your baby. However, it may make you feel averse to certain foods or crave for some types of food all the time.

As a mother-to-be, ensure that you are having nutritious food and supplements, so that you and your baby are receiving sufficient nourishment. 

To manage it: Stay hydrated at all times. If you cannot retain fluids after drinking, consult your doctor.

Why is the nausea severe?

In case the nausea is severe (hyperemesis gravidarum), and persists for several days, the doctor may ask you to get admitted for monitoring. An intravenous drip (IV) may be given, to replace the fluids and salts that have been depleted.

Other signs you need to see a doctor include:

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Very dark urine
  • Traces of blood in vomit
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Dehydration due to inability to keep fluids down.

How to manage Morning Sickness?

Each day of the initial pregnancy comes with its own unique experiences, joys and challenges. Simply trust yourself and remind yourself that you are capable and strong. Keep your doctor updated at all times and remember to smile through this journey.