Nausea during pregnancy is typically one of the most experienced and complained about symptoms that women report. Up to 70 percent of expectant mothers experience nausea at some point during early pregnancy. Not only is it known to be one of the early signs of pregnancy, but it is a symptom that is common throughout the first trimester, and sometimes even longer.
While nausea is definitely an uncomfortable feeling, the good news is that it is not harmful to you or your baby, and it is often perceived as an indication of a healthy pregnancy.
Studies have shown that women with nausea and vomiting during the first trimester have a lower risk of miscarriage than do women without these symptoms.
Research suggests that nausea and vomiting in pregnancy might be due to the effects of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
Pregnant women begin producing HCG shortly after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining.
Women with severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) have higher HCG levels than other pregnant women do.
In addition, women pregnant with multiples, who are more likely to experience morning sickness, also have higher HCG levels. Similarly, estrogen, another hormone that increases during pregnancy, is associated with an increase in the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Keep in mind, however, that a lack of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy isn't a cause for concern. Some women with healthy pregnancies never experience morning sickness.
When to expect nausea during pregnancy
Nausea typically starts within four to eight weeks of gestation and is expected to subside between 13 and 14 weeks. However, it can start earlier and can last longer. Also, not every woman will experience nausea the entire duration of the first trimester. It could last only a couple of weeks or come and go throughout the first few months.
Many refer to nausea during pregnancy as morning sickness, leading women to believe they will only experience nausea in the mornings. In fact, research shows that “morning sickness” actually occurs more often throughout the entire day, rather than just in the early hours.
The good news is that, for the majority of women, this pregnancy discomfort usually resolves by the second trimester. However, for about 10 percent of women, nausea persists throughout their entire pregnancy.
How to handle morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy:
- Avoiding foods and smells that trigger your nausea.
- Keeping soda crackers by your bed and eating a couple before getting up.
- Allow some time for digestion, and rise slowly once you are ready.
- Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of three big meals.
- Drinking less water/fluids with your meals, and instead, drink them between meals.
- Eating drier, plain foods such as white rice, dry toast, or a plain baked potato instead of richer, creamier foods.
- Sucking on hard candy.
- Keeping rooms well ventilated or having a fan close by for easier breathing. If neither of these is possible, take time to go outside to get some fresh air.
- Getting plenty of rest; Listen to your body when you are feeling fatigued, and try lying down.
- Sniffing ginger or lemons, or drinking ginger ale or lemonade, which can help ease the feeling of nausea.
- Talking with your healthcare provider about the prenatal vitamins you are taking; having too much iron may cause nausea, and switching to a different vitamin could help.
- Asking your healthcare provider about taking a vitamin B-6 supplement, which has proven to help reduce nausea and vomiting.
- Avoid taking medications if the nausea is mild.
- You're carrying a girl. Research has found that morning sickness is often worse in women who give birth to a girl. It may be just a myth.
- Many women say acupressure can
help relieve morning sickness.
With palm facing you and fingers pointing up, find the acupressure point.
Press firmly for 2 to 3 minutes. Another point for nausea is in the web of your first and second fingers. Massage the point for 4 to 5 seconds. Try wearing an acupressure bracelet.
Talk to your healthcare provider if your nausea or vomiting lasts beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. Lingering morning sickness can make you miserable, and a very severe case can lead to dehydration and prevent you from gaining a healthy amount of weight.
- A general, lingering sense of feeling like you need to vomit, but without the urgency to do so.
- A heightened sense of smell during pregnancy possibly may cause these aversions, a sensory overload you’re not used to. An enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to odors. Story(garbage dump)
- A sudden, urgent need to vomit.
- A feeling that you’re hungry, but without the ability to stomach anything.
- Dizziness or weakness.Excessive salivation.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
American pregnancy association - americanpregnancy.org
Mayo Clinic - Mayo foundation for medical research and education.
Momlovesbest-Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC