A missed period and morning sickness are often the first signs that women have that makes them wonder, “Am I pregnant, or am just premenstrual? Is this PMS or Pregnancy?” A home pregnancy test, and a visit to the doctor will confirm or contradict your suspicion.
If you are indeed pregnant, you may have to deal with nausea in early pregnancy – a.k.a. morning sickness. And despite its name, morning sickness doesn’t just hit in the morning. The nausea can plague you day and night. It is typically worse during the morning hours. Nausea can also be accompanied with vomiting. In some cases, you may be throwing up every hour, or every few hours.
Every woman experiences morning sickness different. You might be nauseous and vomiting constantly, or you may be lucky and just feel nauseous all the time. Up to 50 percent of all pregnant women will experience vomiting, and 70 percent of women are nauseous early in pregnancy.
When Does Morning Sickness Start?
Morning sickness usually starts when you are 6 weeks pregnant, which is roughly two weeks after you’ve noticed a missed period. Morning sickness typically peaks at 8 or 9 weeks of pregnancy.
When Does Morning Sickness End?
For most women, nausea in early pregnancy continues until the end of the first trimester, around 12 or 13 weeks pregnant. By the time you hit 14 weeks pregnant (the start of your second trimester), if you’re like most women, your symptoms will completely disappear and you’ll feel perfectly normal again.
Unfortunately, some women experience nausea throughout their entire pregnancy. Severe morning sickness (known as hyperemesis gravidarum) is unpleasant and can negatively impact a woman’s pregnancy, especially if she’s persistently vomiting, becoming dehydrated, and losing weight. Women with the condition often have to be treated in the hospital.
Severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is more common in women carrying twins and those with a family history of severe morning sickness.
10 Tips for Coping with Morning Sickness
Morning sickness might be a “rite of passage” of sorts for pregnancy, but it can be a nightmare. So how do you cope? What are some morning sickness remedies?
Sadly, there is no magic “cure-all” pill that will relieve that awful “I’m going to puke at any second” feeling. You can try a number of methods to cope with and survive nausea in pregnancy. Some of these morning sickness tips may help you; others might be useless. Each woman is different; every pregnancy is different. Good luck trying to figure out what works for you!
1. Eat Small, Frequent Meals Throughout the Day
Rather than eating three large meals a day, keep snacking and eating smaller meals throughout the day. Focus on eating foods that are considered “stomach-friendly” – like yogurt, and starchy carbohydrates. You’ll want to avoid greasy and spicy dishes, even if you love them. Graze and take a nibble here and there. An empty stomach can trigger nausea.
Plus, eating smaller meals makes it easier on your digestive system. (And when you eat too much and you’re too full, it’s easy to feel like you’re going to hurl.)
2. Try Ginger Products
Ginger has been used for centuries to treat nausea. In Vietnamese folk medicine, we are told to nibble on ginger whenever we have an upset stomach, and it does work! There have also been a number of scientific studies that prove that ginger is effective in reducing nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
You might consider sipping on ginger tea or real ginger ale. Ginger snaps and ginger candies may also help your nausea. Try it – it might just work for you.
3. Suck on Preggie Pops Lollipops
Preggie Pop Drops are pretty effective in treating morning sickness. Some women who have used this product swear by it. Like with anything else, it works on some women and not on others.
Preggie Pop Drops are naturally flavored and special formulated lollipops that use a combination of essential oils and aromatherapy to help ease morning sickness. They come in a variety of flavors – ginger, mint, and sour fruit. They are lollipops and completely drug free.
When all else fails, try them and see if it works for you.
4. Acupuncture Wrist Bands
Some pregnant women use acupuncture wrist bands to help relieve their morning sickness. These wrist bands apply pressure on the Nei-Kuan point on each wrist with a plastic stud. You wear them whenever you are starting to feel nauseous, and they may prevent you from vomiting.
Acupuncture wrist bands work for some, and not for others. You can find these at the local pharmacy, like Walgreens or Wal-Mart. The brand name is “Sea Band,” since they also treat motion sickness-related nausea.
5. Take Your Prenatal Vitamins at Night
Prenatal vitamins are helpful, and they make sure that you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients that you need for your developing baby. Unfortunately, they can also make you nauseous.
Take your prenatal vitamins at night with a meal, or right before you go to bed. That way, you can go to sleep and not have to feel nauseous.
6. Stay Hydrated with Plenty of Water
When you’re experiencing morning sickness, you will want to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make your nausea in pregnancy worse. So drink up, mama-to-be!
It’s tough to get your eight glasses of water when you feel like you can’t keep anything down. To stay hydrated throughout the day, you may want to trick your body into thinking it’s thirsty. For example, you may want to snack on potato chips and drink water afterwards. Some women crunch ice chips throughout the day. That’s another way to get enough water. You will have to figure out what works for you.
7. Grab Some Vitamin B6
Consider taking some vitamin B6 to help combat your nausea in pregnancy. Research studies have found that taking extra vitaminB6 can help relieve your queasiness.
Talk to your healthcare provider before you buy an extra B6 supplement. Sometimes too much B6 can cause you to experience numbness and nerve damage. Your doctor will let you know what’s a safe limit to take.
8. Keep Crackers by Your Bed
Keep saltine crackers by your bedside. When you first wake up in the morning, nipple on a couple of crackers and rest for 20 minutes before you get up for the day. Nibbling on a few saltine crackers in the middle of the night may also help you feel better. (You tend to be more nauseous when you have nothing in your stomach.)
9. Carry a Sprig of Mint or Lemon Extract in Your Purse
This morning sickness remedy may sound silly, but it might actually work. Strong scents can trigger morning sickness. You might walk into a heavily perfumed room, or smell an unpleasant whiff of exhaust fumes when walking down the street. This can trigger you to feel nauseous when you’re pregnant.
Carry a spring of mint or a bottle of lemon extract in your purse. Sniff it when you need a fresh scent to mask the smell that’s making you nauseous.
10. When Nothing Works, Call the Doctor for Medication
As a last resort, when you can’t get any of the traditional morning sickness remedies to work, contact your physician and see if he can recommend an over-the-counter or prescription medicine for the nausea that’s plaguing you.
Morning sickness can be dangerous for you and your developing baby if you start to lose 10 percent of your weight, or you’re unable to keep even sips of water down. Dehydration can become a serious problem.
Remember that morning sickness won’t last forever, and for most women, it will go away in the second trimester. Morning sickness is caused by all the hormonal changes that are occurring in your pregnant body. Hormones may wreck havoc, but they’re working overtime to support the baby growing inside you.
Just hang in there!
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Morning Sickness: Causes, Treatments and Remedies
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