Overcoming the Discomfort of Morning Sickness
Studies show that around 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women experience discomfort brought about by morning sickness, especially during their first trimester. One in five women, may even carry this discomfort through to her second trimester, and fewer do have it during the entire duration of pregnancy.
Morning sickness, which is alternately referred to as nausea, vomiting, or pregnancy sickness, is a condition that, although no one has yet established its exact cause, is believed to be due to a combination of physical and metabolic factors, such as rapid increase in oestrogen and progesterone levels, alterations in blood pressure, and changes in carbohydrate metabolism. Some experts believe that psychological stress, such as depression and anxiety, loss of appetite and fatigue usually go with morning sickness. Even as morning sickness is typically severe during the early part of the morning, it should not be a cause for alarm as it neither harms the pregnant woman nor her unborn baby because the fetus is properly secured in its sac of amniotic fluid.
However, she should not put up with unrelenting morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum or HG, because this can considerably affect her daily routine and eventually lead to dehydration and weight loss, and therefore, requires hospitalization and application of intravenous nutrition. Although studies reveal that only a negligible one in every 1,000 pregnant women is affected by hyperemesis gravidarum, it is still best to be vigilant about it since HG can cause electrolyte instability, too much depression and anxiety, malnourishment of the fetus, and even weaken vital organs like the liver, heart, kidneys, and brain.
Pregnant women, who suffer from morning sickness, are therefore, advised to take some measures to cope with such a discomfort, such as:
Eating some dry, salty crackers before getting out of bed in the morning to reduce nausea;
Taking small but frequent meals throughout the day, preferably those which are high in carbohydrates and protein; but she should neither be too full nor empty. She should also refrain from eating fatty and spicy foods;
Eating cold food. Since morning sickness is usually worsened by the strong smell of food emitted by cooking, a pregnant woman may have to refrain from cooking or preparing food and go for cold foods instead, which produce less odour;
Drinking enough fluids throughout the day, especially in between meals rather than during meal time, works for many pregnant women. Ginger – either prepared as ginger ale, adding freshly grated ginger into a cup of hot water, or as gingersnaps – is found to be an effective relief from nausea;
Food supplements. Unless it is prescribed by her physician, a pregnant woman should not take any kind of drugs. Although Vitamin B6 supplements have been found to be effective in reducing morning sickness, taking a dosage of more than 200 milligrams per day may cause adverse effects.
Getting plenty of rest, wearing loose clothes and acupressure wrist bands may also be of help. Studies reveal that an acupressure wrist band activates the acupressure point on the inner portion of the wrist and causes to lessen the degree of nausea.
Nevertheless, if these measures do not alleviate the discomfort of morning sickness, the pregnant woman needs to consult with her physician for other remedies and also the symptoms of pregnancy.