Morning sickness is synonymous with early pregnancy. The cause of morning sickness is not known, yet the term covers a broad spectrum of pregnancy related sickness. This can be from nausea to physical vomiting occurring once to several times a day and typically starts at around 4 -6 weeks into pregnancy. If you’re feeling the effects of sickness in pregnancy and are looking for some solidarity then that’s probably how you found this blog!
As the above suggests, naming it ‘morning’ sickness is incredibly misleading as it can occur at any time of day and does for many! Feeling ill can definitely put a dampener on the initial excitement of being pregnant but can also be seen as a sign of reassurance in those early weeks before baby is big enough for those little fluttery kicks to be felt.
Luckily, for most pregnant people, morning sickness can tend to wane from around week 12 of pregnancy as you head into your 2nd trimester and you can actually start to feel the pregnancy ‘glow’ everyone tells you about! (This one doesn’t come from the sheen of constant nausea, yay!)
However in some cases you may feel that you need some help to get through the day when struggling with sickness in pregnancy. There are several ways to help alleviate the symptoms.
Natural remedies for pregnancy sickness are anything that may help alleviate the feelings of nausea or sickness without a prescribed medication and if you google for sickness remedies, are the most likely to come up first. You can look at solutions such as
– Eating food little and often – food is easier to digest and also stomach this way.
– Stay hydrated – staying hydrated in most cases will certainly help alleviate nausea.
– Stick to bland tasting food – it is easier to handle if it does come back up!
– Fresh air – whilst it may not help with the sickness, a little fresh air can help avoid nausea or sickness triggering smells. Your sense of smell can be incredibly heightened throughout pregnancy.
– Carbonated drinks such as ginger ale – ginger is supposedly a natural anti-emetic so can help with mild forms of nausea.
– Peppermint Tea – Peppermint is traditionally associated with helping nausea
– Plenty of rest – being rested can help avoid becoming overtired and contributing to stress that can contribute to sickness.
If you are not finding the above is helping with your sickness. You can speak to your GP about anti-sickness medication. There are recommended anti-emetics that are safe to use during pregnancy to help alleviate symptoms.
There is also a form of sickness in pregnancy that goes beyond the normal feelings of sickness and nausea that cannot be helped by the above aids. This is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It only affects 1-3% of women in their pregnancies but it is incredibly debilitating for those who do. The symptoms may last longer than the pregnancy itself, or the sickness can last up until baby is born.
If you are unable to keep any food or drink down due to excessive sickness or nausea you can become severely dehydrated which may require hospital treatment. I suffered with this condition in both of my pregnancies and was hospitalised in both. I was unable to work for the period of time that I suffered with hyperemesis and was bed bound despite the medication prescribed. It was an incredibly hard time where I felt guilty that I wasn’t enjoying pregnancy and wished it away instead of being able to cherish the time. When it came to an end at about 6 months pregnant, I was then able to start bonding with my baby and enjoy the small things instead.
If you feel you might be struggling with hyperemesis the following list of symptoms has been taken from the NHS website (www.NHS.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/complications/severe-vomiting/)
– Prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting
– Being dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include, feeling thirsty, tired, dizzy or lightheaded, not peeing very much and it may be dark and strong smelling.
– Weight loss
– Low blood pressure (hypertension) when standing or moving.
There are support channels available for pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravid arum – you can seek advice from www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk. They have an array of sources and account of available treatments to help you get the help you need.
Sickness in pregnancy can be frustrating and very uncomfortable but remember this too shall pass!