Morning sickness is also known as nausea gravidarum, nausea/vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), emesis gravidarum, and pregnancy sickness. For many women, the symptoms of morning sickness are their first signs of pregnancy.
It is something that almost every pregnant woman has to go through, at least for the first three months.
“Up to 70% 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,” says Dr Kiran Coelho, consultant gynaecology & obstetrics, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical.
Facts on morning sickness
- Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night.
- The exact causes are still not known.
- There are a number of home remedies that can help treat the symptoms of morning sickness.
- A small amount of evidence suggests that ginger might ease the nausea.
- Morning sickness may be a sign of a healthy pregnancy.
In many women a certain smell or taste can trigger these episodes. And it gets worse on an empty stomach. “Morning sickness happens due to changes in the hormone called beta HCG. This hormone plateaus at 12 weeks,” says Dr Vandana Gawdi, consultant, gynaecology, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.
Measures to control vomiting during pregnancy
- Try changing eating patterns.
- For morning nausea, eat toast, cereal, crackers, or other dry foods before getting out of bed.
- Eat cheese, lean meat, or other high-protein snack before bedtime.
- Sip fluids, such as clear fruit juices, water, or ice chips, throughout day. Don’t drink lots of fluid at one time.
- Eat small meals or snacks every two to three hours instead of three large meals per day.
- Don’t eat fried, greasy, or spicy foods.
- Avoid foods with strong odours that are bothersome. Or eat foods cold or at room temperature.
- Get plenty of rest and nap during the day.
- Do not lie down after eating. Do not skip meals.
When to call a doctor
Seek medical help if vomiting is so severe or constant that the person can’t keep down fluids or food.
The doctor may need to treat the person for dehydration.
The doctor may recommend medication to control vomiting during pregnancy.