It’s a term that almost everyone has heard of, and perhaps surprising or not, most women who have been pregnant have also experienced.
Morning sickness is any pregnancy nausea or sickness that occurs during pregnancy and despite its longstanding history in both every day and medical discourse, there are still several morning sickness misconceptions – the first being closely linked to its name. Morning sickness does not just occur in the morning, and it also doesn’t only apply to women who are vomiting.
In this blog we will address the enduring misconception about the timing of morning sickness, explore why it doesn’t just occur first thing and offer sensible solutions for managing morning sickness.
Ever wondered why it’s called morning sickness? Allow us to debunk the myths.
Origin of the term...
Research has revealed that before the 1830s, some of the terms that were commonly used to refer to what we now know as morning sickness included ‘nausea and vomiting of pregnancy’ and ‘pregnancy vomiting’. It wasn’t until the 1840s that the term was coined and was commonly used during medical scenarios.
Hormonal fluctuations and nausea patterns...
Your hormones will go through periods of change throughout your pregnancy, and this is something that is likely to impact the patterns of your nausea.
Remember, hormones are present in your body in varying amounts throughout your whole pregnancy, which goes some way to explaining why the term ‘morning sickness’ is actually fairly misleading.
Whether you’re currently dealing with morning sickness or are just curious, were sorry to say that your symptoms may not just be confined to the morning hours.
In fact, statistics have revealed that morning sickness that only happens in the morning only occurs in 2% of pregnant women.
Morning sickness during different times of the day
Many women will suffer from morning sickness, especially in the first trimester, and this can take place at any time during the day. The reason it tends to be more common in the morning is because you won’t have eaten for a prolonged period of time, but there’s a myriad of reasons why you might experience it in both the afternoon, evening and even late at night.
Individual variations in pregnancy symptoms
While seeking support from friends and family who have experienced morning sickness can be meaningful and important, it’s important to recognise that individual variations can have an impact on pregnancy symptoms. For example, your sleep or work routine could be something that impacts the time that you experience pregnancy symptoms.
While some women experience bouts of sickness and recognise symptoms that come and go, others will experience all-day sickness – that is a sick feeling that does not subside. This can be extremely challenging to manage and can impact a woman’s mental health significantly. Women who experience this for several weeks are advised to contact their doctor or midwife.
Common Triggers for Nausea during Pregnancy
‘Triggers’ are those things that can cause your morning sickness to peak or worsen. Getting to know your nausea triggers is important, as it can help you to avoid anything that will exasperate your symptoms.
Food and smells
A common trigger for lots of women managing morning sickness is the food they eat, as well as the aromas that accompany certain foods. Lots of women find that during pregnancy they are physically repulsed by foods they normally enjoy, which can be frustrating. Common foods that can result in nausea and vomiting include overly hot or spicy foods, fatty or fried food and anything excessively sweet – though this is different for every woman. Your best bet? Keep a food log and record of any foods and smells that make your symptoms worse.
Your body is (unsurprisingly) teeming with hormones during pregnancy and when hormones change, rise and fluctuate, your morning sickness can be affected. The main hormone that is responsible for morning sickness is human chorionic gonadotropin (hGC) and is produced by the placenta during pregnancy.
Tiredness and stress
Feeling tired and stressed during pregnancy is normal and to be expected – after all, you are growing a teeny tiny human, putting added pressure on your body and time! Stress and anxiety can even impact your appetite, and not eating enough can contribute to feelings of sickness. Lack of adequate sleep can also wreak havoc for your appetite and may lead you to reach for fatty, unhealthy foods, which in turn can result in more nausea.Try refreshing foods that will help hydrate like tangerines, watermelon, strawberries, plums
Environmental factors refer to anything in your environment or immediate surroundings that can contribute to morning sickness. This could be a whole host of factors, including living somewhere without adequate air ventilation to a stressful work environment that may worsen your pregnancy symptoms.
If you are working in an office environment with little ventilation, take short regular walks outside and take some deep breaths of fresh air.
Tips for Managing Morning Sickness
When morning sickness is getting you down, it’s important to seek support and strategies that help you to manage your symptoms.
Eating small, frequent meals
Warding off hunger is a great way to manage your morning sickness and eating little and often can be a good tactic for avoiding any pregnancy discomforts.
Overindulging can put pressure of your digestive system, while allowing yourself to get to the point where your stomach is grumbling can also increase feelings of nausea. Adapt your eating so that rather than eating three large meals every day, try grazing and have five to six smaller snacks/meals a day instead.
Identifying and avoiding triggers
As previously mentioned, certain foods and smells can easily trigger your morning sickness and leave you feeling nauseas. With this in mind, the best thing you can do is avoid anything that causes sickness to rear its head. Identifying your triggers requires you to be mindful and aware of how different foods, smells and environments make you feel, so keeping a log or record of your daily ‘morning sickness’ journey is an effective approach.
Try our handy Aromatherapy nausea combatting nasal inhaler, which is perfect to reach for when a smell you can't stand sends you over the edge
Dehydration can be one of the most dangerous consequences of morning sickness, so remaining properly hydrated is very important. Avoid guzzling drinks and downing large quantities of fluid in one sitting: this in itself can result in feelings of sickness, so sip slowly. If water isn’t your thing, opt for a calming herbal tea instead...and if you don't fancy a hot cuppa why not turn it into an iced tea and add your favorite flavored syrup, ice and some slices of lemon
Here is our award winning nausea combatting herbal tea: QUEASY DAYS TEA
Natural remedies and medication options
When nothing else seems to be working, it may be time to opt for a natural solution. Luckily there are plenty to choose from, so get busy trialling the different options and see what works for you.
If vitamins are ‘your thing’, reach for Vitamin B6, which has been shown to reduce morning sickness and nausea for some women. You may also want to try natural ingredients, including mint and ginger, both are which have a reputation for their tummy taming capabilities.
We have two great products that both contain Vitamin B6:
If the 'au naturel' route doesn’t yield the results you were hoping for, instead consider some of the medication options available to you. Interestingly Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Unisom (doxylamine) are medications used to treat allergies and insomnia, but they can also provide morning sickness relief, particularly if you find your sickness begins as soon as you wake up. Always consult your health practitioner as they know your medical history and pregnancy journey and ensure that medication is ok for you to take.
When it comes to morning sickness, it’s important to know your facts, manage your symptoms and avoid falling into the trap of buying into any of those myths that surround every stage of pregnancy.
Both pregnancy and morning sickness misconceptions can mislead and damage women in the long run. So, while it might be disheartening to learn that morning sickness isn’t only something that happens in the morning, in the long run it helps you to be fully informed and aware of what to expect from every aspect of your pregnancy.
Remember, as an expectant mother there is support out there for you at every stage of your pregnancy journey, so lean into it and seek solutions that are tailored to you and your personal needs.
You got this Mumma!!....And remember Myrtle & Maude specialise in pregnancy sickness so if you or a friend is suffering here is our wide range of Morning Sickness Support products.
Best of luck ♡