If there’s one thing that all women who have been pregnant can probably agree on, it’s that the experience can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster. There are the dizzying highs, the unforeseen lows, and all those topsy turvy moments in between. Pregnancy can be unpredictable, and the same can also be true when it comes to morning sickness.
Characterised by nausea and vomiting, morning sickness is one of the less desirable side effects of pregnancy, with research suggesting it can affect up to 9 in 10 women during early pregnancy. Intermittent morning sickness, which occurs at irregular intervals throughout pregnancy, can be hard to manage.
If your symptoms are fluctuating as regularly as your mood, we know how you feel. There’s no easy fix for morning sickness but consider us your salvation. Here we’ll dispel the myths, talk facts and help you gain control of your pregnancy symptoms.
One word. Hormones. We’ve heard it bandied around most of our adolescent and adult lives as the reason for our discomfort, frustration, and even heartache.
It’s no surprise then that the hormonal changes that occur during your body when you conceive can lead to morning sickness.
Specifically, it is caused by rising levels of Human chorionic gonadotropin, which reach peak levels in the body between weeks 9-12 of pregnancy, which could explain why morning sickness is common during this time. Other hormones that also increase in production during pregnancy include estrogen and progesterone, both of which can contribute to nausea and vomiting.
Because morning sickness is an unpredictable phenomenon, it’s not unlikely that you will experience symptoms that change, develop or vary over time. Often this is because of the stage of pregnancy that you are currently at, which will have an overall impact on the way that you are feeling. Generally, symptoms of nausea and vomiting will begin faintly during the first trimester of pregnancy on weeks 5 and 6 and peak during week 9.
Once you’ve made it through the worst, you should notice your morning sickness steadily decline by weeks 12-14.
Medical experts also claim that hydration, hormone levels, activity levels and blood sugar can result in changes when it comes to a whole host of pregnancy symptoms, including morning sickness.
When you are pregnant, it’s normal to over analyse and be excessively aware of every small change that your body is going through. Stress and anxiety at every stage is normal and healthy, and a common fear that many women experience is suffering a miscarriage during pregnancy.
Morning sickness fading away gradually is normal and natural, and it’s important to be aware that the absence of morning sickness is not in itself anything to worry about. Having said that, symptoms that are there one day and gone the next can be a sign of miscarriage.
Other warning signs to be mindful of include pelvic pain or lower back pain and abnormal vaginal discharge, so you should always contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. While some women may experience their morning sickness disappearing, others may notice it becoming gradually and unbearably worse.
Severe morning sickness, medically referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), can be extremely hard to manage and women suffering may require medical treatment to manage their symptoms. Severe symptoms include sickness that lasts throughout the day, making it impossible to eat and vomit that is brownish in colour. Complications that can presents as a result of severe morning sickness include dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and weight loss.
With so much to contend with both physically and emotionally, sometimes getting adequate sleep can feel like a real challenge – but it’s important that you try your absolute hardest to get your required 8 hours rest. This is because tiredness can actually make nausea feel much worse, possibly because your body doesn’t have the energy to take on how you are feeling.
Pregnancy is a unique experience for every woman, and because of that, it’s likely that your triggers won’t be the same as those that your friends or family members experienced.
Keeping tabs on triggers by keeping a pregnancy journal can be a meaningful first step when it comes to managing fluctuating symptoms as when you know what’s making you feel sick, it’s easier to avoid. This can range from anything including certain smells or foods. Steer clear of anything that makes you feel queasy to avoid worsening symptoms.
We have a great handy nausea aromatherapy nasal inhaler, so if a particular smell that has sent you over the edge, having this to hand and taking a slow nasal inhalation of can be a quick distraction to the smell that is making you queasy:
If you’re experiencing nausea and vomiting, sometimes the last thing on your mind is food, but it’s key that you don’t allow yourself to become hungry. When your body is starved of food, your stomach produces a build up of an acid called hydrochloric acid, which is usually responsible for the breaking down of your food. This build up can result in acid reflux, a common cause of nausea and vomiting.
Maintaining a healthy diet and nutritional habits throughout pregnancy is of paramount importance, but when sickness has got the best of you, it’s a good idea to stick to dry foods. Toast and plain crackers are good options, or you could stock up on some ginger biscuits, with ginger known for its medicinal properties when it comes to reducing nausea and vomiting.
Try our Ginger Hard boiled sweets: Myrtle & Maude Vitamin B6 Ginger Gins
When you’re riding that morning sickness rollercoaster, it can feel relentless, but it’s important to remember that the journey will be over soon, and at the end you will be rewarded with the most precious of gifts. In the meantime, take steps to support yourself and remember to contact your doctor if you experience any of the serious symptoms mentioned earlier in this post.