“Did you have morning sickness?”
Ask any mom this question, and you are going to get a wide range of answers:
“Nope. I felt pretty good the whole time.”
“A little at the beginning.”
“Wow, it was ROUGH for a couple of months!”
“It just went on and on and on. No wonder my baby likes crackers, I ate them everyday!”
Morning sickness, characterized by nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, is different for every woman. And, like with other aspects of pregnancy, it can be hard to know if what you are experiencing is normal.
Typically, morning sickness begins about 5-6 weeks into pregnancy. (Take “morning” with a grain of salt because nausea or vomiting can strike any time of day or night.)
Many, many women experience morning sickness. Most often, it tapers off between the end of the first trimester and midway through the second, but even “normal” morning sickness can last throughout a pregnancy.
What causes morning sickness? One theory is that it is related to the rise in hormones associated with pregnancy, especially Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) because about the time hormone production levels off, morning sickness usually disappears. Another theory is that morning sickness and food aversions are a way of protecting baby from potentially bad bacteria.
Ways to Relieve Morning Sickness
So, if you find yourself among the 80% of women who experience morning sickness, what can you do? Here are some ideas and, hopefully, one or a combination of a few of these will bring you some relief.
Snack through the day so you don’t get too hungry or too full.
Sip ginger ale or water to stay hydrated.
Wear anti-motion sickness wrist bands (which will also help you have a cool ‘80s sweatband vibe going).
As you figure out your triggers, avoid those smells and foods.
Avoid greasy, fatty, or spicy foods.
Avoid excessive heat.
Don’t lie down right after you eat.
What if your Morning Sickness is Severe?
Occasionally, moms-to-be will experience severe morning sickness, a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which results in dehydration and weight loss. Hyperemesis Gravidarum may require hospitalization to get fluids. Talk to your care team if you have severe morning sickness, signs of dehydration, or weight loss.
What if You DON’T Have Morning Sickness?
Even though they feel lousy, many women take comfort in the fact that morning sickness means that pregnancy hormones are doing their work and the baby is growing properly.
But what if you don’t have morning sickness? Does that mean something is wrong? It doesn’t! If you don’t have morning sickness, it’s not an indicator of any trouble in your pregnancy. Some women have no morning sickness and some women have it with one pregnancy and not with another.
Tennessee Family Doulas is here to walk with you through morning sickness and all the challenges of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum. Reach out today to learn more about our services.