Morning Sickness: Nausea During Pregnancy – Symptoms, Causes and Treat

Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that occurs during pregnancy. Even though it is called morning sickness, this condition does not only occur in the morning, but also in the afternoon, afternoon or evening.

Most pregnant women experience morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy. Even though it does not harm the mother and fetus, morning sickness can affect daily activities. In some women, severe morning sickness symptoms can even progress to hyperemesis gravidarium.

Hyperemesis gravidarum is severe nausea and vomiting experienced by pregnant women. This condition is prone to causing dehydration and drastic weight loss. If a pregnant woman experiences hyperemesis gravidarum, intensive treatment needs to be carried out to prevent complications.

Causes of Morning Sickness

The exact cause of morning sickness is not yet known. However, hormonal changes in the early trimester of pregnancy are thought to play a role in triggering this condition.

Apart from hormonal changes, there are several factors that can increase the risk of pregnant women experiencing morning sickness, including:

  • Pregnant or pregnant with your first child
  • Pregnant with twins
  • Experienced morning sickness in a previous pregnancy
  • Having family members who experience morning sickness during pregnancy
  • Often experience motion sickness

Apart from these factors, morning sickness can also be caused by other diseases and conditions, such as stress, obesity, liver disease and thyroid gland disorders.

Symptoms of Morning Sickness

The main symptoms of morning sickness are nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Although it occurs more often in the morning, there are also pregnant women who complain of nausea and vomiting due to morning sickness at night.

These symptoms are often triggered by several things, for example certain aromas, spicy foods, or hot temperatures. If vomiting occurs excessively, pregnant women who experience morning sickness can also experience chest pain.

Morning sickness most often occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy or around month 2 and month 3 of pregnancy, but there are also pregnant women who experience it since the first month of pregnancy.

Usually the symptoms of this condition will begin to subside in the middle of the second trimester. However, there are also pregnant women who experience morning sickness throughout their pregnancy.

When to See a Doctor

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are normal, because they are signs of normal pregnancy. However, still carry out regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor the condition of your pregnancy.

You are also advised to see a doctor more often if nausea and vomiting during pregnancy gets worse or is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Stomach ache
  • Fever
  • Heart pounding
  • Dizziness or feeling like you are going to faint
  • Headaches that appear repeatedly
  • Urine comes out little or is dark in color
  • Vomit that contains blood or is brownish in color
  • Can’t eat or drink at all
  • The body feels very tired
  • Weight loss
  • Dazed

To maintain a healthy pregnancy, pregnant women also need regular check-ups with a doctor. Below are details of the routine visits that need to be made during pregnancy:

  • Weeks 4–28: once a month
  • Weeks 28–36: once every 2 weeks
  • Weeks 36–40: once a week

If deemed necessary, pregnant women will be asked by the doctor to undergo more frequent examinations to monitor pregnancy and prevent pregnancy complications.

Diagnosis of Morning Sickness

To diagnose morning sickness, the doctor will ask about complaints experienced by the pregnant woman, medical history before pregnancy, and previous use of medication. Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination to determine the condition of the pregnant woman.

Generally, doctors do not require further examination to diagnose morning sickness. However, a urine test or blood test may be needed if the doctor suspects there is another cause or disease underlying the appearance of morning sickness.

Morning Sickness Treatment

In most cases, morning sickness is a condition that does not require special medical treatment. However, pregnant women can do the following to relieve complaints of morning sickness:

1. Ginger: Nature’s Anti-Nausea Aid

Ginger has been used for centuries to combat nausea, and it’s a go-to remedy for many expectant mothers. It’s available in various forms, such as ginger tea, ginger ale, or ginger capsules. Sipping on ginger tea or sucking on ginger candies can help ease the queasiness.

2. Frequent, Small Meals

An empty stomach can often trigger nausea. Instead of the traditional three meals a day, consider having multiple small meals throughout the day. This helps keep your stomach from getting too empty and can help reduce the severity of morning sickness.

3. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can worsen morning sickness symptoms. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Sipping on water with a slice of lemon can be particularly soothing. You can also try ice chips if plain water is unappealing.

4. Acupressure Wristbands

Acupressure wristbands, often used to alleviate motion sickness, can be quite effective in reducing morning sickness symptoms. These wristbands stimulate a pressure point on your wrist that is associated with nausea relief.

5. Vitamin B6

Consult your healthcare provider about taking vitamin B6 supplements. It’s been found to be beneficial in reducing the severity of morning sickness. However, it’s crucial to discuss this with your doctor to determine the appropriate dosage.

6. Aromatherapy

Certain scents can help combat nausea. Essential oils like peppermint, lemon, and lavender, when used in a diffuser, can create a soothing atmosphere and help ease morning sickness symptoms.

7. Avoid Triggers

Identify and avoid triggers that worsen your nausea. This could be certain foods, strong odors, or even stressful situations. Each woman’s triggers can be different, so it’s important to pay attention to what exacerbates your morning sickness and try to steer clear of those situations.

8. Rest and Relaxation

Pregnancy is a time when your body needs extra rest. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Stress and fatigue can exacerbate morning sickness, so taking time for self-care is crucial.

9. Prescription Medications

If your morning sickness is severe and other remedies haven’t provided relief, consult your healthcare provider. They may prescribe medications that can help manage the symptoms. It’s essential to have a healthcare professional guide you in choosing the right medication.

Medicines and Vitamins to Treat Morning Sickness

New medicine and vitamins will be given by the doctor if the pregnant woman experiences severe symptoms of morning sickness. The doctor will provide vitamin B6 supplements and anti-nausea medication, for example metoclopramide or antihistamines which are safe for pregnant women. The following are some antihistamine drugs that can be prescribed by doctors:

  • Diphenhydramine
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Metoclopramide
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Promethazine

Pregnant women with severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum need to be hospitalized to avoid complications.

Complications of Morning Sickness

Morning sickness generally does not cause serious complications. However, if the morning sickness experienced by pregnant women is severe, this could indicate hyperemesis gravidarum. If you have reached this stage, several pregnancy complications that can occur are:

  • Dehydration
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Electrolyte disturbances
  • Fetal development disorders
  • Premature birth

Prevention of Morning Sickness

Morning sickness can be prevented by avoiding foods that can trigger nausea, such as foods that are too spicy, hot, or contain a lot of sugar. Apart from that, pregnant women are also advised to eat slowly, in smaller portions, but more often.

When feeling nauseous, pregnant women can eat salty foods, toast, bananas, corn, biscuits, lemon juice, or drink and food products that contain ginger. If pregnant women feel the need to take anti-nausea medication, it is recommended to consult a doctor first.

What is morning sickness, and when does it typically occur during pregnancy?

Morning sickness refers to the nausea and vomiting experienced by many pregnant women. Contrary to its name, it can occur at any time of the day or night. It usually begins in the first trimester, around the 6th week, and can continue into the second trimester.

Are there any natural remedies for morning sickness that I can try before considering medication?

Yes, there are several natural remedies you can try, including ginger, acupressure wristbands, staying hydrated, and eating frequent, small meals. Essential oils like peppermint and lemon can also be used for aromatherapy to ease nausea.

When should I contact my healthcare provider about morning sickness?

You should contact your healthcare provider if you’re unable to keep any food or liquids down, if you’re losing a significant amount of weight, if your urine becomes dark or you’re not urinating frequently, or if your nausea and vomiting are severely impacting your daily life.

Can morning sickness harm my baby, or is it just an uncomfortable part of pregnancy?

In most cases, morning sickness is a common and temporary part of pregnancy that doesn’t harm the baby. In fact, it’s often considered a positive sign of a healthy pregnancy. However, severe and persistent morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) may require medical attention to ensure both you and your baby are getting proper nutrition and hydration.

Are there any specific foods or drinks I should avoid to manage morning sickness?

Certain foods and smells can trigger morning sickness, and these can vary from person to person. Some common triggers include spicy or greasy foods, strong odors, and caffeine. It’s essential to identify your personal triggers and avoid them. Staying hydrated is crucial, so if water is unappealing, you can try plain or flavored water, ginger tea, or ice chips.


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