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Morning sickness, or pregnancy nausea, is a common condition that, along with heartburn, affects more than half of all women during pregnancy. The feeling of sickness is related to increased estrogen levels during pregnancy. As the name would suggest, it is sometimes present in the early hours of the morning and reduces as the day progresses, although some women experience it throughout the day or at times other than the morning.
The nausea can be mild or can induce actual vomiting. In more severe cases, vomiting may cause dehydration or weight loss or worse. If your symptoms are anything but mild, best to seek a doctor’s advice. The doctor may be able to help you with medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.
Morning sickness can be one of the first symptoms of pregnancy and usually begins around the 5th or 6th week of pregnancy. For most women it stops around the 12th week of pregnancy. While there is no evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of treatments for morning sickness, some things may help to lessen the symptoms. Here are some suggestions that have worked for mums just like you:
- eat five or six small meals per day, rather than three large meals
- avoid an empty stomach
- if you get a food craving, get himself to move the earth until you have what you need!
- eat fruits and veggies high in water content such as tomatoes, grapefruit, strawberries, spinach and grapes
- use the BRAT diet (used for people with gastro bugs): bananas, rice, stewed apple, tea and toast
- eat dry crackers (tuc, cream crackers, crackerbread) or biscuits in the morning: our mums report that they found it helpful to keep cereal or biscuits by the bed for eating first thing
- drink liquids around ½ hour after eating solid food
- use vitamin B6 supplements
- travel sickness bands
- eat/suck/smell lemons
- use ginger: make ginger tea (simply pieces of fresh cut ginger in hot water) or products containing ginger such as biscuits
- sip drinks such as ice cold water, peppermint tea, cola, or tonic water
- suck ice cubes made from water or fruit juice (particularly if you can’t hold down fluids)
- some mums report plain chocolate or choc spread sandwiches to help
Typically, you'll get some relief from one or more of the above ideas. Morning sickness is never nice to get, but if you get it take it as a positive that it's as a result of your body making natural changes to prepare for and protect your little one.