Morning Sickness - What it Is and What to Do
Courtesy of Doctor Thomas Shieh, MD Ob/Gyn. For more information go to ShiehClinic.com
What is morning sickness? Nausea and vomiting are common during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and it occurs mostly during the morning hours though it is possible at other times. This is called "morning sickness." Not everyone experiences morning sickness during their pregnancy. If you do, not to worry. The majority of morning sicknesses are not harmful and will usually go away after the first trimester.
What causes morning sickness? It is thought the rising level of hormones during pregnancy may play an important role. If the condition worsens, it is called hyperemesis gravidarum, which can lead to loss of weight and dehydration. If you notice that you are constantly vomiting and cannot keep fluids down, you need to contact your doctor.
What can you do about it? If you are unable to keep solid foods down, you need to at least drink fluids. In the morning, get up slowly out of bed, and have a light breakfast. Drink fluids through out the day and eat small meals 5 to 6 times during the day. If you get nauseated while taking your prenatal vitamins, try taking the vitamins at bedtime.
If your nausea and vomiting becomes severe, and you are unable to keep anything down, you need to contact your doctor. He or she may order lab tests, and even an ultrasound to rule out a molar pregnancy. You may be admitted to the hospital for hydration through an IV line. Often, out patient treatment is possible by taking anti-nausea medications. Remember, the vast majority of morning sickness symptoms are benign, and it will usually resolve after your first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Here are some tips from the American Dietitic Association that may help keep morning sickness at bay:
- Avoid strong-flavored foods
- Keep dry crackers at your bedside and nibble on them before getting out of bed
- Space meals throughout the day and drink water between meals
- Limit high-fat foods
- Try a bedtime snack that has some protein - peanut butter and crackers might work