Morning Sickness

Why am I feeling nauseous now that I am pregnant?

Morning sickness describes the nausea and vomiting in the early months of pregnancy. It is probably caused by a combination of the many physical changes taking place in your body, now that you’re pregnant.

Changes include rapidly increasing estrogen levels, an enhanced sense of smell, excess stomach acids, and increased fatigue. Some researchers think that stress and emotions also play a part in morning sickness.

Although it won’t stop you feeling nauseous, it may help to know you’re not alone. Nearly 80 to 85 per cent of pregnant women feel sick, with half of all women experiencing vomiting or retching at some point. What’s worse, morning sickness can actually strike morning, noon or night.

How long will pregnancy nausea last?

No two pregnancies are alike, and the same goes for bouts of morning sickness. The nausea you’re feeling can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. For some women, queasiness or mild nausea can come and go throughout pregnancy.

What happens if I vomit so often I can’t keep any food down?

Talk to your doctor if you’re suffering from excessive vomiting or you don’t feel like eating anything at all. Left untreated, excessive vomiting can lead to malnutrition, dehydration and other complications for you and your baby. Thankfully this condition, called hyperemesis gravidarum (literally meaning “excessive vomiting in pregnancy”), is rare.

As frightening as it sounds, it can be treated. Your doctor may prescribe a special diet, suggest you rest in bed, or even admit you to hospital.

If you’re diagnosed with dehydration, you may have to be hospitalised to receive intravenous hydration with fluids, glucose and electrolytes. You may also be given medication to decrease your nausea and vomiting, and help you keep food down.

Will my morning sickness affect my baby?

Morning sickness won’t threaten your baby’s wellbeing as long as you’re able to keep some food down. You may need to eat what and when you fancy for a while, but it’s important to try and eat a well-balanced diet, and drink plenty of fluids. Most women with morning sickness work out pretty quickly what they can and cannot stomach, and how many times they need to eat throughout the day. You should aim to eat a diet that’s high in all the vitamins you and your baby need. If you’re taking prenatal vitamins but find them hard to swallow, taking them with food may be easier on your stomach. If you still can’t face them, consider eating a vitamin-rich food every morning.

How do I deal with morning sickness at work?

Here are some tips to help you manage morning sickness at work:

    • If you drive yourself to work, make sure you pull over if you’re feeling dizzy or queasy. Start out early and drive slowly. If possible, see if someone else can drive you to your office and back home.
    • Some women feel queasy when using public transport. If you are one of them, consider using another mode of transport temporarily.
    • While travelling, always carry a couple of plastic covers and a handful of tissues or wet wipes with you. You never know when you may need them!
    • Carry a lemon in your bag always. Just sniff it when you feel nauseous.
    • Carry small snacks and nibble when you can. Eating little and often is known to keep your sugar levels at an even level and so prevent you from suddenly feeling queasy. Biscuits, rusks, dry fruits and nuts can come in handy.
    • Keep a couple of hand towels and a bottle of cold water handy. If you feel queasy, place a wet, cool hand towel on your forehead to relieve yourself. Orange or lemon scented wet wipes can also be refreshing.
    • Keep some mints or a pocket toothbrush and a children’s fruit-flavoured toothpaste in your bag. You may need to freshen up now and then.
  • If your work area is not well ventilated, talk to your employer and see if you can move to an area that is smoke-free and airy.

 

For more information or to consult with our OB/GYN specialists at Sagar Chandramma Hospitals, please contact +91-80-26613255.

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