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Coping With Morning Sickness

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 8 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Morning Sickness; Vomiting; Nausea;

Although it is a common part of early pregnancy, morning sickness can be very draining and detrimental to health and steps should be taken to minimise the effect.

What Is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is a term given to the type of sickness that occurs during early pregnancy. It is a loose term as the sickness can occur at any time not solely in the morning.

Why Does It Happen?

It is thought that morning occurs as a response to hormonal and chemical changes that occur in the body. During the first three months of pregnancy the unborn foetus is developing all of its body parts and functions, which then grow and mature in the remainder of the pregnancy.There is not a full understanding for the actual physiological processes that occur but this is generally accepted as the reason.

Can It Be Dangerous?

Most women will learn to cope with morning sickness as they know it is normally temporary and will pass as the pregnancy progresses, but for others it can be extremely bad and damaging to health.

The most dangerous aspect of morning sickness is the risk of becoming dehydrated. As the body loses fluid from sickness and oral fluids cannot often be tolerated very well, there is a chance that dehydration can occur and a significant depletion or loss of essential vitamins and minerals.

When morning sickness becomes a danger to health it is called ‘hyper emesis gravidarum’ and your midwife will help you understand this condition and its effects.It must be treated to prevent any negative effects on health that may jeopardise either the mother the baby or both.

There is also the risk to dental health as the acids found in vomit can erode the enamel on teeth.

Preventing Morning Sickness

It may not be possible to prevent morning sickness at all, but it is advised that you allow yourself extra time to carry out activities during the periods when sickness is most likely which varies between women.

Allow your self a snack first thing in the morning as this is thought to prevent nausea from occurring.Avoid foods and smells that are likely to set off an episode of nausea and ask someone else to prepare meals if this also contributes.

Eat small amounts more often so your stomach is not as full and will be able to digest the food better and more quickly allowing nutritional compounds to be absorbed into the system.

Most importantly, drink plenty of clear fluids. Many women are reluctant to drink more fluids because of the already increasing frequency and urgency for urination, but this will be extremely beneficial to health and will help protect you from dehydration.

Coping With Morning Sickness

The best way to cope with morning sickness is to remind your self that it is temporary and is a sign of a healthy pregnancy.If it helps, ask someone else to help at mealtimes and to bring you snacks and water throughout the day, especially first thing in the morning, often before you even get out of bed.

Avoid smells and other things that make you feel nauseous. If you can’t keep much down, eat whatever it is that you fancy, providing it is allowed during pregnancy. It is better to have something rather than nothing at all.Drinking ginger ale or eating ginger biscuits is thought to be very good at preventing nausea so keep a supply of these items handy.

If you feel you are passing less water, feel tired and are developing dry skin, please tell your midwife as this is a sign of dehydration and will need treating, often with the use of fluids administered through a vein.Do not worry about the nutritional needs of your baby as a growing foetus will still be receiving all it needs from your body; it is your body that is at risk.

Visit your dentist and tell them that you are experiencing particularly bad morning sickness and they will examine your teeth and advise as necessary.If you are still working, take your toothbrush and mouthwash to work with you in case you are sick at work. This will allow you to freshen up and remain confident when talking to people as well as making you feel better.

Inform your employer of your morning sickness and tell them that you may need several shorter breaks in order to take small amounts of food or water during this time.

Morning sickness is a very common complaint in early pregnancy and usually eases by around three months. If it continues or prevents you from eating or drinking at all, inform your midwife as you may need medical help to maintain hydration.

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