Morning sickness is the nauseated feeling that many women get during the first trimester of pregnancy. Morning sickness can be, but is not always, accompanied with vomiting. It usually starts out in the morning and wears off as you become active throughout your day, but it can actually occur at any time of the day.
Many health care providers believe morning sickness is a good sign because it means the placenta is developing well.
More than half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness. Most pregnant women have at least some nausea, and about a third have vomiting.
The nausea is often a result of the increased hormone levels that result from pregnancy. The exact cause of morning sickness is not known; it may be caused by hormonal changes or lower blood sugar during early pregnancy. Emotional stress, traveling, or some foods can aggravate the problem.
Nausea and vomiting can be one of the first signs of pregnancy and usually begins around the 6th week of pregnancy. It can occur at any time of the day, and for most women it seems to stop around the 12th week of pregnancy although it can last until the 14th or 16th week.
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include blood tests (including CBC and blood chemistry) and urine analysis for ketones and to determine severity of dehydration.
In the Morning
During the Day
Eating and Drinking
Evening and Nighttime
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and sometimes electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are often treated with dietary measures, rest and antacids. Severe cases often require a stay in the hospital so that the mother can receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line. DO NOT take any medications to solve this problem without consulting your health care provider first.
Morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, but if you experience excessive vomiting and cannot keep your food down, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum can be harmful to you and your baby if severe and left untreated, due to the possible lack of nutrients and electrolyte imbalance. The degree of morning sickness during one pregnancy does not predict how you will feel in future pregnancies.
Morning sickness does not hurt the baby in any way unless persistent weight loss occurs, such as with the severe vomiting of hyperemesis gravidarum.
Inform your health care provider if symptoms of Hyperemesis gravidarum appear and discuss possible options for treatment. Specifically:
Acupressure wrist bands or acupuncture may help. You can find these bands in drug, health food, and travel stores. If considering acupuncture, talk to your doctor and seek an acupuncturist trained to work with pregnant women.
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