I'm Going To Be Sick! Morning Sickness
What's Wrong With Me? You're Pregnant
You turn your head from the right to the left, while still lying in bed, and the entire room begins to move around. You try to hold things together just long enough to bolt to the bathroom as waves of nausea wash over you. Maybe it is the flu. You think about what you ate the night before and question yourself as to the possibility of food poisoning. Nobody else got sick. Hmmm. Maybe you are pregnant!
More than half of all women who are pregnant suffer with nausea and vomiting during their pregnancy. Since every woman is different and every pregnancy is equally different, the severity of vomiting and nausea during pregnancy (NVP) varies. While researchers still do not know the exact cause of the phenomenon, it is commonly believed that the combination of all of the physical changes taking place in the body and the radical changes in hormones are the primary causes.
Morning, Afternoon Or Evening-The Day Is Shot
Even though it is called "morning sickness," because it often happens in the morning, NVP can occur at any hour of the day. It usually begins at about six weeks gestation and lasts for the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy). Some 20 percent of women suffer with NVP throughout their entire pregnancy while others have it for a short time right at the beginning and are free of the symptoms afterwards. Most women who have NVP end up rescheduling appointments and making changes in their day because it interferes with usual daily activities.
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is not usually harmful to either mother or the unborn baby and short-term nutritional deficiencies are often corrected later in the pregnancy. However, there are some cases where NVP is severe and persistent, in which case a woman's health may be affected. For most women, NVP symptoms subside considerably through the day, which means it is possible to eat and keep the food down. However, if NVP is severe and you are missing meals day after day, then there is a concern that your baby may not be getting all of the nutrients he or she needs to grow properly.
Sometimes It Can Be Serious: Hyperemesis Gravidarum
A very small number of pregnant women suffer with a condition called "hyperemesis gravidarum," which is excessive vomiting. In such cases, nutritional deficiency may be so severe that harm may come to both mother and child. If left untreated, severe cases of NVP can lead to dehydration. The body requires adequate fluids to function properly and this is particularly important during pregnancy. Losing too many fluids due to NVP can lead to dehydration, which in turn, may require intravenous fluids and vitamin supplementation at the hospital.
Some Helpful Pregnancy Dietary Tips
Some foods help relieve nausea. Salty foods, like pretzels and chips, can settle the stomach enough to allow you to eat a meal. Eat small meals frequently to keep the stomach from becoming empty. There are varieties of foods from various groupings that help to keep the stomach settled. Pickles, lemonade, brown rice, mushroom soup, and peanut butter are all helpful. If you enjoy fruit, watermelon and fruity popsicles work well and juices, seltzer water, ginger ale, and sparkling water are all options to help keep the stomach settled.