Round half of pregnant women experience nausea during pregnancy, primarily in the morning. The nausea usually starts after about a month. It usually stops after about three months, although a small percentage of women experience nausea and vomiting throughout the whole pregnancy.
Although nausea during pregnancy is commonly called morning sickness, many women agree that the name is misleading. It doesn't only happen in the morning. The nausea can kick in at any time, and some women feel sick all day. Its severity ranges from feeling sick for a couple of days to vomiting daily for several months. Further reading: Working or taking time off during pregnancy
The nausea usually goes away after week 14
Morning sickness usually starts about six weeks after the woman got her last period. Most women stop feeling sick after week 14, although some continue to suffer through the whole pregnancy. The nausea is caused by low blood sugar and/or hormone fluctuations.
It is generally seen as a sign of a healthy pregnancy. However, an absence of morning sickness does not mean there is something wrong with you or the baby. Morning sickness is such a well-known symptom that you might expect to get it. But some women don't experience it at all, or only for a few weeks early in the pregnancy. Unfortunately there is no miracle cure for morning sickness. However, you can find some helpful tips below.
Thirteen tips for dealing with nausea
• Eat frequent light meals, for instance every two or three hours. If you can't bring yourself to eat, try taking a little raw cane sugar or glucose.
• The nausea usually happens in the morning. This is because you've gone a long time without eating and your blood sugar has dropped. Try eating some crispbread or a piece of banana when you get up. It can also help to eat a small snack before going to bed.
• Choose mild, calorie-rich foods such as wholemeal bread, rice and potatoes. It often helps to eat high-carbohydrate snacks between meals, such as fruit or a sandwich. Avoid acidic fruit and vegetables. Avoid fatty meat and deep-fried foods.
• Listen to what your body is asking for, while keeping your diet as healthy and balanced as possible. You might crave unusual foods or things you don't normally eat. It's fine to give in to cravings as long as you don't eat too many sweets, unhealthy snacks or sweet drinks
• A good night's sleep is important, but also try to rest for a while during the day. Most women feel extremely tired during the first weeks of pregnancy, which can make the nausea worse.
• Drink plenty of still or sparking water or milk, especially if you are vomiting frequently.
• Avoid coffee and black tea.
• Try acupuncture. Some pregnant women find it helps.
• Avoid long car or boat rides if you tend to get travel sick or seasick.
• Avoid cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes.
• Ginger and lemon are well-known home remedies. Try ginger tea, other ginger products or lemon water.
• You can buy an anti nausea bracelet from a pharmacy or online. It is said to work by activating an acupressure point on the wrist.
• Sometimes the nausea is so bad that it needs to be treated with medicine. Travel sickness medication is available over the counter at pharmacies. Prescription drugs can be taken as a last resort, but always consult your midwife or doctor first.
"The smell of coffee makes me feel sick"
Some pregnant women find they become more sensitive to tastes and smells. Smells that didn't use to affect them make them feel sick, for instance cooking smells or perfume. Some women feel disgusted by specific foods and tastes that they used to like, such as coffee, pickled foods or pepper.
Many pregnant women get a metallic taste in their mouth. This symptom usually disappears around mid-term. To relieve discomfort, try adding lemon to your water, sucking on some lemon sweets or drinking lemonade. Or try cooking with lemon juice or soy sauce.
If you can't keep your food down
Some pregnant women feel sick but ravenously hungry at the same time. Eating is difficult because they can't keep the food down. Don't worry about the baby. Nature will make sure it gets the nutrition it needs. As long as you're not so sick that you can't keep any food down for several days, or can't keep enough liquid down, you don't need to worry.
Eat the foods you can keep down, even if there's not much variety. Rest and contact your midwife for help and advice. If you vomit a lot, you risk getting dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, infrequent urination, tiredness and dizziness. Contact your medical centre if the situation gets serious.
You can read more about nausea in Libero's free app, The Pregnancy Book.