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Morning Sickness in Pregnancy. What to do?

Morning Sickness in Pregnancy. What to do?

by: Dr. Pooja Mehta
Sr. Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology

What is Morning Sickness ?

Morning sickness is a very common symptom of pregnancy. It is a term used for the nausea one feels in the first trimester of pregnancy most commonly in the morning (though it may occur at other times of the day/all day long). In fact it is one of the signs of pregnancy. Though common it can be sometimes very distressing. Nausea at times may be accompanied with vomiting .It occurs most commonly because of the hormonal changes of pregnancy(increase in HCG and estrogen hormones) Although a distressing symptom the good part is that it indicates that the pregnancy is developing normally with sufficient hormonal support. In most of the cases it usually subsides after 12 weeks of pregnancy after which her  appetite will also start increasing. Rarely it may get prolonged and occur throughout the pregnancy. Morning sickness usually does not harm the baby but when nausea and vomiting becomes severe to the extent that no solid or liquid can be digested it can lead to electrolyte imbalance and lack of glucose in the body. It is more common if it’s a multiple pregnancy (twins/triplets), if a lady had it in her previous pregnancy or she had nausea with oral contraceptive pills.

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What to do to Handle Morning Sickness in Pregnancy?

  • Take small frequent meals. Instead of three major meals you can take 5 or 6 small meals.
  • High protein diet and complex carbohydrates may be helpful.
  • Whatever you eat, eat slowly.
  • Avoid taking fluids with meals instead take them before meals .
  • Keep on sipping liquids in between meals to avoid dehydration.
  • Take a dry toast before getting up from bed.
  • Don’t jump out of the bed on waking up, instead get up slowly and sit in the bed for sometime.
  • Brush/ wash your mouth after taking a try toast/biscuit.
  • Avoid oily/ spicy food.
  • Do not lie down immediately after eating.
  • Avoid being empty stomach for a long time.
  • Take plenty of sleep and rest.
  • If certain foods /smell cause nausea avoid cooking or eating them.
  • Take food which is at room temperature or is cold as hot foods tend to have smells.
  • If you are not able to take a balanced diet in the first 12 weeks due to the nausea its ok.
  • Ginger supplements/ tea may be helpful.
  • There are certain non food triggers like warm stuffy room/ heavy perfumes/ flickering lights/long car rides. These can be avoided.
  • Get fresh air/ avoid stress tiredness indulge in an activity that diverts your mind from the nausea like watching TV.

In Pregnancy, contact your doctor immediately if:

  • Nausea and vomiting is excessive and you are not able to tolerate any solids/liquids
  • If symptoms are accompanied with fever.
  • If you are not passing urine/ urine becomes dark yellow.
  • If you have dizziness on getting up.
  • If there is blood in vomit.

Important Note:

Last but not the least we have medicines to treat and alleviate symptoms of morning sickness so no need to be uncomfortable/exhausted and miserable. Discuss with your doctor regarding treatment options instead!

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