Morning sickness in pregnancy is back in the news following the disclosure that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her 3rd child and is suffering from severe morning sickness. The technical term for this severe form of morning sickness is hyperemesis gravidarum This needs careful monitoring and sometimes the sufferer needs to be hospitalized. In such cases pregnan women are sick so often that they can’t keep enough food and fluid down, leading to dehydration, weight loss, and other possible complications. It’s an extreme form of morning sickness.
Morning sickness in its less severe form is a normal part of pregnancy. It comes about because of the high levels of pregnancy hormones flooding your body. It’s very common. About eight out of 10 pregnant women experience nausea or vomiting. It is especially common in the early stages of pregnancy – up to 12 weeks. After that it usually declines.
What causes morning sickness?
When you are pregnany your body is produces the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in large quantities.This seems to cause nausea. This hormone makes sure that your baby gets what he needs from your body in the early weeks. Once the placenta takes over nourishing your baby, hCG levels drop and your nausea should ease.
Other hormones can also contribute to nausea and sickness in pregnancy, including stress hormones, such as cortisol. Being deficient in certain nutrients including vitamin B6 and magnesium, can also lead to more severe sickness in pregnancy.
Some women only experience feeling sick rather than actually being sick. For these and for others who’s symptoms are not severe they may feel reassured by the sickness that they are still pregnant. Although it’s miserable being sick, as long as you drink plentyof fluids, especially water and are not losing weight, your health and your baby’s wellbeing shouldn’t be affected.
Morning sickness usually subsides between about 14 weeks and 16 weeks. For some women, though, it can continue for a little longer. For a few unfortunate women, it may last throughout pregnancy.
Top tips to deal with morning sickness in pregnancy
- Get plenty of rest
- Keep well hydrated – sip water regularly
- Eat foods rich in vitamin B6 eg avocado, bananas and chicken if you can
- Eat little and often of what you like
- Try acupuncture – in acupuncture with have specific safe points which we use to help with morning sickness, especially if it continues beyond 14-16 weeks –contact me for an appointment now
- If your symptons are severe please see your midwife as soon as possible