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Morning Sickness: Symptoms, Causes and DIY Remedies

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

You're having a great time in your early pregnancy journey - just a little discomfort in your breasts and an increase in bathroom visits, but nothing you can't handle. Until one day you wake up with nausea and vomiting.

Does it feel like you're car sick? Perhaps you feel like there's a ton of butterflies in your stomach. Many pregnant women often describe morning sickness in this way. Buckle up - you're probably going to be suffering from this pregnancy nausea for a few weeks, maybe even until your second trimester!

What is morning sickness?

Morning sickness is the term for nausea and vomiting that can occur during pregnancy.

However, the "morning" part is a complete misnomer! If you're one of the 3 out of 4 pregnant women who experience morning sickness, you know that nausea and vomiting can strike at any time.

Morning sickness is common in the first trimester (the first three months of pregnancy) and is frequently the first indication that a woman is expecting.

Mild morning sickness does not require medication. Some pregnant women, on the other hand, may have severe nausea and vomiting, a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which may necessitate medical attention.

Morning sickness can be treated in a variety of ways, and complications are rare. However, do inform your doctor if you are experiencing morning sickness for monitoring.

Morning Sickness Symptoms

  • An unpleasant, nauseating feeling that feels like seasickness or motion sickness in the early trimester of pregnancy

  • Nausea and vomiting that occur most frequently in the morning but may occur at any time of day or night

  • Strong aversions to certain smells and foods that are so powerful they might prompt severe nausea

  • Nausea after eating, especially spicy and fatty foods

  • Nausea and vomiting brought on by heat and severe salivation

What is hyperemesis gravidarum?

Hyperemesis gravidarum affects about 3 out of every 100 pregnant women.

This is severe nausea and vomiting that can make you lose weight and lead to dehydration. It can begin early in the first trimester and continue throughout the pregnancy.

If you suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, you should seek medical treatment to ensure the safety of both you and your baby.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum Symptoms

If you are facing these symptoms, please seek a doctor immediately:

  • Vomiting more than 3 times a day

  • Severe vomiting that causes dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Dehydration. Feeling thirsty, having a dry mouth, having a fast heartbeat, and passing little to no urine are all signs of dehydration that may stem from severe vomiting

  • Losing more than 4kg during pregnancy

Risk Factors for Severe Morning Sickness

  • You're expecting your first child.

  • You're expecting a girl.

  • If you're carrying multiples (twins, triplets or more), you're more likely to experience severe morning sickness. This is because your larger placenta and higher pregnancy hormones may make your morning sickness worse.

  • You've experienced morning sickness in a previous pregnancy

  • The women in your family have a medical history of morning sickness.

What can I do to relieve morning sickness at home?

Here are some things you may do to relieve morning sickness and even avoid it altogether:

  • Instead of three main meals per day, eat smaller, more frequent meals 5 or 6 times a day.

  • Eat foods that are bland and easy to digest such as cereal, rice, and bananas.

  • Avoid spicy foods.

  • Eat healthy snacks between meals. Protein-rich foods in particular, such as milk or yoghurt, can help relieve nausea. You can try out our lactation cookies and brownies too for a delicious boost.

  • Keep hydrated! While it's best to drink plenty of plain water throughout the day, it's understandable if you can't stand it right now. Try different beverages to get your liquid intake instead.

  • Ginger has been proven to help with morning sickness. Try ginger tea, ginger candies or crystallised ginger to ease nausea.

There are certain alternative remedies that should not be done without medical supervision.

If you are keen on trying the following treatments, please consult your health care provider who can provide medical advice to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy:

  • Anti-nausea medication

  • Wristbands for acupressure or electrical nerve stimulation

  • Acupuncture

The Bottom Line

Mild morning sickness is manageable and usually goes away by the fourth month of your pregnancy. Meanwhile, hyperemesis gravidarum may require hospitalisation to keep you and your unborn baby safe.

There are certain home remedies you can try to alleviate or even get rid of your morning sickness! However, some treatments, especially those that involve drugs like anti-sickness medicine, need to be vetted by your doctor before proceeding.

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