Morning sickness is a term used to describe nausea and vomiting that occurs during pregnancy. It begins around the fourth week and often ends by the twelfth week. In some cases it may last until the end of pregnancy. It is a normal occurrence but in some cases it may be excessive and distressful.
What are the causes?
The exact cause of morning sickness is not known. It may be caused by hormonal changes or lower blood sugar levels that occur during early pregnancy.
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
It is a term used to describe severe and persistent vomiting during pregnancy. It may be associated with weight loss, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and psychological problems like depression, anxiety and isolation. If not treated, it may endanger the health of the mother and the foetus.
How can the condition be managed?
Nausea and vomiting that is not severe, usually stops after the first 3 or 4 months of pregnancy. During this time, unnecessary medications without consulting the doctor should be avoided. It should be seen that the room is well ventilated. Eating foods that contain carbohydrates, such as biscuits or a slice of dry toast after getting up in the morning helps minimise nausea.
Eating small and frequent meals helps prevent heartburn and nausea. Fatty and spicy foods should be avoided as they tend to irritate the lining of the stomach resulting in the production of more gastric acids. Taking iron tablets may aggravate the nausea in some women. A general positive attitude may help relieve the condition.