Why are pregnant women sick?
- March 09, 2020
- Ally Cohen
Morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy and is marked by nausea and occasional vomiting. Despite the name, morning sickness can cause discomfort at any time of the day.
Many pregnant women have morning sickness, especially during the first trimester. But some women have morning sickness throughout pregnancy. Management options include various home remedies, such as snacking throughout the day and sipping ginger ale or taking over-the-counter medications to help relieve nausea.
Common signs and symptoms of morning sickness include nausea and vomiting, often triggered by certain odors, spicy foods, heat, excess salivation or — often times — no triggers at all. Morning sickness is most common during the first trimester and usually begins by nine weeks after conception. Symptoms improve for most expectant mothers by the mid to late second trimester.
What causes morning sickness isn't clear, but the hormonal changes of pregnancy are thought to play a role. Rarely, severe or persistent nausea or vomiting may be caused by a medical condition unrelated to pregnancy — such as thyroid or liver disease.
Preventing morning sickness
Taking the following steps may help prevent or minimize nausea:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Drink water before and after meals.
- Take naps.
- Ventilate your home and work-space to eliminate scents that make you nauseous.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- Eat small meals.
- Avoid fatty foods.
- Take vitamins at night.
- Avoid cigarette smoke.
If none of these preventative measures works, or if you experience morning sickness beyond the first 3 to 4 months of your pregnancy, it’s important that you speak with your doctor.
Also, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any medications or alternative remedies to discuss these options.
When to see a doctor
Contact your health care provider if:
- The nausea or vomiting is severe
- You pass only a small amount of urine or it's dark in color
- You can't keep down liquids
- You feel dizzy or faint when you stand up
- Your heart races