Morning sickness usually begins between the 4th and 6th week of pregnancy and last till the 12th and 14th week. It is important to note that no two pregnancy or pregnant women are exactly the same. Thus the beginning, end and severity of morning sickness symptoms vary from one mother and pregnancy to another. For some women vomiting is associated with morning sickness symptoms while a lot of women would feel nausea without actually vomiting. About 20% - 30% of pregnant women do not even experience morning sickness at all.
Experts agree that morning sickness is not harmful to the mother or baby even when it is accompanied by vomiting. Some even say that it is a good sign that the placenta is developing properly. However, severe and prolonged cases of vomiting could be harmful because it leads to lack of nutrients. A pregnant woman who cannot keep her food down is risking her health and that of the baby. It is thus advised that when morning sickness begins a doctor should be contacted to proffer possible options of treatment.
The major cause of morning sickness is believed to be the natural changes that occur within a pregnant woman. For example during pregnancy the level of estrogen and HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) increases and combine to cause nausea. The HCG hormone, secreted by the egg causes increased progesterone which is the major cause of morning sickness as it leads to stomach acids. The degree or severity of symptoms depends on the amount of HCG produced. Pregnancy involving twins, triplets or more may experience higher symptoms as more babies means more hormones will be released. Reduced levels of sugar in the blood and increased sensitivity to tastes and odors during pregnancy are also contributing factors.
To help alleviate morning sickness symptoms it is advised to eat regular but small meals. Do not take fluids with meals but about 30 minutes before or after meals. Take regular small amounts of fluids to prevent dehydration. Get up slowly from bed and eat soda crackers about 15 minutes before getting up. Odors and smells known to increase symptoms should be avoided. Avoid warm places and get plenty of rest. Salty potato chips, lemonade and watermelon are known to reduce nausea feelings. Being better informed can help you towards a stress free pregnancy and safe delivery.