The toughest bit of the 1st trimester of pregnancy is morning sickness and any woman who has gone through or is going through it knows the first signs usually develop during the month following the first missed menstrual period when hormone levels increase. It may range from mild, occasional nausea to severe, continuous, debilitating nausea with bouts of vomiting. In most cases, symptoms may be worse in morning, albeit they can strike day or night.
Despite all advances in medicine, there is no way of predicting how long your morning sickness will last even if you have suffered it before. Generally, nausea and vomiting last till about 12 – 13 weeks of pregnancy. However, some women continue to feel ill beyond their 22nd week as well.
However, some studies show that mild to moderate sickness is a sign of a good pregnancy and less risk of miscarriage.
There is no simple treatment. The best course of action is home treatment. The following tips work wonders not only when you wake up feeling nauseous but also work when you get that queasy feeling during the day.
Changing what, when and how much you eat coupled with certain changes to the way foods cooked help.
During morning or for that matter all day sickness, you may find that eating five or six small meals, rather than the usual three large ones, is easier on the body. Make sure each meal contains some protein and carbohydrate, like whole wheat bread with grated cheese and a slice of tomato, rice or wheat preparation with some easily digestible/light cereals, orange juice, and a whole wheat biscuit. Be creative; choose low-fat health foods you know will tempt your appetite. Aversions to food because of nausea are perfectly normal and understandable.
- Try not to skip meals
- Eat small, dry snacks.
- Don’t jump up out of bed immediately. Lie quietly for a while and ask your husband to bring you a slice of fresh lemon or orange or a dry, bland biscuit.
- Avoid large drinks, have frequent small one between meals.
- Spicy, fried foods, and fatty foods like very rich sweets, are best avoided.
- Avoid excessive consumption of pickles or chutney, which is rich in salt.
- Don’t spend much time in the kitchen and avoid the strong smell of certain foods when shopping.
- Prepare food when feeling least nauseous.
- Taking lemon or orange juice in the morning and before meals relieves nausea of early pregnancy.
- Suck an ice cube till nausea passes off.
- Sip on cool water.
However, if you have severe, persistent nausea and vomiting, see your doctor. This not so common complication of pregnancy can lead to dehydration and malnutrition, sometimes calling for prescribed medication and in some cases even hospitalization. Although drugs are best avoided in pregnancy, especially in the early months, there are some that have been in use for many years with no apparent danger to the developing baby.