Morning sickness is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy.
Almost two thirds of all pregnant women will suffer from some degree of morning sickness. It is more common and usually more severe in women who are pregnant with more than one baby, i.e. twins and triplets.
There is a positive side to morning sickness – women who suffer from nausea in early pregnancy are less likely to suffer a miscarriage.
Symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
Typically, morning sickness is at its worst in the morning, but it can strike at any point, during the day, evening or night.
In most cases morning sickness begins around fourth week of pregnancy, which is soon after your missed your period and just after a positive pregnancy test.
It usually starts to settle down at around 12 weeks. Some women will experience slight worsening of their nausea at around 16 weeks, after which time it will start to settle down. A small percentage of women will continue to feel unwell all the way through the pregnancy.
In most cases morning sickness does not harm you or your baby. Severe morning sickness however, which includes severe, repetitive vomiting, dehydration and weight loss is different and requires prompt medical attention.
Is there anything I can do to manage my morning sickness?
- Eat a few dry crackers or plain sweet biscuits, followed by a cup of weak black tea before getting out of bed in the morning
- Eat frequent, small meals and do not allow yourself to get hungry, as it is likely to make your nausea worse
- Don’t eat anything that makes you feel nauseous, eat what you can, in general high carbohydrate/high protein meals are generally well tolerated.
- Drink as much as you can – sips of flat lemonade, flat mineral water, weak tea, and ginger tea. Sucking on ice cubes can also be helpful.
- Wear clothes that are not too tight around your waist
- Rest as much as you can, avoid physical exercise such as gym. Take a day off work if possible and sleep. You will feel a lot better the next day.
- Consider acupressure or acupuncture
- Over the counter vitamin supplements such as combinations of Vitamin B6 and ginger might help. High dose Vitamin B6 can be harmful, so, if in doubt, talk to your Obstetrician.
- Prescription medicines can be used to alleviate your nausea if necessary. Your Obstetrician will be able to advise you which ones are safe to use during your pregnancy.
Do you need more information?
Dr Kretowicz consults at two locations in Brisbane: the Alexandra Building on Wickham Terrace and at the Ramsay Consulting Suites at North West Private Hospital.
Caring for women’s health and supporting couples on the journey through pregnancy and childbirth.