General Illness Information
Medical Term: Morning sickness during pregnancy
Common Name: Morning sickness
Description: Common symptom of nausea and vomiting, usually during the first trimester of pregnancy. Occurs in over 50% of all pregnancies.
Causes: Nausea probably results from rising levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin in the blood. These rising levels of hormones probably activate the vomiting center in the brain.
Prevention: It is sometimes recommended for patients suffering nausea in pregnancy to eat snacks like crackers and toast etc every two or three hours while awake. This may help prevent the waves of nausea.
Signs & Symptoms
Mild to severe nausea with or without vomiting usually during the first 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy, but may continue throughout pregnancy.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The diagnosis is straightforward.
- Keep rooms well-ventilated to prevent accumulation of cooking odors or cigarette smoke.
- Don’t smoke cigarettes, and ask your family and friends not to smoke while you are experiencing morning sickness.
- Maintain an adequate fluid intake.
- Keep a daily record of your weight.
- Keep a positive attitude.
- Medicine is usually not necessary for this disorder. Don’t take any medications during pregnancy without medical advice.
- If nausea is very severe and associated with vomiting your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve the symptoms e.g. diclectin (doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine) .
- Ginger in capsule or caplet form has been found to be effective.
The following may help:
- Light dry food.
- Snack frequently.
- Place a small snack, such as soda crackers at your bedside. Eat it before getting up in the morning.
- Eat a small snack at bedtime and when you get up to go to the bathroom at night.
- Eat a snack as often as every hour or two during the day. Avoid large meals. Snacks should consist of high-protein foods, such as : peanut butter on apple slices or celery; nuts; cheese and crackers; milk; cottage cheese; yogurt sprinkled with granola; and turkey or chicken slices. Bland foods such as bouillon, consommé, rice, pasta may be tolerated. Avoid foods that are high in fat and salt but low in nutrition. Avoid spicy foods.
Possible Complications :
Hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition of pregnancy characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and electrolyte disturbance (rare).
Prognosis is good. The condition is self-limiting, and usually stops after the first 3 to 4 months of pregnancy.