As we tell our patients at Westchester Health who are pregnant, expecting a baby is a wonderful thing but morning sickness can sure take the fun out of it. To help ease their symptoms so they can feel better throughout their pregnancy, we offer this informative blog by Lauren Adler, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with our Westchester Health Pediatrics group (excerpted below). There is also helpful information and advice for expecting parents on the WHP website which you can access here.
Here’s how to prevent, or at least minimize, the symptoms of morning sickness
- Eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day so your stomach is never empty.
- Eat slowly.
- Keep simple snacks, such as crackers, by your bed.
- Avoid lying down after eating (especially on your left side).
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat more protein and cut out fatty foods.
- Avoid smells and foods that make you feel nauseated.
- Get lots of rest.
- Get fresh air regularly.
- Try aromatherapy.
- Raise your upper body in bed by putting a pillow under the mattress.
- Avoid late night meals.
- Give up alcohol and smoking.
- Consider anti-nausea medication.
What exactly causes morning sickness?
Up to 85% of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness at some point in their pregnancy, usually kicking in around the 4th week and continuing until around the 12th week. It often strikes first thing in the morning but it’s not unusual to experience it at any time of the day or night.
We don’t really know what causes morning sickness but researchers think that it’s most likely a combination of causes, including:
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone that rises rapidly during the early stages of pregnancy
- Estrogen, a female hormone which also rises rapidly in early pregnancy
- An enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to odors (possibly resulting from higher levels of estrogen)
- A sensitive stomach
- Stress, worry
NOTE: If you have severe, persistent nausea and vomiting and are unable to take in fluids (which puts you at risk of dehydration), see your doctor right away, as this may be a condition called “hyperemesis gravidarum” (H.G.). H.G. is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and an imbalance of electrolytes. Mild cases are treated with dietary changes, rest and antacids, but more severe cases often require an inpatient stay in the hospital so that you can receive intravenous (IV) fluids and nutrition.
Some articles that you might find of interest:
- Early pregnancy symptoms
- Morning sickness: signs and symptoms
- What is morning sickness and how can I treat it
Having a hard time with morning sickness? Come see us.
If you’re experiencing morning sickness and want some relief, please come in and see one of our Westchester Health pediatricians or a Westchester Health OB/GYN. The sooner we can evaluate and start treating your symptoms, the sooner you can start feeling better and enjoying your pregnancy. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.
To read Dr. Adler’s blog in full, click here.