Research suggests that it is caused by hormonal changes in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy – in particular human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which is made by cells that form the placenta. It’s thought that high levels of this hormone over stimulate the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting.1
But it isn’t just sickness in the morning! Feeling nauseous, vomiting and tiredness can occur any time of the day: morning, noon and night….
If you are a sufferer, you may feel better knowing that you are not alone. According to the NHS, around half of all pregnant women experience vomiting, and more than 80% of women experience nausea in the first 12 weeks.2 The good news is that it usually clears up by weeks 16 to 20 of pregnancy2 and the even better news is that there are things that you can do to help ease your symptoms.
Here are a few tips:
- Love your bed: getting plenty of rest is key as tiredness can make the nausea worse. Take naps whenever you can, be it during your lunch break, before dinner or with a good old fashioned early nights.
- Say ‘no’ to mornings: often the mums say that the sickness is worse first thing in the morning. If this is the case, then try to give yourself time to get up slowly – and if you can, try to nibble something like toast, crackers or ginger biscuits before you get up.
- Eat little but often: Eating small, frequent, high in carbohydrate meals, are not only more likely to stay down, but they’ll give you the energy you need to get on with your day and support your growing baby. Think about packing small snacks like cereal bars and crackers in your bag or stashing them in your car for when those nauseous moments strike.
- Drink fluids: It’s really important to keep your fluids up to avoid de-hydration – particularly if you’re being sick. Sipping them little and often rather swigging them down in large amounts, may help prevent vomiting and the feeling of nausea.
- Find a way to shift your focus: distracting yourself as much as you can actually help! It may sound silly, but the nausea can get worse the more you think about it.
- Treat yourself to a bit of expert pampering: when the feelings of sickness subside, treat yourself to a facial or trip to the hairdresser, anything that will help you feel good about yourself and help you look forward to the remainder of your pregnancy.
- Feel free in your clothes: Whilst you may still be using hair bands and extension buttons to allow you to squeeze as much wear out of your favourite jeans as you can, being restricted around your waist will only add to your discomfort. Embrace your bump and wear appropriately fitting, comfy clothes!
Morning sickness is pretty awful, but it doesn’t put your baby at any increased risk and usually clears up by weeks 16 to 20 of pregnancy.2 Once you start to feel better, that awful churned up, wobbly tummy type feeling will soon become a distant memory.
If you are concerned that your symptoms are severe or worsening, there is a small chance you are suffering from a more severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidum which affects about 1 in 100 women3 and was experienced by the Duchess of Cambridge. If you are concerned, if you are losing weight, or if the morning sickness is really interfering with your life then seek medical attention.
Please visit NHS Choices for further information: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/morning-sickness-nausea.aspx#close
Helping you get the nutrients you need …
Whilst coping with morning sickness and the demands of being pregnant, remembering to take your supplement is often the last thing on your mind. For many women, taking supplements can be a challenge – particularly if you’re suffering from morning sickness. In fact, a third of mums have reported that supplements have made them feel ill in the past.4 nutrimum is a convenient snack that helps mums overcome these challenges to getting the nutrients they need.
Nutrimum cereal bars replace mums’ daily tablet supplement making it easy for them to fortify their diet in pregnancy and breastfeeding. One nutrimum bar a day (40g) helps mums meet Department of Health recommendations, providing 100% Recommended Nutritional Intake (RNI) of folic acid and vitamin D in pregnancy and 100% RNI of vitamin D during breastfeeding as well as other key nutrients such as omega-3 (DHA), iodine and iron.5
By Clemmie Hooper, Midwife
1. Lee, NM and Saha S. Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. Gastrol Clin North Am. June ; 309-vii. 2011
2. NHS Choices. Nausea and morning sickness. [Online]. Accessed September 2015.
3. NHS Choices. Severe vomiting in pregnancy. [Online]. Accessed September 2015.
4. Early nutrition surveys of mothers/mothers-to-be and healthcare professionals. August 2014. Data on file.
5. Products [Online]. Accessed: September 2015.