It is a very normal part of pregnancy to feel sick and vomit on occasion. However this is not a very nice thing to experience and there are many treatments that may help you. This article looks at the latest research and evidence around morning sickness and teaches you ways to deal with this annoying and often distressing condition.
What is it?
As mentioned above it is quite normal to experience times when you feel sick and want to vomit during pregnancy. In fact almost all pregnant women feel this way at some point. In many cases this may be the first sign that someone is pregnant. Many women actually think of these signs as a good thing, indicating that their pregnancy is a healthy one. It is common for vomiting and nausea to begin around six weeks following your last period. Although the name of this condition is morning sickness and it is very common to get this in the morning, you can actually get it at anytime during the day.
Many women find that they can be sick many times a day and although this can be distressing it is usually ok if they are able to keep enough food down. In most cases you will not lose weight within the first few months of your pregnancy and so the morning sickness will not affect the baby in the future. It is important that you recognise that while morning sickness is common and normal, it is not normal if you are so sick that you cannot hold down fluids or food. If you are unable to hold down these for longer than 24 hours you must see your doctor as you can become dehydrated. If you need to go to hospital for this they will replace the fluid that you have lost.
There are some treatments that can help if you are finding it hard to cope with the morning sickness in your pregnancy. Some of these treatments are natural and others are drugs. All of the treatments work in different ways for different women and there is no one size fits all approach. On the natural side, ginger is one of the most widely used treatments for morning sickness. This is a root use to flavour certain foods such as biscuits and stir fried vegetables. Ginger can also be found in a variety of drinks such as ginger beer, ginger ale and ginger tea. There is thought that you will most likely not get enough ginger out of these foods and drinks and that you will probably require ginger supplements.
There is another treatment method known as an acupressure wristband. This needs to be worn over the P6 point on your forearm. Evidence shows that women who wear this band spend less time feeling nauseas and do not vomit as much as those who do not wear the band. There is a chance that your arm may become swollen and numb from wearing the band. It can also be said that taking vitamin B6 tablets may make you less ill and decrease the number of times that you vomit. Vitamin B6 can usually be found in multivitamin tablets that are taken by pregnant women. However in many cases the dose of vitamin B6 in these tablets may not be high enough and you may need to get vitamin B6 supplements on their own. You should speak with your doctor if you require a higher dose of vitamin B6 and they will advise you if it is the right thing for you.
There are also drug treatments that can help with morning sickness and if you suffer from lots of vomiting and nausea then you may benefit from taking a drug known as an antihistamine. An antihistamine by the name promethazine is the most common one prescribed for morning sickness. However another one known as cyclizine can also be given. The evidence is quite good to say that these medications are effective and there is nothing to say that these medicines will cause harm to the baby. One of the side effects of antihistamines is that you can feel drowsy when you take them. Not all antihistamines make you feel like this; however all of the research on these medications for morning sickness has been done using the ones that do make you feel drowsy. For this reason we cannot prescribe the others as we do not know what effect they will have on the baby.
There are also things that you can do in order to help yourself suffer from less morning sickness. Some of the things that are recommended include eating more frequently in smaller amounts, eating ginger biscuits, eating dry crackers and toast, avoiding spicy, rich or fatty foods, sitting down after eating, drinking lots of liquids, eating a little bit of food as soon as you wake up, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, taking your time to get out of bed in the morning, getting some exercise and fresh air every day, and moving slowly as to avoid sudden movements.
In almost every case morning sickness will pass after the first three months of being pregnant. However in some cases it does go on for longer and can even cause an admission to hospital. In fact one in every ten women continues to feel sick after 20 weeks of pregnancy.