M: What Is Morning Sickness

04/01/2010 09:51 | Updated 22 May 2015

Morning sickness affects many pregnant women, and can strike at any time of the day despite the name.

Women may suffer nausea and vomiting typically from the 9th week of pregnancy until about the 16th week.

Sometimes this means a woman has to tell her employer that she is expecting a little sooner than she would have preferred.

A few unlucky women experience morning sickness during almost the entire nine months of pregnancy.

Women often find that certain everyday scents can make them feel ill.

The causes are not exactly understood but it is thought that pregnancy hormones and a change in blood sugar both play a part.

Another theory about why it occurs is that it prevented pregnant women in the past from eating things that may have poisoned them.

Morning sickness is not usually dangerous to the mother or baby. A doctor can prescribe medicine to stop vomiting in severe cases.

If the vomiting is very frequent and the sickness is very severe it is known as hyperemesis gravidarum. This rare condition may lead to dehydration and weight loss and can require hospitalisation.

Tips to reduce morning sickness include the following:

  • Eat little and often
  • Rest as much as possible
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and rich or spicy foods
  • Drink lemon and ginger tea or eat ginger biscuits

Women expecting twins or triplets can experience more sickness as they have higher levels of pregnancy hormones in their blood.

Morning sickness is not pleasant but it is actually a sign of a healthy pregnancy, so that is one thing to bear in mind if you are currently suffering.

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