More than 80% of women experience morning sickness during their pregnancy and it is an indication of a healthy pregnancy. Morning sickness should not be so severe that it causes dehydration and feeling of sickness.
How Bad Can Morning Sickness Get?
If the morning sickness is very severe and the pregnant lady vomits for a number of times then the condition is called as hyperemesis gravidarum, which means excessive vomiting during pregnancy. This type of morning sickness starts early during pregnancy and lasts longer than the normal morning sickness.
The symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum continue to be severe and progress during the first trimester and then gradually suppress during the second trimester.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is usually common during the first pregnancy. If a woman has had hyperemesis gravidarum in the previous pregnancy then there are chances that she will experience morning sickness in future pregnancies also.
The exact cause of hyperemesis gravidarum is not known, but it is expected due to the pregnancy hormones especially human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). The levels of this hormone are known to be high during pregnancy apart from this even hereditary link has also been seen as a risk factor. If a lady’s mother or sisters have had hyperemesis gravidarum then the chances are that the women will also have. The other reasons for hyperemesis gravidarum can include multiple pregnancies (e.g. twins or triplets), have got a history of motion sickness and migraine.
In case of severe morning sickness, the mother and baby tend to lose body fluids, decrease stomach acid and electrolyte imbalance. Women tend to lose weight as she will not be able to eat anything because of nausea and vomiting, the nutritional demands of the growing baby will not be met. For a healthy mother and baby women should eat for every two hours. The mother and baby will become nutrient deficient for growth and development of the baby. Such pregnant ladies should receive immediate treatment to avoid any complications. The pregnant lady may suffer from organ failure and premature birth of a baby.
The pregnant lady should be monitored for the signs and symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum, whether she is suffering from nausea throughout the day which is making it difficult for her to drink or eat the food, if she is vomiting for more than 3 times a day unable to eat anything if the vomit has blood strain, weight loss, fainting or dizziness, decreased urination, increased heart rate, headache, extreme fatigue and confusion.
Pregnant women are advised to take a bland diet and salty crackers. Food should be rich in nutrition and less on fiber. Avoid eating fatty and overly fried food. There can only be preventive measures to avoid morning sickness because the condition is so severe in certain cases that the patient tends to vomit.
Women with severe nausea and vomiting will not be able to have food through mouth hence intravenous fluids will be given to give rest to the gastrointestinal tract. A doctor might also prescribe an antiemetic to be given by mouth or I.V. fluid. It is recommended to take ginger extract or vitamin B6 supplements which can control nausea.
The symptoms of nausea can be controlled by eating meals in small portion, eating, protein snacks, bland diet, no spicy and fatty food, lastly escape the trigger factors for nausea.
Severe nausea makes the women feel anxious about her condition and is depressed thinking about its adverse effects on the developing baby. A therapist or counselor can help pregnant women to overcome these emotions.
Severe morning sickness is also referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum wherein the individual feels nausea throughout the day and vomits whatever she eats. The condition is so severe that it can result in dehydration, organ failure, and premature birth. The treatment of severe morning sickness is providing nutrition intravenously until the symptoms get controlled, prescribing food supplements and preventive measures to control morning sickness.
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