What Are The Lifestyle Changes For Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is mild form of nausea and vomiting that usually does not require any medical intervention in most cases. Nevertheless, it is preferred to avoid medication in pregnancy to avoid any harm caused to the growing fetus by any medication. Many women benefit from lifestyle changes in relation to diet itself. However, if lifestyle changes do not provide the required results, it is best to consult your obstetrician regarding other options to manage the symptoms.
American Pregnancy Association recommends eating plain fruits and vegetables, bland foods and cold foods when you have morning sickness. It is important to take good amount of carbohydrates, proteins and low fat diet. It is advised to eat small portions divided into 5-6 meals, rather than 3 big meals as empty stomach as well as overeating, both can trigger nausea and vomiting. Snacks should be eaten at regular intervals and it is best to eat something before getting out of bed in the morning. Banana, applesauce, toast, rice, potatoes and chicken soup are some examples of bland diet. Fruits rich in potassium also help prevent nausea.
It is also necessary to keep oneself hydrated during pregnancy. Drinking lots of fluid in the form of water, ginger tea or lemonade can be found helpful. Ginger has been found very helpful in reducing the symptoms of mild nausea and vomiting. Fruit juices are also helpful and nutritious, which is better than empty stomach. The smell of fresh lemon, orange and mint can also be soothing and helpful.
The sense of smell in pregnancy is heightened and can trigger nausea and vomiting due to this. Pregnant women should avoid the smells and food tastes that trigger nausea and vomiting. Avoiding spicy, fatty and hot foods can be found really helpful. Avoiding other triggers, such as coffee, smoke, perfume, certain chemicals, humidity, heat, excessive exercise, excessive fatigue, noise and foods with high sugar content can also be beneficial.
On occasions, iron present in prenatal vitamins can worsen nausea and vomiting symptoms, so it can be taken at bedtime. If bedtime change in medication does not help, temporarily discontinuing the vitamins can be beneficial and restarted once the symptoms subside. Lying down immediately after eating and changing positions quickly should be avoided. Brushing after meal can also be helpful.
Although, lifestyle changes do help with preventing nausea and vomiting; however, if symptoms do not subside then an obstetrician can be reached out and anti-emetics can be prescribed. Anti-emetics are usually safe to be administered during pregnancy and do not pose any harm to the fetus.
Nausea And Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting experienced by pregnant women is also termed as morning sickness. Pregnant women mostly experience nausea and women in the morning; however, they may experience it throughout the day. Morning sickness is seen in about 80% of pregnant women and this can be very discomforting for them. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is felt during the first 3-4 months, but in some women it can persist until the end of pregnancy. The severity of the symptoms can also vary from being mild to severe. The severe form of nausea and vomiting that depletes fluids and electrolytes from body along with lack of appetite and weight loss is known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
Although, the cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is still not very clear, there have been many theories regarding it. One such theory is elevated levels of hormones, especially human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which plays a significant role in the first trimester of pregnancy and its downward taper conforms with the reduction in the symptoms of nausea and vomiting in the second trimester. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy has also been linked to reduced levels of miscarriages. Another theory connects it to genetic predisposition and family history. It is more common in multiple pregnancies. Yet another theory considers it an evolutionary mechanism for consumption of healthy and nutritious food for the growing fetus.
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