Morning Sickness

By Louise, The Honest Midwife

Congratulations - you are having a baby! You may have been wanting this for ages or it may be a surprise arrival. Either way, after a couple of weeks of bobbing along nicely in early pregnancy you may suddenly wake up feeling green…

Although it is labelled “Morning Sickness”, the need to run to the toilet is one that can strike at any time of day or night, and if persistent, can really impact your day-to-day life. In the vast majority of pregnancies, the end of the first trimester be a turning point and things have usually settled by week 16. For an unlucky few, the sickness can persist throughout pregnancy.

Some women report feeling really sick AND hungry at the same time (how weird is that?). Sometimes having a light bit to eat may push the symptoms away, so make sure you always have a handy snack with you just in case.

Are you expecting double trouble? Women carrying twins can be prone to more significant morning sickness due to the higher hormone levels. You will also be at a slightly higher risk if you are a migraine sufferer. Whatever the reason for your sickness, if it is excessive and limiting your daily activities, speak to your doctor as there are medications that can help.

Although there isn’t a magic cure for this unpleasant pregnancy side effect, there are a few things that you could try to ease the misery.

Making sure you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and having frequent small meals can help, as can drinking lots of water throughout the day. Our sense of smell in pregnancy is heightened and you may be able to give a wolfhound a run for its money! Learn what smells trigger your sickness and ensure those you live with are in the know too! If the smell of cooking meat sets you off, you may need some help in the kitchen in preparing meals. In addition, you may wish to avoid hot foods altogether and opt for cold meals such as salads, which give off less aroma!

There are some small studies that suggest consuming ginger may help, so keeping a little supply of ginger biscuits on hand may not be a bad idea. Likewise, Arrowroot biscuits can have a similar effect. Let’s hear if for a biscuit break!

Rest can also be helpful. Being over-tired is likely to trigger an episode of sickness, so put your feet up whenever possible. Even if it is only for 5 minutes, it can really help to settle things down.

In a small percentage of women (around 1-3:100), morning sickness can be severe and a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarium may be diagnosed. This can be quite debilitating and it is important that you keep in close contact with your doctor or midwife, as it may be necessary to be admitted to hospital for a short time so that you can be rehydrated and sickness controlled.

The good thing is that you are not feeling sick for nothing. Growing a tiny human can be a strenuous past time. Hang in there, it will hopefully pass soon and don’t forget to call your doctor if you are unable to keep down food and fluid and are starting to feel unwell.