Unfortunately, the harsh reality for many women who find themselves pregnant is that they will face the dreaded weeks of morning sickness during the first trimester.
These dire days of nausea typically begin around 6 weeks of pregnancy and last until the end of the first trimester, around the 12th week. Sadly for some, it can last much longer, and in extreme cases last for the entire pregnancy.
Though the exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, scientists have agreed that their are a few factors that may impact the severity that the mother may endure. Some doctors say the causes of the nausea and vomiting may include rapidly rising estrogen and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), stress, enhanced sense of smell, and sensitive stomach.
The exact causes of a mother’s morning sickness may not be known for sure, but certain signals that are present during these weeks of sickness can tell women whether their morning sickness is healthy or dangerous for her and the baby.
A number of studies have shown that women who have morning sickness are less likely to miscarry than those who don’t, but when is this grievous nausea a concern and when it is it considered healthy?
12 Does It Run In The Family?
Did your mother suffer from morning sickness? Do you have sisters who have suffered from morning sickness before you? If so, there is a good chance that you will too.
Women whose mothers had morning sickness have a better chance of developing it themselves. The severity of your morning sickness may actually be linked to your genetics. In fact, if your sister had morning sickness, you are 17 times more likely to experience it yourself.
You can be relieved that morning sickness can be linked to genetics, because this means that your most likely having a healthy pregnancy thus far. The intensity of morning sickness you experience is also linked to genetics. If your mother happened to have it so severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum, sadly you may too. Rest assured, it is most likely linked to your genetic history rather than a complication with your little one.
11 Body Begins Dropping In Size
Of course, weight gain during pregnancy is a concern for most women. However, weight loss is definitely not something to try to achieve when you find out you’re expecting. If your morning sickness is so severe that you are losing too much weight, you may have cause for concern.
Slight loss of weight can be expected when you don’t have an appetite and can’t keep anything down. In most cases there is probably no cause for concern. Weight loss during the first trimester may not be a cause for concern, however if you are experiencing weight loss due to morning sickness into the second trimester, this may mean you need to contact your doctor.
The biggest concern regarding extreme weight loss is the amount of crucial nutrients the baby may not be getting, but needs for proper development. Nutrition for the mother and baby is the factor that needs to be weighed in the most. If you have lost more than 10% of your original body weight, it’s time to call your OB.
10 When It’s The First Pregnancy
If you are pregnant with your first little blessing, sadly, morning sickness is not only more common, but it tends to be more severe. Your new pregnant body is not accustomed to the quick invasion of hormones as a women who has been pregnant before. The anxieties, fears, and stresses of news that you are expecting can also tend to turn your stomach, making morning sickness feel even intense. Women with other children can often be distracted from their nausea.
So congratulations on your news! Not to worry, your morning sickness may be awful this time around, but there is a good chance that you won’t be in as much misery the next time. It is a healthy sign that you and the baby are growing and developing as needed.
9 Constantly Thirsty
Dehydration is never a good thing and when you are pregnant it not only effect’s you, it can effect your baby as well. If you feel bloated along with your symptoms of nausea, chances are you are dehydrated or on the verge of dehydration.
Increased fluid intake is a must when you are pregnant and when you are nauseous and vomiting you need to drink even more than the recommended 8 ounces of water 10 times a day minimum.
Being dehydrated when you are pregnant can often turn into a vicious cycle. Dehydration causes more nausea, which can cause more vomiting, thus making you even more dehydrated.
The scariest part of extreme dehydration is that it can effect the amount of amniotic fluid that your baby receives. If there is a lack of fluid, the baby can rest too close to the uterus which can cause deformities in the arms, legs, and feet.
8 When There’s Relief By The Second Trimester
Your body endures so many changes during the first trimester, but for most women the side effects of these changes either cease entirely or are drastically reduced by the time 12 weeks comes along. Though this is not the case for every single pregnancy, most women will experience full relief by the 14th week or one soon following the beginning of the second trimester.
When you feel sudden relief from your morning sickness you will feel like an entirely new person. If your morning sickness ends and you are finally feeling well, don’t be alarmed, this means that you most likely made it through one of the toughest parts of pregnancy. Studies show that sickness during the first trimester means that a miscarriage is less likely to occur. Enjoy feeling human again!
7 When There’s No Relief In The Later Stages
Sickness into the third and second trimesters, though fairly uncommon, is not necessarily a reason for concern. Especially in the third trimester, the baby is growing rapidly and depleting the mother of vitamins and minerals just as quickly.
Though occasional nausea during these months may be of no concern, if you are experiencing constant nausea and vomiting, you should seek medical attention.
These warning signs may indicate a few dangerous things that could be happening if you are experiencing these symptoms. One of the most common dangers is preeclampsia. This is a serious condition in the late second or early third trimester that needs to be treated right away.
If you have morning sickness like nausea, swelling, high blood pressure, abdominal pains, and headaches you may be at risk. Treatment must be aggressive or the results can be as much as fatal to the mother and baby. Needless to say, seek help right away.
6 Certain Smells Set You Off
If only morning sickness only happened in the mornings!
Unfortunately, certain smells can be a trigger for nausea at any time of the day. Even smells that you once thought pleasant can turn your settled stomach into a squeamish mess. If you being to dry heave thinking about certain places, steer clear. The need to stay away from offensive smells is a good sign for your morning sickness woes not being in vain.
The trigger of smell equating to nausea is a healthy symptom during pregnancy. Studies suggest that the increased level of hormones during the first trimester may be the cause of smell sending pregnant running to the restroom.
It is advised to try to neutralize your home with smells such as lemon or lavender to hopefully eliminate the odors that cause your stomach to be sensitive. You can rest assured that this is an indicator of normal morning sickness.
5 An Increase In Body Temperatures
Nausea is never fun, especially just about every day for 6 or more weeks. The only thing that may be worse than that, is if it’s accompanied with body aches and a fever. If your morning sickness joined by a fever or pain, you may be experiencing an infection or even the flu.
A fever that you may think is associated with your usual nausea and vomiting may be masking some truly dangerous warning signs. Pregnant women are more prone to catch the flu and other viruses and infections.
A high temperature during the first trimester may also be a sign of birth defects. If you are experiencing a temperature of 100.4 or higher, it is likely that your fever is not associated with morning sickness, but is the result of the flu or infection.
4 When Depressions Becomes A Symptom
Morning sickness is one of the most difficult stages of pregnancy. Some mothers have such extreme cases that it can cause them to become terribly stressed and even depressed. If you haven’t experienced these symptoms yourself, you can imagine the mental, physical, and emotional effects that constantly feeling queezy and puking several times a day can have on someone.
This is all in addition to day to day life, which continues to go on whether you’re sick or not. Unfortunately, stress can be an unending cycle during these miserable weeks. Stress can cause nausea and that nausea can lead to more stress in your day to day life. Who wouldn’t feel stressed?
The physical effects of morning sickness are obviously unpleasant, but the mental and emotional effects can also be very damaging as they dramatically reduces the quality of life for a pregnant woman. A lack of understanding of morning sickness by family and friends can also be a huge stress factor. The added stress of not knowing how to deal with your sickness can lead to depression.
3 Favorite Foods Become A Turn Off
One of the craziest and saddest parts of morning sickness is that some of your all time favorite foods will make you feel queasy. Even the smell of them makes you gag. This symptom can be so bad that you can’t even be in the same room that smells like these foods. You may have to say goodbye to some delicious treats, but the good news is this is all part of a healthy morning sickness experience.
If some of the foods you can’t seem to stomach are ones that you and the baby might need for healthy development, you may want to find healthy, edible alternatives. Thankfully, there is no need to stomach foods that you can barely swallow, but be sure to get your nutritional requirements in and remember this is a good sign that the baby is healthy!
2 Prescription Meds Not Helping?
If your morning sickness is completely unbearable, you may need to talk to your doctor about prescription medication that can give you some relief. In recent years, the FDA has approved prescription drugs for morning sickness.
If there is no relief found in any other methods for relief, there are medications that have proven to be effective that your doctor can prescribe. If other natural anti-nausea remedies just aren’t doing the trick, prescriptions may be your next option. However, not all of these medications are created equal. Ask your provider about the risks of using prescription drugs for morning sickness.
If you do choose this route in aiding with symptoms, yet you aren’t experiencing any relief, there may be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. This could be a sign that your morning sickness is not healthy.
1 When The Nausea Gets Too Severe
One in 200 pregnancies have more sickness so severe that they are diagnosed with a condition call Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
Symptoms include severe vomiting, nausea, weight loss, dehydration, and vitamin and mineral deficiency. Though the exact cause of Hyperemesis Gravidarum is unknown, not seeking medical attention for this condition can affect the mother’s mental and physical well-being.
Only 3% of pregnant women are officially diagnosed with this condition. Though there are no direct links to any severe harm being caused to babies who’s mother’s have suffer from it, there are dangerous side effects for the mother.
Depression being one of them. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing anything you think could be Hyperemesis Gravidarum, especially if you are dehydrated and experiencing weight loss. Dietary changes and even medication may be prescribed to help battle this severe case of morning sickness.
Sources: americanpregnancy.org, mayoclinic.org, fitpregnany.com, babycenter.com, kidshealth.org, whattoexpect.com