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Morning Sickness 101

Updated on June 11, 2009

The Truth Behind Morning Sickness

So you are pregnant - congratulations! Now, if you are unlucky, you will know that you are likely to experience the morning sickness that can grip your body. For some mothers, the process is nothing more than a slight turn of the stomach in the morning. For other people, it can be down right debilitating. Morning sickness is, above all else, a fact of many mother's pregnancies. Yet, the reality is that it really may cut into your job of being a new mom and really cause a problem living those weeks sanely.

How Bad Really Is Morning Sickness?

Is it really that bad?  For some mothers morning sickness is nothing more than a fleeting moment of being ill.  These are the lucky women, this time around.  Remember, morning sickness strikes mothers differently from one to the next as well as from one baby to the next baby.  That means that while you are feeling good in one pregnancy, the next one could be very different.  Nearly all doctors agree that morning sickness is not something to worry about, per se, unless it gets to be extreme and you become dehydrated.  But, you may want to take into consideration the fact that morning sickness will change your life significantly.

What Is Morning Sickness Anyway?

Doctors are not 100 percent sure just why some mothers will experience morning sickness and others will not, nor why it can be so incredibly difficult for some while for others it is a simple, one day bout as if with a tummy bug.  While no one knows what the cause is, most doctors believe that the changes happening rapidly within your body are causing hormones to really get out of synch, leaving you with all sorts of problems.  Hormones like human chorionic gonadotropin, estrogen and your body's increasing sensitivity may be behind all of these ill feelings.  For some women, it is believed that a lack of Vitamin B could be behind the problem.  Vitamin B6 supplements are often recommended, in fact, as being tools to help you to feel better.

The fact is that no one knows why you are feeling the way that you are, and it is likely that by the time they find out it will be no longer any help to you.  Nevertheless, you still want to learn about this problem called morning sickness.  For many women, the simple fact is that morning sickness can change the way that you look and feel starting from day one.

What Morning Sickness Can Do To You

As we know, not every woman experiences the same type of morning sickness, and it is likely that your experience will be unique to you.  But, let's talk about what the actual fact of morning sickness will do to you.  Beyond that of throwing up or feeling horrid, morning sickness can cause all sorts of emotional and physical problems for you to deal with.  Dealing with them is a matter of learning the right methods to care for yourself and to incorporate a few changes into your lifestyle.

Let's start on the physical side of morning sickness.  For many women, throwing up is the most common occurrence with morning sickness.  There is no better way to come to terms with it.  You may also feel other symptoms such as feeling dizzy, tired, and often times you feel nauseous from just the simple smell of food, without even eating.  But, even though you are feeling awful, at the same time you are often hungry and want to keep eating.

All of these things can do something to your body.  For example, if you are vomiting often, you may become dehydrated.  This is a very common problem for women that face severe morning sickness.  The best way to compensate for this, then, is to keep pumping fluids into your body, even though you can not stand to drink anything. 

You may be feeling dizzy and extremely tired.  Vomiting is not an easy thing for your body, and therefore you need to realize that your body needs extra energy to get through it.  Give yourself some additional sleep, and be sure that you are monitoring yourself if you are working or driving.  Nodding off now can be a very problematic situation for everyone involved. 

As for the smells that many women are bothered by, the best way to overcome this problem is to keep from smelling things overly!  You may not be able to stand the smell of food cooking, so keep the windows open ad any extractor fans on.  Be sure that you do keep eating, even though you feel awful.  While most mothers will find themselves eating pretty well during the first months of pregnancy, others may end up eating less and throwing up what they do eat because of morning sickness.  This can be a real problem.  Be sure that you avoid skipping meals just because you do not feel like eating.

Emotional Symptoms of Morning Sickness

The emotional side of morning sickness can be even worse for many mothers.  Morning sickness happens anywhere and everywhere.  You may find yourself getting sick as the bus pulls out of the station with people all around you.  Or, it may happen during that important business meeting.  It can be very embarrassing, and very much a condition that can cause you to want to hide.  The good news is that people are more understanding than you think.

In addition to this, many moms feel that they are not well suited for pregnancy.  After all, this type of reaction to being pregnant can really cause a number of problems for people and yet for the next mom, nothing bad happens.  This is of course untrue.  Your body is not reacting to being pregnant, but reacting to the changes happening to it.  Emotionally, morning sickness can drain you, and if that occurs you need to give yourself time and emotional support to overcome it.  Talk about the way that you feel.  There is nothing to be ashamed of!

Tips For Overcoming Morning Sickness

While many mothers to be will be fine just making it through the day, for others, it takes every bit of brain power to make ends meet so that they can overcome the problems that morning sickness put on them.  Here are some ways that you can beat morning sickness at least somewhat, during these first few weeks of pregnancy.

  • Avoid those foods that cause nausea for you While difficult to do, this is a good way to overcome the problems that come with feeling like you are going to be ill.  Many moms do feel like there are too many things that they do not like during this time of the pregnancy to really overcome it.  Try to eat whatever you can that does not trigger this feeling, though, even if it is less than good for your diet.
  • Instead of larger meals, eat smaller meals more often This is good for your body and good for your baby's too, because you have more nutrients coming in regularly.  Keep your stomach full, or at least not empty.  An empty stomach can trigger your body to have that feeling of wanting to vomit.  Even having a handful of crackers here and there can help.  Keeping food in your stomach will help you to avoid those painful nauseating moments during the day.
  • Avoid foods that are heavily fatty Deep fried foods are less than good for morning sickness as are those that are very spicy or rich.  While it may not sound like a great diet, eating a more bland diet until the morning sickness passes can help you to feel better throughout the day.  You may want to stay away from foods that normally irritate your digestive system as well.  All of these foods can trigger your morning sickness to be more severe than it is.

While morning sickness may seem like a pretty awful thing, there is something good about it.  Nearly all women will get through it within the first trimester and be feeling amazingly better quickly thereafter.  Although morning sickness can be a very trying time in the pregnancy cycle, the truth is that what is to come after in your baby will be worth the work of these first few months.

Morning Sickness Can Make A Mess Of Life

Morning sickness is not easy.  It can strain nearly every function of your day.  You will want to remain in bed for as long as you can.  You will want to stay out of the way of food as much as possible.  What's more, it leaves many women feeling weak and unable to do the things that they were once very proud and happy to do.  Even worse, for many women, it feels like life is at a stand still.  You just cannot wait to not be pregnant any more, even though this is one of the most amazing times of your life.

The best way to deal with the emotional and physical effects that morning sickness has on you is to know that you are far from being alone.  Many mothers to be will go through the same type of problems you are.  What's more, you will make it through this time and you will be a great mother for going through much more than others do.  Ultimately, morning sickness can help you to bond with your baby in a very unique way.  After all, you are fighting a battle with your body to keep him or her healthy and well!

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    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      One of my nieces had a terrible time with morning sickness. Useful hub for mums to be

    • Julie-Ann Amos profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie-Ann Amos 

      9 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

      Hope it helps!

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      9 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      I have a daughter in law who suffers badly from this and is expecting at the moment, so I think I will send her your tips.

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