When you get pregnant, your body gives you certain hints. Some may be subtle like food cravings and tender, swollen breasts. But some hints are blatant like morning sickness or nausea gravidarum – the nausea and vomiting during the early months of pregnancy.
Most pregnant women experience this long, sickening phase of nausea, vomiting and dizziness mostly in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. Some could continue to experience them throughout their pregnancy. They may or may not be triggered by certain smells. And the biggest misconception about morning sickness is that women experience it only in the morning. The fact is that it can affect women anytime of the day. A rapidly rising blood level of a hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) released by the placenta stimulates the maternal ovaries to secrete oestrogen, which is believed to cause the nausea. The increased sensitivity to odours may also stimulate and trigger nausea.
Your body has defence against the food toxins you consume. But the baby inside you doesn’t. Hence, it is believed that morning sickness is an evolved feature to protect your baby against toxins ingested by you. A few pregnant women may have severe, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy which can cause dehydration, weight loss, and decreased potassium levels. Such a condition is called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Morning sickness may stop around the 12th week of pregnancy for most women and most of them usually don’t need treatment. Fortunately the body has reserves, so if nutrition is not optimum the baby is not compromised. Focused food plan and Vitamin B6 may help decrease nausea in early pregnancy. But consult your doctor before taking any medicines or making any diet changes.