Your emotions during pregnancy can certainly run the gamut. But those butterflies in your stomach may be more than just excitement or nervousness. They may be one of the most common side-effects of pregnancy: morning sickness.
About 75% of all pregnant women experience morning sickness during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, beginning as early as the fourth week. The terminology, though, is a bit misleading. For many women, the associated nausea and headaches – as well as vomiting for 30% of women – don’t just occur in the morning. They can occur anytime during the day – and for some, can last beyond the first trimester.1
The intensity of morning sickness varies with each individual, but it’s important always to let your healthcare provider know about your symptoms, particularly if they are severe or continue past the first 12 weeks. Hyperemesis gravidarum – an extreme case of morning sickness that includes persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy – can lead to dehydration and weight loss that can affect you and your developing baby.
While there is no conclusive “cause” for morning sickness, there are some possible triggers that alone – or in combination – can make life challenging, albeit temporarily.
During pregnancy, especially early on, the body experiences rapidly rising blood levels of the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone, which is released by the placenta.2 Pregnancy also significantly increases levels of another hormone, estrogen.3 Nausea, vomiting, and/or headaches may be your body’s response to dramatic changes in these hormone levels.
Some pregnant women develop heightened sensitivities to smells – such as odors from perfumes, foods, cleaning products, etc. – that can prompt a gag reflex and cause nausea or vomiting. Stomach sensitivities also can be amplified, causing similar responses.
Expectant mothers each react differently to pregnancy. Some statistical studies,2 though, indicate you may be more prone to morning sickness if you:
Just as there are no guarantees as to how your body will react to your pregnancy, there are no real cures for morning sickness. Here are a few natural ways1 to help manage your symptoms:
The information included in this article and on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation.
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