Morning sickness is a condition characterised by nausea and emesis that affect most women during pregnancy. The sickness generally prevails during the first trimester, especially in the morning.
Morning sickness has no exact cause, however, according to Brown (1998), the research showed the most obvious causes, which are the following: psychological influence, nutritional changes, changes in oestrogen (hormone) levels, gastric problems, increased human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and evolutionary adaptation.
There exists a medication for morning sickness but it is advisable to be taken only under prescription by a qualified doctor. However, there are also several remedies: vitamin B-6 injection, ginger, herbal tea, acupressure, wild yam, and rehydration. It is advisable to take these remedies only under doctor’s advice to avoid complications.
Meals and Snacks for Morning Sickness Reduction
Taking snacks such as yogurt, milk, juice, bread or small sandwich before going to bed helps in reducing nausea in the morning. Gelatin deserts, flavored frozen desserts, sugared decaffeinated teas, broth, pretzels, vitamins, proteins with essential amino acids and fats, rich in high density lipoproteins (HDL), are also very necessary for an expectant woman.
Advices for Pregnant Women
There are a variety of recommendations to pregnant women that may help prevent their morning sickness. The most important of them are listed below.
Frequency of Eating
It is very important to eat small portions of food, but regularly; it will help to boost the energy and avoid nausea, because sometimes the feeling of sickness results from hunger. Such a method of eating decreases the chances of overeating, keeping steady blood sugar level of pregnant woman.
Eating foods high in carbohydrates helps regulate sugar levels; proteins rich in essential amino acids help in developing body tissues, as well as organs. It is necessary to avoid high fat foods as they may aggravate nausea (Riley & Nelson, 2006). Seasoned foods should be avoided as they include refined sugars. After meals many women experience gastricreflux, however, its frequency of occurrence may be prevented by sitting upright for some time after eating.
Plenty of water should be taken in between meals but not with meals; this is necessary in prevention of the stomach distention, which may result in nausea. Other fluids, such as fruit juices, are also necessary to replace the fluids lost and to neutralize stomach acids. Alcohol should be avoided as it has a negative influence on the fetus, especially on its weight.
Particular odors might stimulate nausea, although this is not common to all the pregnant women; some of them are more hypersensitive than others. It is therefore necessary to avoid the cause by moving from the irritating environment, handling foods and materials, which do not trigger negative reaction and maintaining proper ventilation.
Morning sickness may also result from fatigue, worry and stress; therefore, enough time should be devoted to relaxation and rest to regain the energy. Positive environment, spending time with joy and pleasure, walking at a relatively slower pace and even taking a nap are important factors, which support a good health condition during pregnancy.
Regular exercise is recommended to reduce the chance of morning sickness; this does not interfere with the developing of fetus. The program of exercises should be light but regularly performed.
Frequenting the doctor during pregnancy is strictly recommended because it helps identify the right diet, body changes and an appropriate medication. It should be also noted, that no drugs, even herbal, should be taken during pregnancy without the doctor’s advice.