I Think I'm Going to Be Sick

November 9, 2009

Pregnancy Symptoms: NVP

One of the several well-known symptoms of pregnancy is nausea and vomiting. Every woman is different and so is every pregnancy; consequently the presence and severity of the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) will vary. It is thought that the condition is the result of the myriad changes which happen so quickly in the body, including the much higher levels of hormones during the early stages of pregnancy.

Morning (or any time) Sickness

Shortly after conception nausea and vomiting may begin. Commonly referred to as "morning sickness", it actually can (and frequently does) occur at any time of the day. For around 80% of women, NVP stops by the end of the first trimester, although the queasy stomach may be your partner for the duration of the pregnancy, coming and going throughout. The balance of 20% of women will endure nausea and vomiting for a longer time, some for their entire pregnancy. NVP can interfere with day-to-day life and adjustments may have to be made to the schedule in order to cope.

Generally, most cases of nausea and vomiting are not harmful to either mother or child and often a woman can eat later in the day. It does not appear to have any long term negative effects on your health but should it be persistent or severe, your health care provider should be informed. If you are so sick that you can't eat or haven't been able to eat for several meals, intervention may be necessary since your baby may be deprived of essential nutrients.

When Morning Sickness Doesn't Go Away

A very small percentage of women experience a condition called "hyper emesis gravid arum" in which excessive vomiting deprives a woman of food, fluids, and nutrients which in turn may be harmful to both the woman and her baby. Extreme NVP can lead to dehydration which may have to be treated with intravenous fluids and vitamin supplementation in a hospital. If you are not drinking enough or cannot hold food or fluid down, then seek immediate medical care.

Some Tips To Help with Morning Sickness

There are some tips we can offer to help control nausea and vomiting. When it comes to food and diet, try eating a few crackers (which you can keep on your bedside table) before you get out of bed in the morning and then rest 15 minutes before getting up. Get up slowly and don't lie down immediately after you've eaten. Try not to skip meals and eat frequently through the day - little snacks of whatever you want whenever you want will keep your blood sugar stable and the feeling of nausea at bay. Cooking smells can take their toll, so try eating cold foods or have someone else do the cooking for you. Stay well hydrated by drinking frequently through the day; however, try not to consume fluid with meals.

Being tired seems to exacerbate NVP, so do what you must to ensure you're well rested. Fresh air does a world of good, so try to get out into the great outdoors when you can.

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