Up to 80% of women suffer from morning sickness although for many women it lasts all day.
Morning sickness usually starts between the 4th and 6th week although some women begin having morning sickness as early as the first week after conception. For about 75% of women, morning sickness disappears towards the end of the first trimester although some women continue to feel nauseous until the 2oth week. For an unfortunate few (5%) of women morning sickness continues for the entire duration of the pregnancy.
Only about 1 in 300 women will experience morning sickness so severe that they can’t keep anything down and lose weight, often more than 5% of her body weight. In these cases women need to see their doctor and may require IV fluids and nutrition to support the pregnancy.
For the majority of women though, morning sickness is not dangerous but can be very unpleasant.
Ginger for Pregnancy Nausea
Ginger, a natural remedy associated with reduction of nausea and stomach upset has been clinically proven to safely reduce nausea associated with pregnancy.
Six double-blind, randomized controlled studies compared the safety and effectiveness of using ginger for pregnancy nausea versus a placebo (a “sugar pill”) and vitamin B6.
Of the six studies, four found ginger for pregnancy nausea to be more effective than a placebo and another two found it to be as effective as vitamin B6. None of the studies or observational reports showed any side effects when using ginger for pregnancy nausea.
Some other tips on managing morning sickness include:
- Eating soda crackers 15 minutes before getting out of bed in the morning.
- Eat small meals frequently (eg. every two hours)
- Don’t eat and drink at the same time. Drink fluids half an hour before or after a meal.
- Drink enough water throughout the day.
- Acupressure wrist bands or acupuncture can be beneficial for some women.
- Don’t hesitate to eat whatever or whenever you can.
- When sitting, get up slowly and don’t lie down right after eating.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Try eating cold food instead of hot food since hot food has a stronger smell.
- Get plenty of sleep. Morning sickness can become worse if you are tired. Usually a pregnant woman requires more sleep in the first trimester.
- Stay cool. Feeling warm can increase nausea.
- Sniffing lemons or ginger, drinking lemonade or eating watermelon may help relieve nausea.
If your morning sickness is severe and the above self help measures are not helping, consult with your doctor. You may need to take an anti-nauseates such as Diclectin.