Nearly 80 percent of women are known to suffer from nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy, normally referred to as ‘morning sickness’. Though many theories have been put forth, the exact cause behind nausea and vomiting in pregnant women is still not clear. It is common for a woman to experience nausea during the early days and weeks of pregnancy.
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is generally mild and self limited condition and can be treated with conservative methods. However, few women may suffer from persistent vomiting and nausea throughout the day, the condition is called hyperemesis Gravidarum. Unlike morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum can affect the health of the fetus as well as the mother.
What Causes Nausea And Vomiting During Pregnancy?
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is an important symptom, the causes though not clear can be divided during first half of pregnancy and second half of pregnancy.
Vomiting And Nausea During First Half Of Pregnancy
Vomiting due to pregnancy causes: it usually starts during the second and third month.
Hyperemesis grvidarum: persistent vomiting can be due to excess of pregnancy hormones or can be due to hydatiform mole.
Vomiting and nausea due to other causes that are associated with pregnancy: gastric ulcer, appendicitis, food poisoning, infective hepatitis, swelling in the gallbladder, intestinal obstruction, intestinal worms, hysteria, ovarian cyst, fibroid, gastroenteritis, etc.
Vomiting During Second Half Of Pregnancy
In some cases vomiting and nausea can extend in the second half of pregnancy. The second most important cause related to nausea and vomiting during the second half is pre-eclampsia, hydatiform mole, and hydramnios.
Associated causes for vomiting during second half of pregnancy, include, hiatus hernia, ketosis and acidosis if patient is diabetic, besides the medical, surgical and gynecological causes mentioned earlier.
Home Remedies For Morning Sickness
Since we are discussing pregnancy induced vomiting let us focus on what to eat and how to treat the condition. The treatment will be different for the pregnancy associated reasons such as gastric ulcer and appendicitis.
- Eat and drink frequently during nausea and vomiting caused due to pregnancy. Eat small meals 5 to 6 times in a day, rather than 3 large meals. Eat bland diet that includes bananas, crackers, rice, toast, biscuits, barley sugar, fish, baked potato, fruits, vegetables, etc.
- Cut fats from your diet. Milk and eggs can be eaten sparingly. Do not eat spicy and fried food.
- Sniff lemon or ginger; it helps to relieve the disturbing strong smells that normally cause nausea.
- You may suck ice chips or ice popsicles. It helps to relieve vomiting and nausea.
- Oral hygiene is very important. After each vomit, the mouth should be washed and cleaned to prevent parotitis (swelling of salivary gland) especially in hyperemesis gravidarum.
- Certain life style changes such as proper sleep and rest are very important. As such during pregnancy you need more rest than usual. Take an afternoon nap, especially during the first three months.
- Avoid warm places and walk in fresh air. Some woman may not be comfortable with warm atmosphere.
- Acupressure and acupuncture may be tried; it may help to relive morning sickness in some cases.
- Ginger tea: some women feel better by drinking ginger tea.
- Certain homeopathic medicines, such as Ipecac, Lobelia infla, Gossypium, Cucurbita pepo, etc. are useful for morning sickness. Since homeopathy is based on individualization, consult your homeopathic physician before taking the medicine.