5 Ways to Get Relief from Severe Morning Sickness
One of the parts of pregnancy most pregnant women dread is with morning sickness. This time is usually characterized by frequent nausea and vomiting that can make the whole pregnancy experience a little trying.
Research is yet to discover what factors trigger morning sickness, but speculations are that it could be caused by the rise in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and human chorionic gonatrophine (HCG) hormones.
Morning sickness is something that’s quite common as over 80% of pregnant women experience it. What is not so common is severe morning sickness which, in basic terms, is morning sickness on a more intense level.
Severe Morning Sickness Fully Explained
Severe morning sickness is a much more intense level of morning. While morning sickness is characterized by nausea and vomiting that happens mostly in the mornings, a woman with severe or extreme morning sickness will experience nausea and vomiting that goes on all day, several times a day.
Severe morning sickness is also called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and affects 1 in 300 pregnant women. It typically starts in the 6th or 7th week of pregnancy, but unlike regular morning sickness that subsides or even stops completely by the 12th or 13th week, severe morning sickness could run all up to the 20th week of pregnancy.
Here are some other key facts about severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) you should know.
1) Since hyperemesis gravidarum is nausea and vomiting that goes on all day, it has been linked to dehydration, malnutrition, weight loss and electrolyte imbalances.
2) Hyperemesis gravidarum can cause up to 5% loss of body weight.
3) While any pregnant woman can develop severe morning sickness, it is more common in women who have had troubles in previous pregnancies or are prone to motion sickness.
4) Women carrying multiple pregnancies are also at some risks of extreme morning sickness.
5) Another distinguishing factor between morning sickness and severe morning sickness is that for the former, nausea is not always accompanied by vomiting, while for the later, vomiting always accompanies nausea. The nausea also never go away.
6) Other symptoms of severe morning sickness include loss of appetite, vomiting more than three times a day and dizziness or lightheadedness.
7) Extreme morning sickness typically goes away by the twentieth week, but could also last the entire pregnancy.
8) Hyperemesis gravidarum is more common in young mothers and these are the cases that are likely to extend beyond 20 weeks.
9) Research has also found that certain diets predisposes women to this condition. For instance, HG has been found to be prevalent in Asian women due to their intolerance for lactose. Women who take in a lot of fats are also at risk of HG.
10) Women who smoke are at a reduced risk of extreme morning sickness due to the reduced amounts of estrogen in their system.
11) Pregnant women carrying two male foetuses or one female and one male foetuses are also more likely to experience more intense morning sickness as opposed to women carrying two females.
12) Women with a history of mental disorders like anxiety, depression or mood disorder are also at risk of HG.
Risk Factors of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Factors that will make a pregnant woman more likely to developed extreme morning sickness include
- Being pregnant with twins.
- Being pregnant for the first time.
- Having had hyperemesis gravidarum in previous pregnancies.
- Having a family history of extreme morning sickness.
- Being severely overweight (obese).
Health Complications of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
While most cases of extreme morning sickness disappear with no traces left, a few will come with certain mild to moderate health complications which include:
- Postpartum recovery that may take a longer time than usual.
- The risk of a preterm labour as research has found women with HG have a 23% more risk of a preterm labour.
- The kids of this pregnancy are also 3.5 times more likely to experience physical and behavioural problems.
- These women are also more at risk of post partum depression.
How is Severe Morning Sickness Treated
There are quite a few treatment options available for severe morning sickness and all are geared towards bringing you relief from the discomfort of this condition.
Some home remedies you can adopt include
1) Get enough bed rest as this has been known to help improve symptoms.
2) Avoid foods known to trigger or aggravate the situation, foods like caffeine, spicy and acidic foods.
3) Eat foods in small portions: you’re more likely to keep foods down when you eat in bits as against eating several large meals.
4) Foods like salty crackers, citrus foods, banana, apple sauce, chicken soup, pretzels, jell-O, flavoured popsicles and pears have been known to agree more with the stomach of women with hyperemesis.
5) Try not to skip meals as an empty stomach worsens the feelings of nausea.
6) Take herbs like ginger or peppermint to get relief from the nausea.
7) Find out what smells worsen the nausea and trigger vomiting and avoid them. On the other hand, scents like lemon extract and rosemary have been known to bring relief.
8) Avoid computer moniker flicker which has also been known to trigger nausea and vomiting.
9) Take lots of liquid to replace what’s being lost.. If you’re unable to keep any water down, you can try adding sweeteners like honey or peppermint to make it more agreeable to your taste bud.
10) Work with your doctor to get placed on the right supplements and vitamins to replenish the ones being lost, especially vitamin B-6 which has been known to help alleviate nausea in pregnancy.
Medical Treatment for Severe Morning Sickness
Medial treatment for this condition include
- Intravenous fluid to restore lost liquid, nutrients, and electrolytes.
- Food given intravenously if you’re unable to keep food down.
- Taking medications such as antihistamines, metoclopramide and antireflux to manage the symptoms.
- Wear lose fitting comfortable clothes as restrictive clothes can worsen the symptoms.
When to See a Doctor
Most cases of severe morning sickness can be managed at home, however, you should consult your doctor if you notice any of these extreme symptoms:
- Vomiting that happens three or more times a day.
- Vomiting that is tinged with brown or red blood.
- Being unable to keep food down.