Morning Sickness is an integral part of pregnancy. It is so closely associated with pregnancy that it is often the sign which prompts a woman to get tested for pregnancy. Though the morning sickness leaves a woman tired and sick, expectant mothers don't really mind it much because the joy of motherhood obliterates every discomfort of pregnancy.
What Is Morning Sickness? Morning sickness, also called nausea gravidarum, nausea, vomiting of pregnancy (emesis gravidarum or NVP), or pregnancy sickness is a condition that affects a large percentage of pregnant women, as well as some women who use hormonal contraception or hormone replacement therapy. Usually, it is present in the early hours of the morning and reduces as the day progresses. The nausea can be mild or induce actual vomiting. In extreme cases, vomiting may be severe enough to cause dehydration, weight loss, alkalosis and hypokalemia.
This extreme condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and occurs in about 1% of all pregnancies. Nausea and vomiting can be one of the first signs of pregnancy and usually begins around the 6th week of pregnancy (week 1 starting on the day the last period started). It can occur at any time of the day, and for most women it seems to stop around the 12th week of pregnancy.
Is It Normal? Morning sickness is a very normal phenomenon, seen in more than 50% of pregnant women. The hormonal changes in the first trimester of a pregnancy lead to morning sickness in most women. The feeling of tiredness and nausea is considered completely normal during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. But it becomes abnormal, if the sickness is too extreme. Experts say that nausea is a normal part of pregnancy. But vomiting is not. If a woman pukes at the mere sight or smell of food, it is certainly not normal or a slight matter. Vomiting out whatever you consume is a serious threat to your and your baby's health. It can be life threatening to your unborn baby, because the fetus does not get any nutrition if you keep vomiting. Medical experts say that "Extreme Morning Sickness" is a result of stress coupled with the hormonal changes during pregnancy. So you see, there is some truth to the old grandma's advice of staying cheerful and happy during pregnancy, for the sake of your baby!
How To Overcome Stress During Pregnancy Though it may not be advisable for you to go running in a park during pregnancy, there are other ways of reducing the stress. Trying out these steps to reduce stress will be helpful in reducing morning sickness and improving your health.
Meditation & Yoga: There's no other way to relax like meditation is. Try out breathing exercises and meditation for at least 30 minutes every day. Yoga is also a great reliever from the symptoms of morning sickness. But it should be done only under the guidance of an expert. Some postures and exercises are forbidden for pregnant women, so the guidance of a Yoga teacher is must if you take it up during pregnancy.
Pregnant Ladies Club: Hanging out with other women who are going through the same symptoms and conditions as yourself can be a big stress buster. Bonding with like minded people who are in the same situation makes it easy to deal with the problems faced during pregnancy. So try to form/join a group of pregnant women in your building, society, locality etc. If nothing else, try to form/join one online!
Bubble Bath: Set up a relaxing bubble bath for yourself as often as possible. You favorite relaxing music, scented oils, a book perhaps...set up the mood and try to relax your body, mind and soul for at least an hour.
Sleep: Sleep deprivation is also a common occurence during pregnancy. So you must make conscious efforts to get your 8 hours of sleep every day. Use pillows to make yourself comfortable and avoid excess fluid intake in the evening to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom.
Try these tips to reduce stress and the symptoms of extreme morning sickness. But it is very important to discuss your problem with your doctor. Extreme morning Sickness should not be taken lightly. So while you try to relax your nerves, don't forget your visit to the doctor's clinic. Most importantly, no matter what happens, do not self medicate!