At around 6 weeks you may start to experience nausea which can present itself in many ways, ranging from mild nausea to constant vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum – HG) which in some cases can lead to dehydration- this can sometimes require hospitalization.

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The general term for this, “Morning Sickness” is for many women an inaccurate description.  The nausea can last all day, or even be worse in the afternoon. It can be made worse when hungry or tired or can be triggered by certain smells or motion.  Whilst some women compare the feeling to an all day hangover, others actually vomit on a daily basis.  Either way it can be unpleasant start to what many are hoping to be a wonderful time in their lives.

You may become sensitive to certain smells.  Walking past a previously inoffensive nail parlour may have you retching!

On a positive note, feeling sick is a sign that your pregnancy hormones are high, which is good for the growing baby.  Nausea during the first few weeks of pregnancy is associated with a lower than average risk of miscarriage and may be the body’s way of stopping you from taking in “poisons”.  It is likely to improve somewhere between 14 and 16 weeks.

Tips for dealing with this include;

  • Eat as soon as you wake up, or even whilst still in bed.
  • Nibbling on crackers or biscuits often, even in the night, especially if you wake up hungry during the night.  Hunger can make the nausea worse.  Keep a cracker, biscuit or banana on your bedside table!
  • Ginger in any form, tea, biscuits, Nairns Ginger Oat cakes are delicious and can be found in Sainsburys or Health Food shops.
  • Acupressure bands (Sea sickness bands) these can be found in most chemists or online.
  • Rest as much as you can as tiredness can make it worse.
  • If it is affecting your work then it could be a good idea to tell your boss.
  • If you are being sick, on the way to work or whilst out and about- take a plastic bag, bottle of water and chewing gum/toothbrush in your handbag.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is different from ordinary morning sickness or pregnancy related nausea.  It is characterised by excessive vomiting and often dehydration or loss of more than 5% of your pre-pregnancy weight.  If you are suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum it is not likely that any of these remedies will offer much help.  You may have trouble keeping anything down, even water, and in some instances you may require a stint in hospital on a drip to help rehydrate you.
If you cannot keep fluids down, or your sickness is affecting your day-to-day life, then please speak to your midwife or doctor.

 

Here is some more information on Hyperemesis Gravidarum