Is It Normal To Have Morning Sickness 24/7?
YES! Morning sickness will be experienced by ninety-eight per cent of pregnant women to some degree ranging from none to severe. It is caused by a lack of glucose in the system as the embryo strips the glucose from the mothers blood to grow and develop through the placenta. It can, and does, strike at any time of the day or night and some foods or smells might be prone to triggering a bout out of nowhere. It might happen every hour, or only once a day, in the morning after you wake up. Every pregnancy is different even for the same woman and the effects of morning sickness can greatly vary between pregnancies.
What Is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is the feeling of nausea and the need to vomit experienced in the early stages of pregnancy from around 4-6 weeks and in most women concludes by the end of the first trimester. No two women will experience pregnancy in the same way, and no two pregnancies to the same woman will be experienced in the same way. Each pregnancy is unique to the expecting mother and embryo. Some women will experience morning sickness for the entire duration of their pregnancy.
The exceptionally rare few will barely have the classic symptoms, and they may form a mild three-day ‘flu-like experience’ they don’t recognise or acknowledge as morning sickness between 6-9 weeks. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the rarer women suffer with a crippling, hospital-ridden severity that includes vertigo and the inability to keep anything down, including water, for the entire duration of their pregnancy until delivery.
Morning sickness is most prevalent in the first 12 weeks, or officially the first trimester. However, morning sickness is a misnomer: while most cases persistent in the morning hours due to glucose depletion in the mother’s bloodstream, it can strike at any time of the day or night, and the severity level can change and fluctuate from hour to hour and day to day.
For most women, morning sickness begins around the fourth week of pregnancy and resolves by week 15. 1 in 5 women endure morning sickness late into their second trimester, and an unfortunate few rarer cases will experience nausea and vomiting for the entire duration of their pregnancy.
Morning sickness doesn’t harm the woman or the unborn child per se. However, severe morning sickness that includes weight loss, vertigo, and dehydration needs prompt medical attention as the side effects can cause harm to both the mother and, by proxy, to the unborn foetus.
What Are The Obvious Morning Sickness Symptoms?
- Constant tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to keep solids or liquids down
- Psychological effects, such as fear, depression, and anxiety
- Restricted food groups
- Cravings for specific food groups or combinations
- Sleep deprivation
The Myth Surrounding Morning Sickness
Unrelenting morning sickness has a profound effect on the quality of life for the mother. Morning sickness that is medium to severe can prevent the woman from undertaking normal routines, working, socialising, and looking after existing children or family members.
Pregnant women enduring morning sickness report higher levels of psychological stress, including anxiety and depression. Not every pregnancy is a wanted or planned pregnancy, and unwanted conceptions can have a significant psychological effect, not the least of which is shock and concern about the future and the available choices.
It is a huge adjustment for the body to nurture a parasite that has suddenly developed in the woman’s uterus and is transforming from a zygote into an embryo and then a foetus.
Hormonal, psychological, and physical changes take place in the mother that are out of her control and going from a trim, taunt, and terrific figure to suddenly gaining weight and losing their centre of gravity, waddling instead of walking in the later stages all have a massive impact on how the mother experiences each pregnancy.
This prompted the false belief by male practitioners that morning sickness is purely psychosomatic, meaning that the woman’s fears and anxieties trigger her physical discomfort. However, there is no evidence to support this man-created claim and plenty to debunk it with the truth.
What Is The Definition Of A Parasite And Why Is An Embryo Considered To Be A Parasite By Definition?
Parasite: an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.
By definition, a fertilised egg inside the womb is a parasite. While not a light, fluffy way to think about conception, it is the harsh reality. Transforming from a single cell into a zygote, into an embryo, into a foetus, into a delivered child is a mammoth undertaking that only a woman who has experienced the entire process can appreciate.
If we look at the first trimester of a pregnancy, where the most radical changes occur, the parasite is literally sucking the life out of the mother (host). Her energy levels will drop. She will be constantly tired and feel like she got no sleep even when she technically had enough hours of sleep.
The body will react to having a second foreign body growing inside the womb, and multiple bypasses of the normal immune system response to invading parasites has to be circumnavigated by the release of hormones and chemicals that trick the body into gestating the growing embryo.
An astonishing fifty per cent of all pregnancies will not make it past three months. In the early stages, some will be ectopic, miscarried, or reabsorbed by the immune system without the mother knowing they technically conceived and were pregnant for a brief moment. This can give a false positive pregnancy test. Meaning that while conception did technically occur, the body rejected the pregnancy and shed or reabsorbed the zygote so that a second pregnancy test would appear negative a week later.
What Are The Possible Causes Of Morning Sickness?
The definitive cause, or causes, of morning sickness, technically remains a mystery. As technology grows, so does our field of understanding pregnancy at every stage, from the chemical and biological changes to the combination of physical, psychological, and metabolic factors that play a significant role.
The most recent research suggests that a lack of glucose in the mother’s bloodstream first thing in the morning is the most likely cause of nausea as the developing embryo has stripped out the glucose it needs to grow while the mother rested. Simply eating a handful of jelly babies, and jellybeans or sucking on glucose tablets could greatly lessen or eradicate the morning sickness in many women.
Other factors include but are not limited to:
High levels of hormones, including estrogen
Fluctuations in blood pressure particularly lowered blood pressure
Altered metabolism of carbohydrates
Low blood sugar levels
The enormous physical and chemical changes that pregnancy triggers.
Does Morning Sickness Harm The Baby?
Some women are concerned that the action of vomiting may threaten their unborn baby. Vomiting and retching may strain the abdominal muscles and cause localised aching and soreness, but the physical mechanics of vomiting won’t harm the baby. The foetus is perfectly cushioned inside the sac of amniotic fluid and safely contained behind the womb wall, not located in the stomach.
Numerous studies have discovered that moderate morning sickness is associated with a reduced risk of miscarriage. However, prolonged vomiting that leads to dehydration and weight loss can deprive your child of proper nutrition and increase the risk of your baby being underweight at birth.
Severe morning sickness is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and can affect around one in 1000 pregnant women. The symptoms of HG can include vertigo, repeated vomiting, weight loss and dehydration. Treatment usually involves hospitalisation and the administering of intravenous liquids and nutrition. HG seems to be most acute in women between 6-9 weeks.
Complications of untreated hyperemesis gravidarum can include:
Malnourishment of the foetus
Excessive strain on vital organs, including the liver, heart, kidneys, and brain
Hormone and brain chemical imbalances
Extreme depression and anxiety
Managing Your Morning Sickness Symptoms
At the end of the day, there is nothing you can do but ride out each day as it comes, and they will all vary slightly. There are obvious things you can do to lower the severity of, or chances of having symptoms that include:
- Don’t take illicit drugs.
- Get physician-prescribed medication
- Don’t drink alcohol: Ethanol dehydrates the body and can significantly impact morning sickness severely. There is also the risk of Foetal alcohol syndrome for the children of alcoholic mothers.
- Tell your doctor that you are pregnant so they can check any medications you are prescribed or taking routinely. That includes herbal supplements and vitamins. Prescribed medications often do not agree with pregnancy and are contra-indicated. Your doctor may need to change the specific medications you need while you are pregnant and lactating.
- Eat a few glucose lollies or suck on glucose tablets before getting out of bed
- Try a few dry crackers or plain sweet biscuits for breakfast
- Don’t eat anything that you suspect will make you nauseous. In general, high-carbohydrate meals are well tolerated.
- Eat small meals regularly, as an empty stomach tends to trigger nausea.
- Smells can trigger nausea throughout the day. It may help to avoid cooking or preparing foods, wearing deodorants or perfumes, or using products that cause the morning sickness feeling.
- Drink as much as you can manage. Sometimes sips of flat lemonade, diluted fruit juice, cordial, weak tea, ginger tea, clear soup, or beef extract drinks are helpful. If none of these are bearable, try sucking on ice cubes.
- Vitamin B6 supplements can be useful, but doses above 200 mg daily can be harmful. Follow your doctor’s advice.
- Consider acupressure or acupuncture on the wrist.
- Wear loose clothes that don’t constrict your abdomen
- Moving around may aggravate morning sickness. Rest whenever possible.
- See your doctor about morning sickness if it persists, and vomiting won’t stop, or vertigo sets in when you try to get out of bed.
Always seek medical advice if your morning sickness is severe, if you have lost a lot of weight quickly, or if you feel depressed or anxious. Treatment options can include medication that won’t harm your developing baby.
A Little Bit Of Fun Predicting The Gender Of Your Baby
Try your hand at predicting the gender of your child ahead of the 20-week scan with the Chinese Birth Prediction Chart. While nothing is ever a guarantee, it certainly was accurate with my results.