Discomfort during pregnancy
Nearly 50% of women experience nausea during their pregnancy. It generally appears a few weeks after conception and lasts until the end of the first trimester. In rarer cases, it can last longer, even until the birth. It is generally intense in the morning and then diminishes over the course of the day.
Pregnancy-related nausea is caused by the increase of certain hormones in the blood, in particular estrogen and chorionic gonadotropin or HCG, which is also known as the “pregnancy hormone". The nausea may lead to vomiting and is often very bothersome to expectant mothers. If you experience nausea, tell your doctor. He or she may prescribe medication to alleviate it. You may also wish to try acupuncture or homeopathic remedies.
At the same time, a few smart habits can help you reduce the nausea:
- Eat a small snack before getting up in the morning.
- Have something savory for breakfast, rather than sweet, if you feel like it.
- Avoid strong odors and flavors.
- Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. Absorbing small quantities prevents dilation of the stomach, which means the stomach will not exert pressure against the organs around it and nausea is less likely to occur. Plan to have a snack every three hours rather than three large meals in a day.
- Eat only the foods that appeal to you.
- Include a starch (rice, pasta, bread, grains etc.), prepared as plainly as possible, with each meal.
- Drink carbonated water, or water infused with mint, especially in the morning before getting up.
- Avoid stress, which can aggravate digestive problems.
- Add fresh ginger to your dishes and chew on pieces of candied ginger: its anti-nausea properties are well known.
- Get as much rest as possible: fatigue can make nausea worse.
If your nausea is accompanied by severe vomiting on a daily basis and you are losing a lot of weight (more than 3 kg or 6.6 pounds), visit your gynecologist, who will examine you to determine whether these symptoms are caused by thyroid problems, and to ensure that you are not dehydrated.