Oh, the joys of pregnancy! Some women experience mood swings, abdominal bloating, excessive urination, fatigue and sore breasts. One common symptom for many mothers during their first trimester is nausea and vomiting, or morning sickness.
According to doctor Kathryn Litt, MD, an obstetrician with ProMedica Physicians, morning sickness is a common symptom for many women, but not all. She says there are several theories about what actually causes it.
“Most often, morning sickness is considered to be hormone related,” Dr. Litt explains. “The presence of beta hCG (one of the main hormones in early pregnancy) is known to make people feel nauseous. Higher estrogen levels may also contribute to morning sickness.”
Dr. Litt says that while not all women may experience it, risk factors for morning sickness may include multiple gestation (if the mother is carrying twins or triplets) because of the additional placental tissue; and having a family history, such as a mother or sister who previously experienced morning sickness. While morning sickness ebbs and flows during the first trimester, it typically disappears after a couple weeks.
While morning sickness ebbs and flows during the first trimester, it typically disappears after a couple weeks.
Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate morning sickness. Dr. Litt says that Ob/Gyns follow an algorithm for their patients, so if one remedy doesn’t work, another might be more effective.
“Women can get ginger, in gum or lozenge form, or even drink Ginger Ale to calm their morning sickness,” Dr. Litt suggests. “If that doesn’t work, your doctor may suggest taking Vitamin B6 and doxylamine individually or in a combination pill. And in addition to other medications that are available, the mother can try acupuncture or other non-Western medicine traditions.”
The best place to start is with your obstetrician.
“Know that you are not alone, and if you are not feeling yourself or feeling rundown at all, give your Ob/Gyn a call and we can help you down the right path,” says Dr. Litt. “Just remember to stay hydrated, take care of yourself, and eat what you can. Baby will always take what it needs in order to develop.”