Most women experience nausea, or nausea combined with vomiting at some point during pregnancy. It normally appears between 4 and 7 weeks from conception, and is usually gone by the 20th week. Of course, each woman is different and this may vary, with some women experiencing symptoms until birth.
The effects of morning sickness can be very debilitating, lots of women have experienced feelings of tearfulness, lowered mood, irritability and extreme tiredness . Aside from the nutrition that can help, it is also advisable to ask friends, family members and perhaps even colleagues for help. It could be as simple as someone else preparing food for you, or someone looking after your dog, children, any other of your tasks and responsibilities for an hour so you can catch up on some energy restoring sleep. Zinc and B6 can ease sickness and help protect against post-natal depression, as well as increasing the chances of having a healthy baby. Grass fed organic lamb, nuts, egg yolks, rye and oats are all rich in zinc, while B6 is found in cauliflower, watercress, bananas and broccoli.
It is widely thought that morning sickness is an embryo/foetal protective mechanism by preventing the mother from eating certain foods which could potentially be harmful. This could explain the fact that the aversion to certain foods and smells often coincides with the start of nausea and vomiting. Biology scientist Scott Forbes published a paper in 2017 contesting this theory. His research supported a new idea that it's actually a tug of war for iodine between the mother and embryo. Iodine rich foods include fish and dairy.
There are in fact a number of research papers speculating the cause of morning sickness, with no definitive conclusion as of yet.
Whatever the scientific reasons for morning sickness, it's unpleasant to say the least. It’s important to note that morning sickness is a very normal during pregnancy and is not something to be too concerned about, however, if you have severe symptoms and are losing weight (5% or more of total bodyweight), become dehydrated and are regularly vomiting it is best to consult a doctor.
There are a few things to try which could help with morning sickness symptoms:
Eating something plain before getting out of bed in the morning can help, for example wholemeal toast or a plain cracker, or a TPFC ginger biscuit.
Eating ‘little and often’ eases the pressure on the digestive system and helps maintain steadier blood sugar levels.
Slightly reducing fats in each meal can help. Fats delay the emptying of the stomach and so can make it easier for vomiting to occur.
Ginger is widely regarded as a natural remedy for nausea. Try ginger biscuits, ginger tea, or ginger powder tablets.
There is some evidence to suggest that anti sickness bands worn on the pressure point of the wrist can offer some relief.
Tiredness and lack of sleep can compound the symptoms of morning sickness.
Electrolyte drinks may be helpful if solid foods cannot be kept down.
Keeping well hydrated is essential as dehydration can worsen symptoms.