Morning Sickness

What is morning sickness?

Morning sickness is nausea or vomiting that usually occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy. Despite its name, you may feel nauseated or vomit at any time of day

Why does it happen?

It is not understood why some women develop morning sickness, but certain factors such as hormones are involved. Women with high levels of pregnancy hormones tend to develop this condition and have it with subsequent pregnancies.

When does it happen during pregnancy?

More than half of pregnant women have morning sickness during the first trimester. It usually goes away by the second trimester, when the level of pregnancy hormones in your body falls.

When morning sickness is severe, it is called hyperemesis gravidarum.

NOTE: Please do not take any medications without notifying Dr Gailani, as some medications cross the placental barrier and may cause undue effects on your growing baby.

What can I do to reduce my symptoms?

These steps may help:

  • Eat snacks that are high in protein, and avoid rich fatty foods.
  • Avoid foods if their taste, smell or appearance is not suitable to you.
  • Have frequent small snacks instead of full meals.
  • Being hungry can make it worse.
  • Eat a nourishing snack before you go to bed at night.
  • Increase your intake of fluids such as water, fruit juice, clear soups and Gatorade (particularly if you are vomiting).
  • Take it easy, especially in the mornings, as rushing about will make nausea worse.
  • Try and avoid time spent in the kitchen, as the smell of food can make you nauseous.
  • Try to avoid eating while you are shopping as movement often makes morning sickness worse.
  • Try eating a biscuit or something light before you get out of bed in the morning.
  • Seek medical help, before it can get worse.

What is the treatment for morning sickness?

Moderate morning sickness may require:

  • Medication to reduce nausea and vomiting
  • Intravenous fluid treatment to relieve dehydration

Dr Gailani will explain the side effects and risks of any medication prescribed.

Severe hyperemesis gravidarum may require:

  • Hospitalisation
  • Not eating or drinking anything, then slowly introducing food into your diet
  • Laboratory tests of blood and urine
  • Intravenous treatment to balance the electrolytes in your blood
  • Ultrasound examination of the pregnancy
RANZCOGCalvary John James HospitalCanberra HospitalAustralian  National UniversityWomens HealthICS