Nausea and vomiting are one of the early signs of pregnancy. Many people associate nausea and vomiting during pregnancy with a healthy fetus, Mother.
Nausea and vomiting are also known as morning sickness. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are common conditions.
Even though it is called ‘morning sickness’, pregnant women can experience nausea and vomiting at any time of the day. Some pregnant women feel nauseous for a short time every day, or maybe one to two times per day.
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“Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy usually do not harm the fetus, but can affect the life of pregnant women, including the ability to work or carry out normal daily activities,” wrote ACOG on its official website.
In more severe cases, nausea and vomiting can continue until it becomes hyperemesis gravidarum. If left untreated, this condition can cause the pregnant woman to become dehydrated and the fetus to lack nutrition.
Peak nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), more than 50 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness. Meanwhile, according to a journal published in Autonomic Neuroscience in 2017, it was stated that 70 to 80 percent of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting.
These early signs of pregnancy generally start around the 6th week of pregnancy. Meanwhile, according to ACOG, nausea and vomiting can occur from 9 weeks of pregnancy, Mother.
The condition of nausea and vomiting will disappear at 14 weeks of pregnancy. However, for some women, this complaint can last for several weeks or months.
Dr. Suririnah in the book Smart Book on Pregnancy and Childbirth. According to him, nausea and vomiting will usually end at 14 weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile, the time this complaint occurs can be at any time, not just in the morning.
“Nausea usually ends at 14 weeks of pregnancy. In some cases it can continue until the second trimester of pregnancy and beyond, but this is rare,” said Suririnah.
Illustration of Nausea in Pregnant Women/ Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/geargodz
Causes of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy don’t just happen, Mother. There are several underlying causes for this condition, namely:
1. Hormonal changes
Nausea and vomiting can occur due to increased levels of the pregnancy hormone, namely the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which peaks in the morning. This hormone is first produced by the developing embryo after fertilization. Some experts link hCG to nausea and vomiting.
Apart from hCG, increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are also associated with morning sickness in early pregnancy. The increase in the hormone estrogen in pregnant women is 100 times higher than in non-pregnant women. But even though it is believed to cause nausea and vomiting, until now there is no evidence to show differences in estrogen levels in pregnant women who have symptoms or not.
Meanwhile, high progesterone hormone in early pregnancy can relax the uterine muscles to prevent premature labor. This hormone can also relax the intestines, causing GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) which sometimes causes nausea and vomiting.
2. The advantage of saliva
Excess saliva is one of the changes the body experiences during pregnancy. The cause is also influenced by changes in pregnancy hormones, Mother.
Excess saliva tends to collect in the mouth, thereby increasing nausea and reducing appetite. Whatever the cause, excess saliva in early pregnancy is still considered normal and not dangerous as long as eating patterns are not disturbed.
3. Influence of food
Nausea can occur due to an empty stomach after several hours or not eating for a long period of time. This reluctance to eat can appear early in pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations.
Apart from that, morning sickness can also occur due to the influence of food or changes in the atmosphere in the mouth, for example a metallic taste arises when consuming certain foods. Nausea can also be triggered by food odors that you consider pungent.
Tips for dealing with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
Actually, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can be prevented, Mother. Here are some tips to overcome and prevent it:
Change eating habits, for example eating small amounts but often. Try to eat when your stomach feels good, with small portions or eat 5 to 6 times a day to prevent an empty stomach and maintain stable blood sugar levels. Consuming foods high in carbohydrates and protein can help overcome nausea. Apart from that, eat lots of fruit and vegetables during pregnancy. Don’t rush to get up in the morning. Try sitting for a while and eating a snack or biscuit to prevent nausea. Avoid consuming foods that trigger nausea, such as strong-smelling, fatty and spicy foods. Drink enough fluids while you are experiencing morning sickness. Drink to replace fluids lost during vomiting or prevent dehydration. Increase your intake of vitamin B6 because it is effective in reducing nausea in pregnant women. This vitamin can be obtained from cereals, avocados and bananas. Drink warm ginger water to reduce nausea. Apart from drinks, mothers can also chew ginger candy.
When should you see a doctor?
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are normal conditions due to the influence of hormones. However, mothers still have to be alert to this complaint because it can become severe and cause hyperemesis gravidarum.
See a doctor immediately if you experience nausea and vomiting accompanied by symptoms:
Difficulty eating Losing weight Dark colored urine Having fever Can’t sleep Vomiting blood
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