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Common Concerns During Pregnancy: Morning Sickness

Morning sickness usually occurs in the morning, but it can happen anytime during the day. For many women, it is more common during the first three months of pregnancy. Some women may have some feelings of nausea and vomiting throughout pregnancy. Doctors don’t know what causes morning sickness. Most experts think hormone changes and stress are part of the problem. Morning sickness can be uncomfortable, but it usually does not hurt your or the baby’s health. 

 

Symptoms of morning sickness 

  • Upset stomach
  • Light-headed, almost feeling faint
  • Some vomiting or feeling like vomiting
  • Feeling sick
  • Feeling queasy from certain smells 

Tips for choosing foods 

  • Eat a few crackers, dry cereal, or a piece of bread before getting out of bed in the morning. 
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day. 
  • If you lie down after meals, keep your head slightly elevated. 
  • Do not skip meals. An empty stomach can make you feel worse. 
  • Eat foods that are low in fat and easy to digest such as rice or bananas. 
  • Stay away from spicy and fried foods. 
  • Drink liquids, such as water, between meals. 
  • Suck on ice chips or sip on water, weak unsweet tea, or clear soft drinks without sugar. 
  • Some juices have high amounts of acid so only drink small amounts of juice. 
  • Cut down on or eliminate caffeine drinks such as coffee, tea, soda energy drinks and chocolate 

Tips to decrease stress 

  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. 
  • Get plenty of fresh air and spend time outside. 
  • Make sure there is good air movement when cooking food. Open a window or turn on a fan. 
  • When feeling stressed, take a deep breath, go to a quiet place to relax, or take a leisurely walk. 
  • When lying down, get up slowly. Avoid quick movements that make you feel light-headed. 

When to call the doctor 

Symptoms of nausea and vomiting usually stop after the first three months of pregnancy. If they continue, or if your symptoms keep you from eating healthful foods for several days, be sure to tell your doctor. Not eating can cause you and your baby to be malnourished. 

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