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Vomiting in pregnancy

Nausea and vomiting are very common in pregnancy. Morning sickness, as these problems are generally known, affects as much as 70% of all pregnant women. The duration of morning sickness and the severity of vomiting bouts vary from woman to women. Those less fortunate suffer from this problem during all three trimesters, although in many women vomiting and nausea stop by the time they reach the fourth month of pregnancy.

The term “morning sickness” is not exactly correct because nausea and vomiting can be experienced throughout the day, not just in the morning, but in many cases it does seem to be more present in the morning. Nausea and vomiting are often triggered by unpleasant smells and some foods, even though they were once among the woman’s favorites, now become intolerable.

In rare cases, vomiting can become so severe it leads to dehydration, exhaustion and extreme weight loss. This condition is called hyperemesis gravidarum.

While it is not absolutely clear what exactly causes vomiting in pregnancy, all evidence points towards sudden changes in hormonal balance. Hormones that seem to play a role in this problem are human Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), estrogen and progesterone. High levels of thyroid hormones have also been noted as a potential cause.

Another possible cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that is found in a greater percentage in pregnant women than in those who are not.

Prevention of vomiting in pregnancy

Morning sickness, with nausea and vomiting, often stops at a certain point in pregnancy, usually around fourth month. There is no cure for this problem and there is no definitive means of prevention, but there are certainly ways to reduce the severity of the symptoms, and more importantly, to prevent complications such as dehydration.

There is no single cure that prevents vomiting bouts in all women. Most pregnant women eventually find out what triggers their symptoms and then try to avoid them.

It helps to spend a lot of time in fresh air, to take short walks outside or to simply sit on a bench in the park and maybe read a book. Staying at home where the air is stale and filled with various unpleasant smells is not a good solution.

Rest is also very helpful. A short nap during a nausea bout can prevent vomiting and restore the energy lost due to sickness.

During severe bouts of nausea and vomiting, it may help to eat bland foods, such as saltines, crackers, dry toast, bananas, jello and such. Certain herbal teas, for example peppermint and chamomile, will soothe the upset stomach and also relieve headache that often accompanies vomiting.

Ginger and all products obtained from it, such as tea or soda, are universal remedies for all kinds of nausea.

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