Morning sickness during pregnancies is common to most pregnant women, especially in the first trimester of the pregnancy. Usually, nausea in pregnancy is a normal sensation and occurs most often in the morning. Find out when and how nausea occurs in pregnancy, what are its causes, and how you can improve the effects of nausea. Many think that heavy morning sickness could bring some negative effects to the mother and the baby but latest studies on this topic concluded that mom’s morning sickness is beneficial for babies.
When and how nausea occurs in pregnancy?
Approximately one-third of pregnant women face nausea, more or less, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. This sensation is known as morning sickness because it occurs most often in the first part of the morning but nausea in pregnancy can occur at any time of the day. In most cases, nausea begins to make itself felt after 4 weeks of pregnancy, after which the sensation disappears around the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy.
However, one study says that one in five women is experiencing nausea and vomiting in the second trimester of pregnancy. There are also rare cases in which the pregnant woman may experience nausea and vomiting throughout the whole pregnancy.
The symptoms that accompany nausea during the pregnancy are:
- appetite suppression
- psychological effects such as depression and anxiety
Nausea during pregnancy can have a profound effect on the quality of life, given that you have a state of constant harm, you can not socialize and you can feel that you do not give the same performance at work or in other activities.
Pregnant women experiencing nausea throughout their pregnancy or over a longer period of time are prone to a higher level of psychological stress, which ultimately leads to anxiety and depression.
Causes of nausea in pregnancy
Nausea has many causes. It is important to know that nausea itself, especially when it comes to pregnancy, is not a disease but rather a symptom of pregnancy. The causes of this symptom have not been fully elucidated by specialists, but it is believed that a combination of physical and metabolic factors plays an important role in the appearance of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
The most common causes of nausea in pregnancy are:
- high levels of hormones, including estrogen
- blood pressure fluctuations, especially low blood pressure
- modified carbohydrate metabolism
- multiple physical and chemical changes through which a woman’s body passes in order to prepare and adapt for the pregnancy
Nausea in pregnancy does not affect the condition of the fetus
Some women are worried that the effort made to vomit may threaten the condition of the fetus. In fact, vomiting and feeling of nausea can tighten your abdominal muscles and cause localized pain but the action of vomiting will not affect your baby.
The fetus is perfectly amortized inside the embryonic sac of amniotic fluid.
Negative effects of severe nausea
A severe form of nausea in pregnancy can affect about one in 1,000 pregnant women. Symptoms include repeated vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration. Treatment usually involves hospitalization as well as administration of intravenous fluids, and a special nutrition program.
This severe nausea, if left untreated, may lead to possible complications, such as:
- electrolyte imbalances
- depression and extreme anxiety
- malnutrition of the fetus
- excessive pressure on the vital organs, including the liver, heart, kidneys, and brain
This severe form of morning sickness is known as hyperemeses gravidarum.
Mom’s morning sickness is beneficial for babies
Numerous studies have found that vomiting over a prolonged period at the beginning of the pregnancy is associated with a reduced risk of spontaneous abortion. However, prolonged periods of pregnancy with vomiting, leading to dehydration and weight loss, can deprive the child of a proper nutrition and increase the risk of the baby being underweight at birth, so countermeasures should be taken to cancel these effects.
Also, kids born by mothers who faced morning sickness showed a higher IQ score, between ages of 3 and 7 years, in comparison with the children of mother’s who did not felt nausea during their pregnancies.
The study was conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, under the leadership of Stefanie Hinkle.
Hinkle gathered the data noted in the daily pregnancy diaries of more than 800 women who suffered from spontaneous abortion and miscarriage. The researchers found out that more than half of these women suffered from nausea and vomiting during their first months of pregnancy.
The Hinkle’s report was recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Even though Hinkle’s study is based on actual data collected from the mother’s daily pregnancy diaries, it doesn’t seem just enough to draw the crystal-clear conclusion that mom’s morning sickness is beneficial for babies. Further studies may be needed in that direction.
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