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Morning sickness: nausea during pregnancy

Woman during pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormonal changes cause a raft of new sensations, including uncomfortable periods of nausea, which can mean vomiting. What’s behind for this so-called morning sickness and what can you do about it? Read our advice for handling it the 100% natural way.

Better understanding morning sickness

During the first few months of a pregnancy, a pregnant woman experiences a variety of physical changes, and often feels nauseous. But what is causing the feeling of nausea? Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The cells of the future placenta secrete this hormone as soon as the embryo is implanted in the uterine lining. It ensures the protection of the egg and stops menstruation, but also brings about changes in the body’s functions, in particular triggering nausea and vomiting.

Three things to remember about human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG):

  • It’s produced from the 8th day to the 18th week of pregnancy, with a reduction around the 14th week, which can explain why nausea is reduced after the first trimester
  • Its levels tend to be higher for women pregnant with twins, often sensitive to nausea
  • An increase in hCG levels is used an indicator during pregnancy tests

Symptoms of morning sickness

Morning sickness is very specific: it affects pregnant women mainly in the morning, as the body wakes up, which is where it gets its name. And because your sense of smell is very sensitive during pregnancy, this feeling can be caused by a mere odour.

Three symptoms associated with morning sickness:

  • an uncomfortable feeling of increased salivation
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting

Easing nausea

There are a few simple solutions that prevent or relieve nausea during the first few months of a pregnancy.

Six tips for reducing nausea:

  • Eat small, more frequent meals to avoid having an empty stomach, vulnerable to gastric acid
  • Eliminate greasy, fried or overly rich foods: they are more difficult to digest and remain longer in the stomach, which can lead to nausea
  • Don’t drink much during meals: mixing liquid and solids in the stomach can provoke a feeling of being overly full, which may cause you to feel nauseous
  • Eat more carbohydrates (bananas, potatoes, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.) to prevent the low blood sugar levels which can cause nausea
  • Air out rooms to banish potentially nauseating smells
  • Get enough sleep because fatigue increases nausea

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