I Think I'm Going to be Sick!

You've just confirmed what you were thinking - you're pregnant and you're very excited. You are also feeling quite ill and it is difficult to hold anything down. You begin to wonder if you'll ever be able to sit up when you wake up in the morning without feeling like your stomach will precede you out of the bed. Is this normal?

Is This Normal? 

Actually, for many women, nausea and vomiting are entirely normal. While no one knows exactly what causes nausea in pregnancy, it is thought by most researchers that a combination of the many physical changes happening in the body, such as higher levels of hormones, triggers the sick feeling. Commonly referred to as "morning sickness", the fact is that it can happen at any time of the day - not just in the morning. Usually it begins around the sixth week of pregnancy and for most sufferers (about 80%), it ends after the first trimester, although the sense of queasiness can come and go throughout the entire pregnancy. For the other 20%, the suffering can go on for a lot longer period of time, even until the end of the pregnancy.

Sorry, I Can't Shop Today...I'm Feeling Sick

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP) has the potential to alter the way life goes for a period of time. You may find that you have to reorder your schedule to fit in with your "better times of day". Overall, NVP is not harmful to either mother or child and the short-term nutritional deficiencies resulting from NVP do not have any effect upon the pregnancy outcome. On the other hand, severe NVP can definitely affect your health. Often a woman will feel sick for a period of time during the day but it goes away and she can keep food down. If, however, the NVP is consistent and severe, the baby may be deprived of essential nutrients for healthy growth.

It Can Become Problematic - Be Wise

A very small number of pregnant women will endure excessive vomiting during their pregnancy. This is called "hyperemesis gravidarum" and in such cases the lack of food, fluids and nutrients can become potentially harmful to both mother and unborn baby. If left untreated, it can result in dehydration which occurs when the body does not have enough fluids. Severe cases of dehydration may require intravenous fluids and vitamin supplementation at a hospital. If you are experiencing some of the signs of dehydration such as very dark urine or infrequent urination, see your medical provider immediately.

Give Yourself Permission to Rest, and Ask for Help

There are some medications which can be useful in the treatment of NVP, however, taking them without first discussing the situation with your health care provider can prove risky. If you require medicine, have it properly prescribed. There are some things you can do to help yourself if you are suffering with NVP. Get plenty of rest - especially since vomiting can really tire a person out. Napping during the day and enlisting the help of friends and family for as long as you need it, are also ways to keep your body from tiring out.

This Too Shall Pass

While it is not a pleasant part of pregnancy, it is important to remember that it isn't forever and, this too shall pass.


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