Pregnancy marks an important milestone in the life of a woman. It is also a life-turning event for couples and those who want to have their own family. It is the start to the challenging path of motherhood.
Why a challenge? Your body will lose its fit and trim glory. Your skin will be etched with glorious white shiny stretch marks especially on your thighs, armpit an abdomen. Your tummy gets to bloat each succeeding month until it is too big to bursting that you can hardly see your feet anymore. If these common signs and symptoms of pregnancy aren’t too hard for you to bear, imagine waking up each day with an aching stomach and you greeting the mornings with a heartfelt retching. Now, that is the infamous morning sickness.
What is nausea pregnancy?
Nausea is a common symptom of pregnancy. A pregnant woman will feel nauseated when she smells unpleasant odors, some of which were okay with her when she still wasn’t expecting. These symptoms normally appear upon waking up. She may also feel nauseated even without a specific stimuli. But that is the unexplainable thing about being knocked up – the battle of hormones within the woman’s body causes all these signs and symptoms that makes her one irate and moody being that one would not want to cross.
What are the causes of nausea pregnancy?
The main cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is the increase in the hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG. This is also the same hormone which is detected in pregnancy kits producing that dreaded (or most hopefully waited for) two lines. This HCG start to be secreted once the embryo or fertilized egg burrows deep into the lining of the uterus. The steady rise in this hormone normally occurs during the 1st three months of pregnancy and abates at the start of the 2nd trimester. Presence of HCG confirms pregnancy, however, an excess of such or an increase persisting until after the 4th month may signify other conditions characterized by excessive nausea and vomiting such as hyperemesis gravidarum.
There is also a condition called H-mole or gestational trophoblastic disease or simply molar pregnancy which stimulates the production of excessive HCG. With molar pregnancy, the fertilized egg fails to develop into the fetus. Instead, it forms into a sack of small fluid-filled vesicles. This disease produces a false positive pregnancy test result and the abdomen can be observed to enlarge far faster than expected. This will require evacuation of the mole in order to prevent further complications.
Other theories of nausea in pregnancy include:
The nausea prompts you to eat more nutritious foods that are required of your now delicate condition
It stirs you away from substances that may possible induce harm to your fetus
It encourages you to maintain a level of activity that is safe and favorable for you and your baby
The nausea and vomiting could also be caused by an underlying condition such as hyperacidity, gastric ulcers, GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease and other disorders. Not all nausea is linked to pregnancy. Thorough assessment and diagnostic exams should be taken to pin point the main source of the problem.
If nausea and the subsequent vomiting is not resolved, the pregnant woman may suffer malnutrition and severe dehydration. Both of these conditions are detrimental to the mother and baby’s health.
If you are too picky with your food or avoid eating at all just to prevent unpleasant episodes of vomiting, you are depriving your fetus the nourishment it needs to grow big and healthy. The baby, upon delivery may be too small compared to normal or may suffer other anomalies as a result of vitamin deficiencies.
In extreme cases, dehydration may cause premature labor contractions that if not halted may result to miscarriage or premature delivery. So how do you know that dehydration is already setting in?
Weakness and fatigue
Feelings of excessive thirst
Small amount and dark colored urine
Check the mother’s skin for dryness and turgor (Pinch the skin. Normally, it should recoil back to its pre-pinched stated but if the skin stays tented, it is a positive sign of dehydration.)
Confusion and altered level of consciousness
In some extreme cases, the woman may experience syncope or loss of consciousness because of extremely low circulating blood volume which is inadequate to perfuse the brain
Management and how to reduce it?
There are several ways on how to prevent the deleterious effects of nausea and vomiting.
Identify and avoid the triggers.
Each woman has different pet peeves. One may hate sweet smells, while others feel nauseated with caustic odors. The important thing is to determine precipitating factors that cause an episode of vomiting and religiously avoid these substances.
Encourage small and frequent feeding.
It’s really difficult to maintain a balanced nutrition during pregnancy when you feel nauseated all the time then add it up to your other-worldly cravings. In order for you to get the food in your gut, not back out your throat, eat small meals around six times a day. This ensures that you digest the food. Heavy meals tend to feel, well, heavy and makes you more nauseated.
Nausea home remedies
Upon waking up and you are feeling the urge to expel all your gastric contents, reach for your refrigerator and munch on ice chips. If you don’t have ice chips, have a nibble of a dry or soda cracker. Have a tiny sip of soda. These may help relieve nausea.
Increase oral fluid intake
This is to keep you hydrated and to replace fluid losses from vomiting and frequent urination that is normal in pregnancy.
Avoid gastric irritants
Vomiting can also be triggered by excessive acid production. This can be remedied by avoiding food, drinks and substances that increases gastric acidity. These include coffee, milk, chocolates, anything with caffeine, carbonated beverages and cigarette smoking.
Severe dehydration and malnutrition is treated in the hospital. The pregnant woman is advised to increase oral fluid intake. If she cannot tolerate any oral feedings at all, she is hooked to an IV (intravenous) line where the fluids and vitamins needed will be coursed through her body. Medications such as metoclopramide will be given to help prevent symptoms of nausea pregnancy.