Morning sickness is the incorrect term for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It’s a mistake, as it doesn’t only happen in the morning. In one Canadian study, 80% of the pregnant women in their sample reported nausea that lasted throughout the day. Only 1.8% reported morning only. A British study found that half of the pregnant women vomited in the morning between 6 am-12 pm.
The exact cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is not known. However, various factors, as well as hypotheses, may have been proposed.
The most common evolutionary hypothesis related to nutrition appears to be that nausea or vomiting could have protected pregnant women and their unborn babies against potentially harmful food substances. Imagine that you are a pregnant woman with hair who is too sick to eat the new plant that just began to grow in your cave.
The negative effects of pregnancy sickness on mum include anxiety, depression, stress, inability to function, malnutrition, constipation, and dehydration. It can also cause reduced quality of life, irritability and decreased mood.
What should I eat?
When you’re sick, it can be not easy to maintain a balanced diet. You might only want oranges, hot fries, lemonade and ice blocks.
You should not worry about nutrition in the short-term (starting at mid-pregnancy), because you will be able to catch up when you feel more human. You should eat something, anything.
It is important to know that some foods are best avoided while pregnant. Important to note is that nausea and vomiting due to reflux, which may occur in later pregnancy, comes with its own nutrition guide. They can differ from those that are used for nausea and vomiting earlier in pregnancy.
Three-quarters (75%) of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting. by rebeccacharlotte.com.au, Author provided
If you are suffering from nausea and vomiting and only have the energy to drink some lemonade and eat some potato chips, can you take nutrition supplements or eat certain foods or drinks that will help you?
There are many reviews and guidelines for the nutritional management of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. There is not enough evidence of high quality for us to recommend a particular nutrition strategy.
Women all over the globe use nutrition practices, which can be helpful. Few have been studied in scientific studies. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t effective. The following are some of the most common tips found in literature:
Avoid triggers and identify them.
Avoid eating on an empty stomach.
Keep some bland food, such as dry crackers, near your bed and eat a few of them before you get up in the morning.
Eat small portions of food frequently and avoid large meals.
Eat when you are feeling less nauseated (you may have to force yourself to eat at other times because it is the only thing you can do to feel better).
Avoid spicy and fatty food, as they can cause stomach irritation and slow down the rate of emptying.
Avoid foods that have strong smells. Your sense of smell may become more acute during pregnancy, and certain smells, including food scents, can make you sick.
Cold or frozen drinks and foods are usually better tolerated.
Separately consume food and liquids to reduce the volume of your stomach.
Drink small amounts of liquid often, but aim for two liters per day (especially if vomiting is a problem).
Herbal teas, such as ginger tea, may be helpful.
More research has been done on certain nutritional supplements. They may also improve nausea and vomiting, although the evidence for their widespread use is not strong enough.
Ginger in syrup or capsules of up to 250mg per day helps. America recommends it. Australian Clinical Practice Guidelines do not recommend it.