morning sickness

Morning Sickness: What Do I Need to Know?

After discovering you’re pregnant, dealing with morning sickness becomes the next hurdle, and can be a misery for many mums-to-be. As many mums try to avoid medication and deal with symptoms the natural way, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has published its recommendations for those dealing with mild cases of morning sickness. Here’s everything you need to know about morning sickness and some information on how to deal with it.


About morning sickness

Morning sickness is a very common symptom of early pregnancy, and whilst it may be uncomfortable and unpleasant, it is not a sign that something is wrong with the baby. Not every woman suffers from morning sickness, and whilst around 80% of pregnant women will experience nausea, around half will suffer from actual sickness. Those that do suffer will notice symptoms easing by weeks 16-20 of their pregnancy.

The term ‘morning sickness’ itself is actually quite misleading. Morning sickness can happen at any time of the day or evening, and can be both short and long lasting. The specific cause of morning sickness is unknown, but It is largely thought to be linked to the hormonal changes a woman experiences during pregnancy. Some women may also find that their sickness is affected by certain smells and tastes, which can be heightened during pregnancy.

Most cases of morning sickness are nothing to worry about, but in cases where you can’t keep any food or drink down or are very dehydrated, you should get in touch with your doctor.


Coping with morning sickness

Many women cope with morning sickness in their own way, avoiding triggers such as certain foods. However, for those seeking some advice, the NHS recommends a number of different home treatments which may work for you, including:

  • Eating plain foods if you show symptoms in the morning, for example some dry toast or biscuits.
  • Making sure that you get plenty of sleep.
  • It’s important to stay hydrated – drink water regularly throughout the day, focusing on small sips rather than large quantities of water.
  • Try eating foods which are more savoury than sweet, these may make you feel less nauseous.

Some of RCOG’s recommendations include eating ginger biscuits, whist acupressure can also help to alleviate symptoms.


Getting support for morning sickness

If your morning sickness becomes particularly bothersome, your doctor should be your first port of call. They will be able to recommend treatments as well as ensure that there are no underlying problems, whilst also being able to prescribe some medication for you if necessary. Anti-sickness drugs may be able to help control your symptoms, but this may not be your preferred choice of treatment. Familiarising yourself with the treatments and advice available as well as knowing when to seek medical help can help you to have a more comfortable pregnancy and make it through those initial symptoms.

For more information about morning sickness there are many great resources available. The NHS Choices website has comprehensive information about morning sickness, whilst What to Expect also has some good advice for expectant mothers. Be sure to stay hydrated and use your support system to help take the pressure off during this time.