Morning sickness in no fun for any pregnant woman. The bright side is - if there is one, is that studies have shown that mothers who do experience the nasty nausea and vomiting early in their pregnancies are more likely to have healthy, full term babies. ( this doesn't mean to panic if you don't have morning sickness though - every woman is different.)
Many women suffer from morning sickness during the first three months of pregnancy - known as the first trimester. How bad the symptoms are varies from mother to mother and even from pregnancy to pregnancy. In a twin pregnancy, you can expect double the hormones to cause double the morning sickness. Usually this is an indicator that there may be two babies in there!
Some women have morning sickness only in the morning. Others have it all day long and wonder why they call it 'morning sickness' when it's more like 'all day sickness'.
What causes morning sickness ? The culprit seems to be the pregnancy hormone - human chorionic gonadrotopin or HCG. It's the hormone that we test for in pregnancy tests and it is highest during the first few months of pregnancy. Progesterone, another hormone results in the slowing of the digestive process and may also be a factor. There's a lot of changes going on in a pregnant woman's body ,such as increases in kidney function and blood volume .
If you are suffering from morning sickness you probably don't care about WHY - you just want to get relief while you're marking off the days on the calendar for your 2nd trimester. Here are some things to try to give yourself some relief.
1) Keep crackers by the bed and try to eat some before you even make an attempt to get up out of bed. Having a totally empty stomach can give you queasies right off the bat.
2) Don't eat till you are stuffed. Eating small meals, often throughout the day will keep your stomach acid down and your blood sugar levels stable.
3) Try not to eat and drink at the same time - again - this prevents your stomach from being overly full so eat and drink separately.
4) Make sure you are not dehydrated especially in the summer months - sipping on cold water, fruit juices milk will keep you hydrated.
5) Stick to plain, boring, bland foods. If you are suffering with morning sickness it is not the time to check out new Thai or Indian spicy food - stick to bland until your stomach settles. Sometimes the smell of certain spices in cooking will set you off too - if something makes your stomach turn - avoid it.
6) Eat complex carbohydrates such as pasta, toast, and potatoes - again - bland and starchy and less likely to set off your tummy.
6) Stay away from greasy and fatty foods - things like pizza and greasy cheeseburgers probably won't sit very well , and they don't have a lot of nutritional value anyway.
8) Talk to your doctor about vitamin B6 - it has been shown to help reduce nausea in low doses. You may also want to consider switching prenatal vitamins as some are harder to digest than others.
9) Ginger ! in tea, in gingerale in candy form - it can help with morning sickness.
10) Get some fresh air - taking a walk in the fresh air can help you feel better while you wait it out.
11) Sour things can help - not sure why but lemon candy, lemonade, lemon popsicles , lemon in water all seemed to help me get past morning sickness.
12) Brush your teeth often and use mouthwash - the extra saliva in your mouth will make you feel sick so get rid of it as often as you can. If your toothpaste is suddenly turning your stomach - switch brands or flavors. And if you are vomiting - this will help protect your teeth from your stomach acids.
13) Keep your toilet bowl clean - just trust me on this one - if your face is in it - you'll want it to be clean !
14) Do what works for you. Eat what appeals to you - even if it's unusual or not nutritionally perfect. Avoid triggers as much as possible and get help with things that turn your stomach if you can.
Morning sickness is one of those things that you may suffer with - but know that it is temporary and that your body is just adjusting to all the changes taking place. While that may be hard to do while your head is in the toilet bowl again - try to keep your sense of humor and focus on building a healthy baby! Every one is different - I couldn't look at raw meat or even at pictures of raw meat in the grocery store flyers, couldn't smell parmesean cheese, and the smell of a dirty or wet diaper sent me running. But it passed!
Now - if your morning sickness is extreme, or going beyond the first 3 months, or you're losing too much weight and feeling dizzy - make sure you let your doctor know immediately. He may prescribe medication to help with the nausea, and a small percentage of women do require hospitalization due to Hyperemesis Gravidarum- severe morning sickness.
For most women - it passes by the second trimester - and just becomes a rather unpleasant memory so hang in there ! I feel for you!
Kimberley Becker is the founder and author of a website for parents of twins at www.raising-twins.com.
She is a stay at home mom of four beautiful children, 2 boys and 2 girls. She has a degree in Applied Counseling and Early Childhood Education and has previously worked as a special needs worker, a Counselor for abused women, and a Counselor for High Risk Youth. For a more complete discussion about the ways to deal with early pregnancy symptoms visit www.raising-twins.com/earlypregnancysymptoms.html