It’s amazing how we can go through a process numerous times, yet each time feels like you never felt before. In this case I am referring to pregnancy. But to be more specific, I mean nausea or morning sickness. This horrible feeling, according to American Baby, is a good sign. But from my experience, I thought nothing but the worst.
There’s a huge difference from mild queasiness and frequent vomiting. Let’s start with the simple facts- morning sickness-excuse the name since this can strike any time of day-is caused by an increase of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and estrogen levels. If you are carrying twins, this unfortunately can mean double trouble since your levels would be higher than that of a single baby pregnant woman. Mucus is produced to create amniotic fluid, which increase saliva production, leaving you feeling nauseas when you swallow.
Symptoms usually appear between the 7th – 9th weeks and can last until the 12th-14th weeks, even into the 20th weeks of pregnancy. According to Alfred Ono, M.D. and Ob/Gyn in Portland, Oregon, “morning sickness is a sign of increased estrogen levels, which generally signal a good, strong pregnancy”.
Taking multivitamins at the time of conception can greatly reduce the effects of morning sickness, says the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology. This can be contributed to the presence of B6, which is credited for easing morning sickness. Taking pills later in the day can also assist with the queasy feeling experienced throughout the day. Get plenty of rest and avoid strong odors and protein-rich foods such as red meat, chicken and fish. Eating small meals, every two hours rather than 3 large ones can also make a difference. Avoid fatty foods, as well as fast food all together.
Load up on those carbohydrate intakes. Eat lots of starchy potatoes, which is necessary in the first trimester of development. However, if you experience morning sickness like I have, please seek immediate medical attention. This includes excessive vomiting, blood in vomit, dizziness, vaginal bleeding – just to name a few. These are all signs of excessive morning sickness or hyperemesis, which apparently only strikes 2% of the pregnant population (lucky me to be part of that percentage). This was the worst experience I’ve had during my current pregnancy. In fact, I was hospitalized for approximately 4 weeks before finally being properly diagnosed. My horror started in my 5th week and lasted until my 5 ½ month of pregnancy. But the saliva production continued until my 6th month or 24th week. I had to tote a spit cup when in public, making it very discouraging to go out in public. I couldn’t keep anything down and rapidly lost weight during the early stages. I was placed on IVs numerous times for dehydration. I was prescribed Zofran and Promethyzine (suppository) to assist with the food intake.
But any proud mom-to-be (this is my third after 14 years) can protest that it is all worth it once we finally hold and cuddle our little bundles of joy. This seems to make it all pale in comparison.