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How to manage early pregnancy sickness

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  • Category Advice Column, Health, Pregnancy, Pregnancy & Baby, Recently

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health coverage, discusses ways to manage early morning sickness.

Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative journey for many women, but it often comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the most common early pregnancy symptoms is morning sickness, which can make those first few months challenging.

Early pregnancy sickness is a natural response to the hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“While it can be uncomfortable, it is usually a positive sign that the pregnancy is progressing as expected.”

What is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness affects approximately 70-80% of pregnant women. While the name suggests that it occurs only in the morning, this condition can occur at any time or night. It typically begins around the sixth week of pregnancy and peaks between the ninth and 16th weeks.

What Causes Morning Sickness?

While the exact cause is not fully understood, hormonal changes, notably the surge in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), significantly trigger symptoms.

Although every woman’s experience with morning sickness is unique, symptoms often include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, increased salivation, sensitivity to smells, fatigue and dehydration due to fluid loss from vomiting.

15 Ways to Manage Morning Sickness

Affinity Health provides these 15 coping strategies and tips to help expecting mothers cope with the challenges of morning sickness:

  1. Dietary Adjustments

Eating smaller, more frequent meals to avoid an empty stomach can help reduce nausea. Opt for bland, easy-to-digest foods like crackers, toast, or plain rice.

  1. Hydration

Staying well-hydrated is crucial during pregnancy. Drinking fluids, such as water, herbal tea, or electrolyte-rich beverages, can help prevent dehydration.

  1. Rest and Stress Management

Getting adequate rest is essential to manage fatigue and stress, which can exacerbate nausea. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or prenatal yoga, can be beneficial.

  1. Medication

Sometimes, healthcare providers may recommend anti-nausea medications if dietary and lifestyle changes do not provide relief.

  1. Acupressure and Alternative Therapies

Some women find relief through acupressure wristbands or alternative therapies like acupuncture.

  1. Prenatal Vitamins

Taking prenatal vitamins as prescribed by a healthcare provider is essential to ensure the mother and baby receive crucial nutrients.

  1. Ginger and Lemon

Ginger and lemon are known for their soothing properties. Sipping on ginger tea or adding a slice of lemon to your water can provide relief from nausea.

  1. Aromatherapy

Certain scents, such as peppermint or lavender, can help alleviate nausea. Consider using essential oils or scented candles for relaxation.

  1. Stay Cool

Avoid getting too hot, as heat can trigger nausea. Stay in well-ventilated areas and use fans or air conditioning when needed.

  1. Distraction

You should consider activities that take your mind off nausea, such as reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to calming music.

  1. Support System

Lean on your support system, whether it’s your partner, family, or friends. Their understanding and assistance can make a significant difference during this time.

  1. Avoid Trigger Foods

Identify foods that tend to worsen your symptoms and avoid them. Sometimes, spicy, greasy, or highly seasoned foods can be triggers.

  1. Herbal Remedies

Some herbal remedies, like peppermintrooibos, or chamomile tea, may relieve nausea.

  1. Keep a Journal

Keeping a journal to track when and what triggers your nausea can help you identify patterns and make necessary adjustments to your routine.

  1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Nausea can sometimes lead to bad breath or a metallic taste in your mouth. Regularly brushing your teeth and using mouthwash can help combat this.

When to Seek Medical Help

While morning sickness is generally considered a normal part of pregnancy, severe symptoms can lead to complications such as dehydration and weight loss. If you experience severe nausea and vomiting, consult your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance, recommend treatments, and ensure the health and well-being of both you and your developing baby.

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