Morning sickness refers to nausea and vomiting and affects a large population of pregnant women during their first trimester. It generally occurs from the 4th to the 12th or 14th week of pregnancy, but some women may experience it during their entire pregnancy. Morning sickness is not harmful for the unborn child, but severe cases are called hyperemesis gravidarum and may even require hospitalization.
The cause of morning sickness is unknown, but many metabolic and physical factors have a role to play.
Symptoms of morning sickness include:
Your doctor will diagnose morning sickness based on the signs and symptoms you experience. If hyperemesis gravidarum is suspected, urine and blood tests will be suggested. An ultrasound may also be ordered to detect other underlying causes of nausea and determine the number of foetuses.
Most cases of morning sickness do not require treatment; however, your doctor may prescribe vitamin B-6 supplements and anti-nausea medications for severe cases. Hyperemesis gravidarum may require hospitalization and treatment with anti-nausea medications and intravenous fluids.
Lifestyle and home remedies may be helpful in relieving morning sickness in some women.
Morning sickness can be reduced to a certain extent with prenatal vitamins taken before conception.