What Causes Morning Sickness & How to Fight it

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than half of women (as many as 90% in some studies) will experience some form of morning sickness. This refers to the nauseous feeling (and possible vomiting) you may experience during early pregnancy and beyond. “Morning sickness” usually begins around week 6 of your pregnancy and begins to resolve around week 12. The big question is, What causes morning sickness? If you’ve experienced morning sickness then you know it’s more accurately referred to as “all day sickness” because it can strike at any time of day! There’s no rhyme or reason and a lot of research available on possible causes + remedies. This may be the first sign of pregnancy for many women!

 

The good thing is that morning sickness is not harmful to you or baby (however it is important to stay hydrated!), it’s just an unfortunate side effect some women experience. If it’s extreme, then you could be diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and that can be harmful due to electrolyte imbalances or lack of nutrients. It is important to speak to your provider about this if you feel you may be experiencing HG.

 

So what causes morning sickness?

There are several possible causes of morning sickness, unfortunately, and not one true cause that fits every expectant mother. Most doctors will say it’s directly related to hormones (human chorionic gonadotropin {hCG} you begin producing) and shows good placenta development. Other possible causes include:

Low blood sugar

Pregnant with multiples

Excessive fatigue

Emotional stress

Frequent traveling

Family history

Evolutionary strategy to avoid harmful foods

Magnesium and B6 deficiency

History of motion sickness

Poor gut health (or current/previous diagnosis of H. pylori

Possible thyroid dysfunction

 

Fun fact: According to this article, if you’re carrying a girl, you’re more likely to experience morning sickness and even HG because the main hormone responsible for the nausea/vomiting (hCG) is produced more with a female pregnancy.

 

So what can you do about it?

*Note that this is not medical advice and you should discuss any remedy with your physician!

 

Some common remedies for morning sickness include prescription medications, various vitamins, herbs, diet and alternative therapies. It’s also important to note that any remedy should be given time to work and for any vitamin/mineral deficiencies in our body to reach optimal levels.

 

Diclegis is a common prescription medication that was recently released from the FDA as an approved remedy for morning sickness (it has not been proven for effectiveness against HG). It works as a delayed-release medication meaning it’s meant to be taken before symptoms begin and help to keep the nausea at bay. However, it’s a very expensive medication and the active ingredients are the same as the next over the counter remedy!

 

The combination of unisom (doxylamine, make sure to double check the active ingredient) and vitamin B6 can help manage the symptoms of morning sickness. Your physician can recommend dosage and frequency based on the severity of your symptoms. Vitamin B6 alone can help with nausea but may have no effect on vomiting. This is because B6 helps move magnesium into cells and supports hormone balance that affect blood sugar.

 

Magnesium is another option as it plays a critical role in balancing cortisol which then influences blood sugar. It’s also helpful for other pregnancy ailments (restless leg syndrome, mood swings, and poor sleep quality).

 

Ginger is available in many different forms and some research shows it is helpful in alleviating nausea in conjunction with vitamin B6, even more effective than dramamine for some moms! You could do ginger tea, ginger candies, candied ginger, ginger ale… the options are limitless!

 

An alternative therapy to treating morning sickness is acupressure and acupuncture. Products like Sea-Bands provide continuous pressure to a place on your wrist that showed promising results in studies. One study showed that first trimester moms experienced less frequent nausea as well as lowered intensity. Another study showed that two-thirds of post-op patients had reduced nausea using acupressure in this way. This article states, “The results revealed that 90% of the women involved in the acupuncture groups had a positive antiemetic (vomit prevention) outcome. The doctors concluded that both acupuncture and acupressure (the act of applying physical pressure to acupuncture points with hands, elbows, or other devices) were extremely effective in the relief of morning sickness and overall nausea.”

 

Supporting your gut health can play a major factor in preventing/minimizing morning sickness and HG. Anecdotal evidence suggests that taking cocolaurin daily along with probiotics will stop morning sickness in its tracks! It attacks harmful bacteria in the gut which may make morning sickness worse.

 

Lifestyle changes to combat morning sickness are also suggested often! These include:

Small, frequent meals (try to include protein if you can!)

Staying hydrated (electrolyte drinks, bone broth)

Eating something like crackers before getting out of bed

Eating whatever you can stomach when you can

Avoiding smells that trigger your nausea

Rest

Exercise (yoga, getting outside for a quick walk)

Staying cool

Citrus fruits like lemon in your water or lemon candy

Avoiding spicy foods and lying down after a meal

Peppermint oil or candy

Preggie pops

Take your prenatal vitamins at night/before bed and with a snack

 

The good news is that morning sickness usually resolves after the first trimester and you’ll go on to enjoy a healthy pregnancy, despite how terrible you may have felt initially! At Kyte BABY, we hope that you learn something new and are able to try something you haven’t seen before to help you through this trying, but exciting time in your life. We feel your pain, and remember at the end of this, you’ll have a beautiful baby (or two) that will all be worth it.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/unisom-and-b6#vitamin-b--6-and-unisom


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