The term 'morning sickness' is pretty misleading, as it can affect pregnant women at any time of the day or night.
While some women might experience just a tinge of nausea on waking, others are vomiting all through the day and night up until labor! Having severe morning sickness can be debilitating, but there are some remedies you can try that may help ease the symptoms a little.
Morning sickness, ranging from occasional queasiness to severe sickness nausea, and vomiting, is very common in early pregnancy. In fact, vomiting and nausea are experienced by almost half of all pregnant women, and about a quarter of women just experience nausea during pregnancy. While dehydration can be risky in women with severe morning sickness, it generally isn't harmful to the developing baby. So why does pregnancy sickness happen and what helps reduce its unpleasant symptoms? Find out here!
For more parenting articles, find out all you need to know about a [hypoglycemic pregnancy] or an [intrauterine infection] here.
Why Do You Get Morning Sickness At Night?
There are no proven methods of preventing morning sickness completely, and we don't know exactly why it happens, why some women are more affected than others, and why some women suffer at night more than during the day. This sickness, combined with your abdominal muscles loosening and expanding, can make many women feel "more pregnant" at night.
It is thought that morning sickness is caused by pregnancy hormones, but some women may be more susceptible than others. Around half of all pregnant women will experience vomiting during pregnancy, and 25% will experience only nausea. Morning sickness is most common during the first trimester (and for some mothers, this nighttime nausea is an early sign of pregnancy) but for some, it can last the entire pregnancy.
Is your morning sickness worse at night? Having morning sickness at night only is surprisingly common, as is feeling nauseous all day long and into the night.
Symptoms of morning sickness at night include the following:
You may feel dizzy when lying down or when sitting up. Lying down can sometimes make symptoms worse. If this is the case, elevate your head by propping yourself up on pillows.
Certain smells might make you feel queasy. Even thinking of some foods can be enough to make a pregnant woman feel nauseous.
You may feel dizzy, so make sure to try and eat something.
One of the worst morning sickness at night symptoms is having to jump up to be sick in the middle of the night.
Pregnancy morning sickness at night is most common during early pregnancy and should subside by the second trimester. If you are still experiencing severe nausea or vomiting past your first trimester you should consult your doctor, as you may be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of pregnancy sickness. This condition is characterized by severe nausea or vomiting which may last all through the pregnancy. The main risk here is dehydration, and your doctor will want to monitor you to make sure you are getting sufficient fluids.
You may be more susceptible to morning sickness if any of the following are true:
There is a history of morning sickness in your family.
You have a history of motion sickness.
You suffer from migraines.
You have previously suffered from nausea caused by estrogen-based contraceptives.
You have a high BMI.
You're having a multiple pregnancy.
You suffered from nausea and vomiting in a previous pregnancy.
This is your first pregnancy.
However, even if none of these apply to you, you may still be affected by morning sickness. Some people think you can determine the sex of a baby by the severity of the mother's morning sickness, and while there may be something in this, it's not proven!
Hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness affecting around 0.3–1.5% of pregnant women, is thought to be more common in mothers expecting girls. While most women experiencing normal morning sickness will feel completely better by the second trimester, women with hyperemesis gravidarum suffer nausea and vomiting for much longer, and even up to and after giving birth.
Morning sickness is thought to be down to an adverse reaction to the pregnancy hormone β-hCG. This is the hormone that is detected by pregnancy tests and is found in high levels during the first trimester of pregnancy. This explains why so many women experience morning sickness during the first trimester, after which levels of the hormone decline.
Morning Sickness Remedies
So what helps with nighttime sickness? While there are no proven morning sickness remedies to completely prevent nausea and vomiting, there are steps you can take to reduce the severity of your symptoms. Try out some of these morning sickness at night remedies recommended for the management of nausea.
Rest: Morning sickness can be debilitating and exhausting. You may not be able to sleep through the night without getting up time and again to be sick. If you are experiencing severe morning sickness that lasts through the day and night, you need to prioritize rest, as being tired can make your symptoms worse.
Ginger: Try drinking ginger tea or sucking on ginger flavored sweets, as there is evidence that ginger can help ease nausea and vomiting. Many mothers swear by ginger ale during pregnancy sickness, and fizzy drinks, in general, can be better for nausea than plain water, as the carbonation reduces the acidity of the stomach.
Avoiding Foods: Avoid foods and smells that make you nauseous. Many women find that having just a whiff of a certain food can make them retch. Hot foods are the main culprit here. Stick to cold snacks if the smell of cooked food makes you gag.
Dry Foods: Eat a piece of dry toast or a few crackers as soon as you wake up in the morning, preferably before you even get out of bed. Snack on low-fat, high-carb food like rice or bread throughout the day to prevent yourself from getting too hungry, as having an empty stomach can make you feel nauseous.
Try An Acupressure Bracelet: Placing pressure on acupressure points can help reduce nausea.
Sour Foods And Drinks: Try sipping on lemon water throughout the day, sucking on sour candies, or drinking lemonade and other sour refreshments. Some women carry lemons around with them, and say that just scratching the peel a little to release the scented oils is enough to quell their nausea!
Safe Essential Oils: Try diffusing nausea-reducing essential oils (first make sure they are safe to use during pregnancy) such as ginger, lemon, peppermint and lavender. You can also carry these oils around with you in their little bottles and sniff them when you feel a wave of nausea coming on.
Supplements: Ask your doctor about supplementing with vitamin B6. This vitamin has been proven to reduce severe nausea, and many women who suffer from vomiting in pregnancy have low levels of vitamin B6 in their blood.
Sports Drinks: Try electrolyte-laden sports drinks after bouts of vomiting to replenish minerals lost. Sports drinks are great for combatting sickness-related dehydration. Keeping well-hydrated is essential for the health of your fetus, so try to drink something after being sick to make up for lost fluids. The best way to rehydrate is to take frequent sips rather than knocking back a huge glass all at once, as you might just bring it up again. Avoid drinking with meals as the fluid might make you feel fuller quicker.
Relax: Try to relax as stress can make nausea worse. If you feel able to, try some light yoga or meditation to help release tension.
Teeth Brushing: Brush your teeth after being sick. The fresh minty taste will make you instantly feel better, and you'll protect your teeth and gums from acid damage from constant vomiting.
Seek Medical Advice: If your nausea and vomiting is severe, see your doctor, who may be able to prescribe medicine you can take to reduce vomiting.
Should You Be Worried?
Pregnancy-induced sickness is very common and affects over three-quarters of all pregnant women. Pregnancy nausea isn't dangerous if it is mild, and may even result in your body freeing itself of toxins or preventing you from ingesting toxins that may be unhelpful for your growing baby. Many women find themselves unable to stomach dairy products all of a sudden, or find themselves retching at cigarette smoke, even though they were habitual smokers up until conception!
If you have hyperemesis gravidarum, you may be worried about the effects of the condition on the health of your unborn baby. As long as you are sufficiently hydrated, your baby won't suffer adverse effects from your nausea. The condition is in fact a sign of a healthy pregnancy, as it means you have high levels of the pregnancy hormone β-hCG.
If you can't keep any food or fluids down, be sure to contact your doctor, as you may need intravenous fluids or medication to prevent vomiting. If none of the morning sickness at night cures above help you and your vomiting is really severe, be sure to seek medical attention.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' health information on sickness-induced dehydration states that if you have a fast or pounding heartbeat, get dizzy when trying to stand, can't keep liquids down and can't pee, or have very dark-colored pee, then you should seek medical attention.
Rest assured, however, that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists affirm that pregnancy-related sickness is not usually a threat to either the mother's health or the fetus' health and that being sick doesn't mean your fetus is unwell.
If you found this article helpful, then why not take a look at why you get [leaking breasts in pregnancy] or what are the risks of [licorice root in pregnancy]?
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