What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness, also known as nausea / vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), pregnancy sickness, nausea gravidarum, or emesis gravidarum is one of the key signs of pregnancy in women.
Although unpleasant to experience, morning sickness is a pregnancy symptom that affects at least 80% of women during early pregnancy (first 12 weeks). For the vast majority, when morning sickness strikes it is most bothersome during a woman’s first trimester. For some women, morning sickness may continue in waves throughout the duration of pregnancy.
The name of this pregnancy symptom is a bit of a misnomer. Waves of nausea, with or without vomiting can occur at any time of the day or night. For the most part, morning sickness is a normal part of the pregnancy journey and doesn’t typically require medical intervention.
It can happen, although rarely, that bouts of illness become severe. If serious, a woman will need to consult her doctor, who may very well diagnose a severe form known as hyperemesis gravidarum. If necessary, a woman may be hospitalised for treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids and other medications to alleviate discomfort.
In general, there has been no known evidence showing that morning sickness poses any risk to either a pregnant woman or a growing foetus. It is also not an indication that there is something medically wrong with a growing baby or a woman’s pregnancy.
Some clinical studies that have been conducted suggest that morning sickness is actually a sign of a healthy pregnancy, and may also lower risk rates of miscarriage and stillbirth (in comparison with those women who have not been very ill during pregnancy).
In most instances, bouts of queasiness are reasonably mild and subside towards the mid period of pregnancy. For most women, home remedies are sufficient in quelling the queasies and bringing back some level of comfort as the body goes through the changes of pregnancy.
Did you know? Similar symptoms can also be experienced by women who use hormonal treatments such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or hormonal contraception (birth control pills or oral contraceptive pills).