Common Causes of Nausea & How To Manage It
A common medical condition in early pregnancy, morning sickness is usually marked by nausea – the feeling of wanting to vomit – and vomiting. Although it is a typical condition affecting about 70-80% of pregnant women1, morning sickness can still be an overwhelming experience especially if it is your first time.
While symptoms and duration vary from woman to woman, knowing why it happens and what to expect in general will help you manage this challenging phase better.
What is it and why it happens
Contrary to its name, morning sickness can happen at any time of the day. Often marked by fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, the condition usually happens in the first trimester. Some women also experience a heightened sensitivity to smell where specific odours trigger nausea and vomiting.
It is widely believed that morning sickness is caused by:
- Massive hormonal changes in your body during the first trimester specifically spikes in oestrogen and progesterone levels. The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which is released when your egg is fertilized, is also believed to play a role2
- Low blood sugar due to the placenta draining energy from your body
While the severity and duration of morning sickness differ from woman to woman, it has also been known to worsen if you are3:
- having twins or triplets
- undergoing emotional stress
- exhausted, overworked, or travelling too much
Tips to ease the uneasiness
Most symptoms of morning sickness can be managed with moderate lifestyle and dietary changes. Surround yourself with support from your loved ones as you put these changes in place:
- Get enough rest: Exhaustion worsens nausea
- Avoid trigger foods and smells
- Add ginger to your diet may help alleviate nausea and vomiting
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Eat small and frequent meals
- Avoid lying down after meals as this hinders digestion and may make you nauseous4
When to see a doctor
Although it is an unpleasant experience, morning sickness is generally harmless and will go away around Week 12 of your pregnancy. However, a handful of women may experience a more extreme form of morning sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). This can be life-threatening as the severity of vomiting can lead to dehydration. You should see a doctor if you note any of these symptoms5:
- Vomiting over three or four times a day
- Dehydration from vomiting
- Unable to hold any food or fluids down
- Loss of appetite
- Losing more than 5% of your body weight due to vomiting
Managing nausea: What you should eat
One of the first things you can do is identify the triggers to your nausea and eliminate these from your diet. You may also want to minimize cooking or any form of food preparation to reduce contact with strong food odours.
To minimize the discomfort from nausea*, some foods you can consider consuming more include6:
- Ginger contains bioactive compounds to improve nausea symptoms
- Water or clear beverages helps keep you hydrated as well as replace electrolytes lost through vomiting
- Dry and lightly flavoured foods like toast and crackers
- Broths: Better tolerated compared to solids, on top of containing the required electrolytes
- Bananas: Nutritious and energy-dense, it also replaces the potassium you lost through vomiting
- Starchy and plain foods like rice and potatoes: Easy to prepare and a good energy source, they are also bland and odourless
*If nausea or extreme discomfort persists, always seek help from your doctor or healthcare professional.
Get the right nutrition
Apart from maintaining a healthy pregnancy, keeping a good diet has been shown to reduce the severity of morning sickness7. However, eating healthy can be a challenge for pregnant mothers as you are occupied with adapting to your rapidly changing body and physiology. In this case, adding a milk formula like Dumex Mamil Mama will help supplement your diet.
Like other milk formulas in the Dumex Mamil Gold range, Dumex Mamil Mama is free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and colouring. This formula milk packs over 20 essential nutrients a pregnant mum needs, including:
- Prebiotics to support good gut health
- DHA as high as 70.2mg per 100g
- Calcium helps maintain your bone health, as your body supports the weight of your growing baby8
- Iron is an important component of red blood cells which carry oxygen to all parts of the body to help with the body's production of energy9
With milk from free roaming grass-fed cows, you can be rest assured of getting nature’s goodness from Dumex milk formula to support the overall well-being of pregnant mothers. Get your free sample of Dumex Mamil Mama or visit https://www.dumex.com.sg/products for more information.
1. Dix, M. (2019). When does morning sickness start? Healthline. Retrieved August 31, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/when-does-morning-sickness-start#:~:text=An%20estimated%2070%20to%2080,be%20caused%20by%20pregnancy%20hormones
2. Novakovic, A. (2017). What is morning sickness and how can I treat it? Medical News Today. Retrieved August 31, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179633
3. NHS (2017). Vomiting and morning sickness in pregnancy. Retrieved August 31, 2020, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/morning-sickness-nausea/
4. Cleveland Clinic (2018). Morning Sickness? 10 Tips to Tame Your Turbulent Tummy Day or Night. Retrieved August 31, 2020, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/morning-sickness-10-tips-to-tame-your-turbulent-tummy-day-or-night/
5. Wint, C. (2018). Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Parenthood. Retrieved August 31, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperemesis-gravidarum
6. Mandl, E. (2018). The 14 best foods to eat when you're nauseous. Healthline. Retrieved August 31, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-to-eat-when-nauseous
7. Crozier, S. R. et. al (2016). Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: Effects on food intake and diet quality. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 13(4). Retrieved August 31, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5400073/
8. Moreno MA, Furtner F, Rivara FP. (2012). Vitamin D and Bone Health. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(7):684.
9. WebMD, (2018). Are you getting enough iron? Retrieved August 31, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/baby/are-you-getting-enough-iron#1/
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