Complaints of nausea in the early stages of pregnancy is so common that nausea is seen as a symptom of pregnancy. Research shows that nausea during pregnancy (or morning sickness as it is also known) happens to over half of pregnant women at some point in the first trimester. It's called morning sickness because signs are more heightened in the morning, but nausea during pregnancy can occur at different times of the day especially when a pregnant woman experiences a trigger. For some it occurs when they eat or smell certain foods, spices and aromas, and stress can also be a trigger. The cause of nausea during pregnancy is not clearly known yet but there are some indicators that suggest it’s linked to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
Is nausea an indicator of an unhealthy or a healthy pregnancy?
Even though morning sickness comes with a lot of discomfort, it is not harmful to the pregnancy, and not necessarily a sign of a healthy pregnancy either. Some research however suggests that women who have miscarriages are less likely to have had nausea. Because nausea and vomiting might be indicators of you experiencing the normal hike in pregnancy hormones needed for a healthy pregnancy, if your baby was not developing properly, it means you'd have lower levels of pregnancy hormones in your system. That said, it is also important to note that a lack of nausea during your pregnancy is not a cause for alarm. A good number of women go through pregnancy without experiencing nausea.
Tips for managing nausea during pregnancy
Eat small portions of food more frequently throughout the day instead of the usual big meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner routine.
Stay away from spicy foods and those with a strong aroma as they can easily trigger nausea. Instead, munch on something bland and plain tasting like boiled potatoes and white rice. You could also adopt the BRAT diet — bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
Snack on dry foods like crackers and cereals
Drink water and other fluids before or after meals instead of during meals
Ginger is another popular remedy for nausea. You can eat small pieces of fresh ginger, drink ginger tea or suck on ginger flavoured candy.
Nibbling on Garcinia kola or bitter kola as it is popularly known can also help reduce the symptoms of morning sickness
You'd also want to avoid oily/greasy and high-fat foods because they are difficult to digest.
Lemons on the other hand are another good remedy for nausea because they contain citric acid which is a compound that aids digestion. Sipping fresh lemons squeezed in water can help you manage nausea.
Stress has also been linked as a trigger of nausea so you’d want to avoid stressful situations and activities and ensure that you get plenty of rest.
The iron in prenatal vitamins can cause constipation and nausea for some women. Talk with your OB/GYN or midwife about any side effects you have from taking you prenatal vitamins so s/he may change them for you.
See your doctor when no home remedy works for you so that s/he may prescribe some drugs for you.