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Morning Sickness: What It Is, Symptoms, Causes & Remedies

Dealing with morning sickness during pregnancy can be quite a rollercoaster. Dr. Sudheer Jayaprabhu, a seasoned obstetrician-gynecologist from Christus St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana, Texas, sheds light on what morning sickness truly entails, why it occurs, and practical strategies for managing it.

**Decoding Morning Sickness:**

Morning sickness is not a one-size-fits-all experience. According to Dr. Jayaprabhu, it extends beyond just morning queasiness, potentially escalating to severe vomiting. The bright side? It often signifies a healthy pregnancy, with mild morning sickness even linked to a reduced risk of miscarriage.

**Symptom Symphony:**

Symptoms can vary, but common indicators encompass nausea, day-round vomiting, dizziness, headaches, gastric reflux, and heartburn. It typically kicks in around five to six weeks after the last menstrual period, hitting its peak around week nine.

**Duration Dilemma:**

While many moms-to-be find relief between weeks 16 to 20, for 15% to 20%, the queasiness lingers until the third trimester, and in rare cases, persists until delivery.

**Identifying Culprits:**

Hormonal fluctuations take the blame for morning sickness, slowing down stomach emptying. Factors like heightened smell sensitivity and gastric reflux can exacerbate symptoms. Increased vulnerability exists for those expecting multiples, having a history of severe morning sickness, experiencing motion sickness, migraines, or falling under specific risk categories.

**Morning Sickness Survival Guide:**

Now, the essential question – how to navigate this morning sickness journey? Dr. Jayaprabhu offers a range of recommendations, from opting for small, frequent meals to steering clear of trigger foods and integrating ginger into your diet. Staying hydrated is crucial, and considering vitamin B6 or Unisom under medical guidance can provide relief.

**Navigating the Storm:**

Living with morning sickness necessitates lifestyle adjustments. Maintain calm mornings, avoid triggers like strong smells and cigarette smoke, prioritize ample sleep, and consider acupressure wrist bands. The game-changer? Nibbling on soda crackers before rising from bed.

**When It Gets Serious:**

In some cases, morning sickness transforms into hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form requiring more than ginger tea. Hospitalization may be necessary for intravenous fluids and medications if dehydration sets in. Be vigilant for signs like dark urine, an inability to retain liquids, dizziness, or a racing heart – these warrant an immediate call to your ob-gyn.

**In a Nutshell:**

While morning sickness is typically a passing discomfort, it’s vital to discern between the usual and unusual. Stay informed, stay hydrated, and when in doubt, consult your ob-gyn. After all, a smoother pregnancy journey is the ultimate goal!

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