I have morning sickness. How do I know what’s normal and when it’s serious?

Posted by & filed under The Basics, The Journey.

Everyone gets morning sickness. It’s just part of pregnancy. It’s normal, right? Well, not necessarily.

The majority of pregnant women will experience some nausea or vomiting at some point in their pregnancy. For some women, it’s mild and doesn’t last very long.

The causes of morning sickness is generally assumed to be caused by hormonal shifts in your body and changes in your blood sugar levels that are normal in pregnancy.

But there is a more serious level of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) that can have serious health consequences. It’s called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).

It may be triggered by certain smells, you may experience an increase in saliva, feel fatigued and have an unpleasant taste in your mouth. In addition to feeling nauseous, other symptoms include retching, gagging, dry-heaving and/or vomiting.

HG is serious and can lead to dehydration that may require hospitalization. The first thing you should do is talk to your doctor about your symptoms! Especially if this is your first pregnancy. Be sure to tell them about any vitamin or mineral supplements you may be taking.

NVP can feel extra frustrating if you’ve had fertility challenges prior to becoming pregnant. Reach out to your family and friends for support. When you can eat, make sure you’re making balanced choices. If you feel up to physical activity, do whatever you can. Most importantly, take the time to rest properly – as much as you need.

If you need to talk to someone, you may find the Motherisk NVP Helpline helpful. It’s bilingual and offers help, support and counselling. Know other resources for morning sickness? Let us know in the comments!

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