What Does Morning Sickness Feel Like?
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! While I can sense your excitement for the baby, I can also understand the discomfort and anxiety that comes with it. And morning sickness is one of them.
The inconvenience you feel every time you wake up in the morning (or anytime of the day) is referred to as morning sickness. Different moms suffer various feelings during this time, but these can be grouped into five.
Signs Of Morning Sickness And Their Causes
1/ Nausea and vomiting
The most common feelings you’d experience when you have morning sickness are these two. I remember from the moment I would wake up, I would already want to throw up. My stomach immediately gets acidic, making me vomit.
There are days when the nausea and vomiting may be mild, but there times when it’s like you have a rollercoaster in your belly.
Some moms would feel better after vomiting (I did). But some would just feel worse, making them unable to function properly the entire day.
hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin and estrogen are two of the hormones that are usually blamed for this. Early in the pregnancy, us moms have high levels of these two, hence making us feel nauseous.
Along with the vomiting is the craving for something that can stop the vomiting. Because your stomach gets extra acidic during morning sickness, it is normal for your body to look for food that will lessen the acidity.
Weirdly, for me though, what I would look for to lessen the feeling to vomit is sour food. I especially liked sour soups or stews. On other days, I would look for nachos with a lot of cheese or hotdog with a lot of Manhattan dressing. Both have sourness in them.
But what causes cravings during pregnancy have quite a number of explanations. Two of which are the hormone theory and the brain region theory.
Hormonal imbalance is not uncommon when you’re pregnant. Hence, the crying for no reason. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is another hormone that causes imbalance while we’re pregnant. This hormone is responsible for increased appetite during pregnancy hence, the craving.
The other theory suggests that the insular cortex in our brain represents taste. The shift in the uterus causes changes in this cortex during pregnancy. In other words, because the uterus keeps on changing during pregnancy, the taste represented in the insular cortex is also affected.
3/ Delicate olfactory sense
Opposite the craving is the sensitivity of smell. I know many moms who really hated smelling something. Some hated perfume, chicken, or even the smell of their husband!
Pregnancy can make you really weird, eh?Unluckily, this heightened sense of smell may also cause nausea and vomiting. This may also affect the choice of food, making you a very picky eater.
This unusualness may also be blamed for hormonal imbalance, especially the higher level of estrogen in the body.
If you haven’t experienced waking up and yet you still feel tired, morning sickness will let you get some.
I remember the days when I already feel exhausted right upon waking up that I end up sleeping again. I was a like hibernating bear. I didn’t know the reason for my extreme tiredness, but I just couldn't help it. It was like my body was too heavy that I had to drag myself every time.
Some women experience fatigue in a way that all they do is sleep, eat, and work a little the entire day. At least, it’s a notch better than hibernating.
Again, hormones may be the one to blame for fatigue during the first trimester of pregnancy. Our blood level increases to share it with the baby. Then our progesterone also increases which acts as a lullaby for our bodies.
But aside from hormones, the nausea and vomiting and the physical and emotional changes also make us feel more tired.
Because the stomach, esophagus, and sphincter muscle are relaxed during pregnancy, the food refluxes up to the throat. This results in the nasty burning sensation in the throat. Sometimes, you can also feel some pain near the heart, between the rib cage.
It can really be annoying as it also makes you even more picky when it comes to food. Plus the pain is just that—annoying. I remember having to remove my bra just so the pain will be lessened and so I can breathe better.
Note that heartburn should not be a matter of concern unless it really makes you unable to eat or sleep.
When Does Morning Sickness Start?
Usually, morning sickness starts during the first semester, particularly from the sixth week to the twelfth or sixteenth week. If you are one of the unlucky 20%, you may experience morning sickness all throughout your pregnancy.
On the other hand, if you are one of the blessed few, you may not experience morning sickness at all. Or you may experience just some like a little vomiting for a few days.
But note that the morning sickness mentioned above really varies. In my case, I experienced the nausea and vomiting during the first trimester while the heartburn started when my stomach as about to pop.
The craving and being a picky eater did not go away. It just got more intense over time. While the heightened sense of smell is not me at all.
How To Deal With Morning Sickness
Although it may be impossible to get rid of morning sickness, there are some things you can do to lessen the discomfort.
For nausea, keep yourself hydrated and always take extra fluids. Stay with water or bland beverages as other flavors may irritate your stomach causing you to vomit.
If you are having the metallic taste in your mouth, try eating cold foods such as popsicles and cold watermelon. Be careful not to eat too much sweets as your body is not insulin friendly during this time and you might get gestational diabetes.
If you have heightened sense of smell, try smelling anything that pleases you. This way, you can forget the thought of smelling what you hate the most.
For vomiting, if you can’t figure out yet what types of food alleviates it, start with bland foods such as crackers, cereals, or whole grain toasts.
For craving, well there’s nothing much you can do about it as you really have to give in to it. Just be careful when picking your foods to avoid food poisoning. Also, don’t give in too much that you’ll have a hard time getting rid of them after giving birth. If you know what I mean.
For more severe morning sickness, always consult your obstetrician so you can be given medicines to reduce the nuisance.I understand that morning sickness sometimes puts a toll on your physical and mental health. But one way to overcome it is to think of the priceless gift you will hold in your arms in a few months.