Disclaimer – The author of this piece is male – he does not know what morning sickness feels like, but his wife does. This is his attempt to understand more.
Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in the life of a pending new parent.
As a male, you observe and work to support your partner, as she goes through physical and emotional changes in preparation to become a mother. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
A female however, goes through all of the pregnancy-related changes. While, still a beautiful and exciting thing, it is likely one of the most physically demanding things you will ever do.
One of the least exciting parts of the pregnancy process is morning sickness. For those who are yet to, or will never experience morning sickness, it can be hard to relate to, let alone understand.
So, what does morning sickness feel like?
According to HealthDirect.gov.au, morning sickness is a combination of nausea and vomiting, and affects up to 80 per cent of women, most prolifically during the first three months of pregnancy.
According to the Better Health Channel, “Morning sickness is typically at its worst early in the day, hence its name, but it can strike at any point during the day or night.”
According to Health Direct,“The cause is not fully known, but it may be related to pregnancy hormones. Morning sickness is normal, and there is no risk to a baby unless it is very severe.
“It is important that both you and your partner understand that during pregnancy you may not enjoy stimuli (visual, taste, smell, touch and sexual experiences) that you used to. These changes may place a strain on your relationship.”
So, to all the partners of pregnant ladies, please be aware that even though you think you’ve done something nice by cooking up a lamb curry, and popping on her favourite TV show, you might just be adding to the distress she’s already feeling.
Another thing to note in a bid to better understand morning sickness, is that symptoms do vary from person to person. For some women, there can be nausea without vomiting, while for other women, vomiting can be a regular, and very unpleasant experience.
It’s a tough one to manage, but experts do offer a few tips:
- Keep your morning activities slow and calm.
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces that trap food odours or other smells.
- DO NOT smoke cigarettes or frequent areas where people are smoking.
- DO NOT drink alcohol.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Get extra sleep and try to minimise stress as much as possible.
- Try eating some dry biscuits and sipping a cup of weak tea or a glass of water before you getting out of bed in the morning.
- To help relieve morning sickness during the day, try eating smaller meals more frequently (rather than three large meals a day), and avoid fatty foods and coffee.
- Eat when you feel like eating, rather than waiting for meal times.
- Try not to skip meals or go for long periods of time without eating.
- Drink plenty of water – six to eight small glasses a day is ideal.
- Should you not be able to stomach water, you could opt for dry ginger ale or flat lemonade better some of the time. Ginger tea may also prove helpful.
- If you’re vomiting a lot, take extra care to ensure you are drinking sufficient water.
- And, of course, if your morning sickness is really concerning you, ask your doctor for advice.
While morning sickness can be very debilitating, research reveals it is linked to a lower risk of pregnancy loss, so that’s something to smile about, right?
As mentioned in my disclaimer, I’m definitely not an expert on morning sickness, but should you require further advice and support, just jump online.
Here are a few websites worth checking out:
- HealthDirect: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/morning-sickness
- WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/baby/managing-morning-sickness
- QLD Health: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/151979/antenatal_mrnsick.pdf
- Parents Magazine: http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/morning-sickness/morning-sickness/
- Pregnancy, Birth & Baby: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/dealing-with-morning-sickness
- Babycenter.com.au: https://www.babycenter.com.au/a1018914/nausea-and-vomiting-in-pregnancy-getting-help-and-treatment