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What Causes Nausea During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy in itself a life-changing experience for most women. One term that we often hear when we talk about pregnancy is nausea or in other words “morning sickness”. Though the term has been coined just like that and the feeling may persist all over the day, it is believed that relief for the same only comes after 14 weeks of pregnancy are passed.

It is said that of the total at least 75% of women suffer from nausea during pregnancy but that mostly gets over by the end of the first trimester. Even if you are suffering from a very mild case of nausea, it can be extremely upsetting and disturbing. Let us read more and find out more about nausea and what its causes are.

When Does Nausea Start?

Nausea usually starts at around 6 weeks of pregnancy, but for some females, it can start as early as the 4th week. Over the next month, you can expect the situation to keep getting worse for you. Nearly 50% of the women who experience queasiness during pregnancy say that it eased for them after 14 weeks. But this is not final as there are also a considerable number of women who have to make do during the entire duration. If you are facing a long session of nausea, it is better that you consult your gynecologist. This is to ensure that you do not fall prey to dehydration as that would curtail your weight gaining process.

Causes of Nausea During Pregnancy

Pregnancy involves a lot of physical changes in a woman’s body. No one is completely sure of what factors are responsible for creating a nauseating feeling in you. However, it is believed that a combination of such physical changes could be the culprit in this case. Meanwhile, the following are supposed to be directly responsible for that nauseating feeling.

1. Hormonal levels

As mentioned before, a woman’s body undergoes many changes in pregnancy and one of them is the higher than average hormone levels found during that time. It is also reported that if a woman is expecting more than one baby (Twins or triplets), her hormonal levels are higher and hence the chances of facing this situation also increase. Along with this, estrogen levels rise too high when you are expecting, and that can adversely cause you to vomit and feel nauseous.

2. Sensitivity-

Often it is seen that in some women the brain responds faster to nauseous commands as opposed to others. It makes such would be mothers more prone to getting queasy in the initial days of her pregnancy. Supposing you are one amongst those who are frequently seasick or cannot travel in a car without puking over then be assured that your beginning pregnancy is going to be quite taxing indeed.

3. Stress-

With a lot of hormonal changes there are also quite a many emotional upheavals that a woman may experience when she is expecting. The emotional stress of any kind in normal situations also can be a trigger for causing a stomach upset. In the case of pregnancy, the moment stress arrives the symptoms of morning sickness aggravate and may even become more severe. Probably, another reason why women who are in the family way are advised to stay calm and let themselves relax during this time.

4. Fatigue

Pregnancy is supposed to be a time when a woman needs to take things lightly and avoid as much physical exertion as possible. It is widely known that during the course of the pregnancy, women should stay away from carrying heavy loads or take up activities which can cause extra exertion to their bodies. In this case, physical fatigue and morning sickness have a direct relationship with each other. This means that physical fatigue can trigger morning sickness and vice versa. So if you are getting the queasy feeling too often time you also loosen up a little bit.

5. Enhanced sense of smell

During pregnancy, a woman becomes extremely receptive to the smells and sounds around her. If there is any particular smell that is pretty strong and your body does not like it chances are it may cause the nauseous feel to come back. It could be a new dish cooked or just the smell of someone’s perfume which can cause the same. Researchers suggest that this change in receptiveness is probably due to increased levels of Estrogen; however, there is no solid proof to validate that.

6. Pregnancy type-

A first-time mommy to be may have to face a severe onslaught of nausea in pregnancy. In subsequent pregnancies either the impact itself is less or the demands of older children help you in not noticing the same. Apart from that if you are expecting more than one child, then you can expect the morning sickness to impact you in a hard manner. However, these are all generalities, and there is no proof to the same as women may experience morning sickness even in second and third pregnancies.

7. Genetic history-

In case anyone in your family has had a history of facing severe morning sickness during their pregnancies chances are it might spill over to you as well. It has been noticed that in most such cases the daughter also gets to experience the same kind of symptoms as her mother or sister had to face.

8. A migraine

One of the most traumatic diseases, a migraine in pregnancy can be the trigger of that queasy feeling. If you have a history of being prone to a migraine then just try your best to keep it away when you are expecting. This is because once an attack happens, you cannot stop it from impacting you in another manner as well. Most importantly it becomes tough to handle the pain and the morning sickness together as they both are bound to make you feel drained out.

9. Gender of the child-

In nearly about 55 % of the cases women who were carrying a baby girl had to face the brunt of nausea while being pregnant. In fact, these women had to experience severe to very severe nausea during the first trimester of their pregnancy, and that is largely because of the fact that they were carrying a baby girl.

10. Consumption of birth control pills-

Most women use birth control pills before finally deciding that they want to go the family way. However, if soon after stopping the pill you conceive the baby, chances are you are going to face the side effects of doing so. This means that there would be queasiness and nausea in the initial days. Your body is trying to respond to the level of estrogen that has risen because of pregnancy and the consumption of birth control pills earlier.

11. Metallic taste in mouth during pregnancy-

Also known as Dysgeusia this is a very prominent symptom of pregnancy, and it makes women feel as if they have swallowed some coins. Also caused by the sudden changes in hormonal levels during pregnancy Dysgeusia can cause you to not like foods and if you are forced to eat them, the result can be a queasy feeling which refuses to go. Since nearly 93% of women are prone to experience the metallic taste, the nauseous effect refuses to go at least not for the first three months.

Impact Of Morning Sickness

Most women wonder if feeling nauseous during the pregnancy is harmful to their baby. However, since morning sickness happens only during the initial first three months of pregnancy, there is not much to worry about it. That is because the baby is very tiny at this time and if you are not able to consume much food, then it won’t be stopping his growth in any manner.

By the time his nutritional needs increase your diet and appetite would be back to normal. If, however, you are feeling nauseous even in later months of your pregnancy it is better you find other ways to compensate your little one with the nutrition he/she needs. If the situation worsens, you should also consult your gynecologist to guide you better.

Morning sickness or nausea in pregnancy is a harsh reality which most women have to face in their pregnancy. However, it is not something for which you need to worry unnecessarily. This is because there still are around 25% of women who escape the wrath of nausea. You never know you may be just one of them and could actually stay refreshed and light all throughout the pregnancy.

On the flip side if you are experiencing severe nausea and can’t even keep liquids inside it is better you consult your doctor as you may be suffering from a disease known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Though it affects only 5% of pregnant women and is pretty rare, for your and the baby’s safety you would not want to be one of them. In such a scenario with the doctors’ help, you can find out a way in which you can keep your baby’s nutritional needs up without any kind of harmful effect to him.

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.

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