Morning sickness makes it difficult to keep food down when you are pregnant. Although the condition is called “morning” sickness, it can occur at any time of the day or night. Making changes to your diet can help you tolerate foods more easily and reduce nausea and vomiting.
Although the exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, doctors believe that changing hormone levels during pregnancy plays a role. Nausea and vomiting begin early in the pregnancy, usually between two and six weeks. Morning sickness generally eases by the 12th week of pregnancy, although some women can suffer from nausea and vomiting during the entire pregnancy. MayoClinic.com reports that morning sickness affects 50 percent to 90 percent of pregnant women.
Enhanced Food Sensitivity
During pregnancy, you might no longer be able to tolerate some of the foods you normally eat. The website Babycenter reports that this can stem from an enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to odors or because of a gastrointestinal tract that is more sensitive to the changes of early pregnancy. No matter what the cause, you might find that it’s hard to eat your favorite foods without vomiting, particularly if those foods are fatty or greasy. In some cases, even smelling spicy foods or foods with strong odors can trigger your gag reflex.
Some women experience such a severe case of morning sickness that they must be hospitalized. The condition, called hyperemesis gravidarum, causes frequent and severe nausea and vomiting. When you can’t keep enough food in your body, you are unable to meet your own nutritional needs and your baby’s needs and might suffer from dehydration because of a lack of fluids in your body. Other symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum include vomiting more than three or four times each day, dizziness, lightheadedness and weight loss more than 10 lbs. Doctors treat the condition by prescribing anti-nausea medications. In severe cases, women will receive intravenous fluid and nutrition treatment.
Choosing bland foods that are less likely to irritate your stomach can help you reduce your risk of vomiting. Babycenter suggests eating foods cold or at room temperature because foods have a stronger aroma when hot. Drinking with your meal might increase nausea. Try drinking fluids about 30 minutes before or after you eat. Keeping a diary detailing the time of your symptoms and the foods you eat can help you identify and avoid problem foods.