Many pregnant women find that the term "morning sickness" is a bit of false advertising, because it can, unfortunately, strike at any time of the day - sometimes even all day or into the nighttime. Here's a rundown of why this happens and what you can expect.
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Why it happens
The hormonal changes in a woman's body during the first trimester of pregnancy cause more frequent nausea and vomiting than normal. The good news - in most cases it disappears by the second trimester, as hormones shift once more. In approximately 5% of women, it can continue until delivery.
What can be done?
The best way to deal with nausea is to avoid it in the first place - some women find that certain smells trigger nausea, like fried food or certain other food smells. Try and identify your own triggers so you can reduce your exposure to them. Eat frequent low-fat meals, as an empty stomach and fatty foods can both aggravate nausea.
When to seek help
If your nausea and vomiting are unstoppable and constant, you may have a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum and you should notify your provider. You may need to be hospitalized if it is severe enough to effect your fluid and electrolyte balance.
Hang in there
Some new theories suggest that nausea and vomiting during pregnancy serve a few purposes that are beneficial - protecting a baby from potential harmful substances in a woman's diet, encouraging the mother to eat small meals rich in carbohydrates, and encouraging the mother to get rest.