PART 1 “Just a little morning sickness” NEWSFLASH! It doesn’t just hit in the morning 🤪 🤢“Morning sickness”, or more appropriately ‘nausea and vomiting of pregnancy’ (NVP) affects 70-80% of pregnant women. 85% have two episodes of nausea PER DAY 30% of pregnant women in paid employment take time off because of NVP ❓What’s the cause? NVP generally starts around 4 weeks, peaks between 5-10 weeks and then slowly declines until 20 weeks. 📈This correlates to levels of hCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotrophin) which is thought to be the cause (with possible influence from oestrogen and progesterone too). However, there is poor understanding of exactly how hCG causes NVP. The severity of symptoms varies massively, but whether ‘mild’ or ‘severe’, it’s known to negatively impact: 🧠Mental health 🏠Taking care of the household 👯♀️Social life 💑Relationship with partner 👩👧👦Caring for other children 🤓Work capacity 🤢Sick leave 😰Considering termination of pregnancy 😣Considering not getting pregnant again 👶The reassuring news is that NVP has no significant adverse effect on baby, and some research shows that pregnancies complicated by NVP are less likely to result in miscarriage. 😔HOWEVER, it has a significant impact on women’s quality of life, and it’s well-reported that healthcare staff brush off the severity of symptoms as a normal part of pregnancy. What can you do to ease symptoms? Inevitably there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, but these are the most important points: 🥴Make the most of nausea-free periods to eat and drink. 🍴Eat little and often. 🥤Keep hydrated as much as possible. 😷Avoid strong odours. 😴Rest. Lots. 🤮Anti-sickness medication as prescribed. 🧡Ginger may be helpful. 📌Acustimulations (acupressure and acupuncture) may improve NVP and is safe in pregnancy Check out https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk @pregnancysicknesssupport https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/pi-pregnancy-sickness.pdf Look out for my next post on Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe morning sickness) with more insight into the experience of HG.