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Motion sickness and pregnancy: how to feel better?

Nausea or motion sickness is one of the most frequent complaints among pregnant women. More or less strong are always annoying. Do you know how to avoid them?

Motion sickness and pregnancy: how to feel better?
Margarida Gamboa
by Margarida Gamboa
It is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy and even one of the signs that leads more women to discover that they are going to be mothers. We talk about motion sickness. They are known as morning sickness because they are more common in the morning but can actually appear at any time of the day.

Why do pregnant women feel sick?

Motion Sickness, more or less intense, usually starts in the 5th week of pregnancy and improves between the 12th and the 16th week, when the hormones stabilize. When the nausea is stronger, it can be accompanied by vomiting and tiredness, leading in extreme conditions to hospitalization due to dehydration (known as hyperemesis gravidarum).

The most common cause for motion sickness is hormonal variations: the increase in chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the first days of pregnancy, which regulates the functioning of the gonads (the sex glands that produce estrogens and progesterone), also acts at the center of nausea, which is found in the hypothalamus. After the 13th week of pregnancy, the production of hCG stabilizes, so the nausea decreases and commonly ends up disappearing.

In addition to this reason, others may have influence, such as an immune system reaction that understands the embryo as a foreign body, low blood sugar, excess gastric acids, severe constipation and, ultimately, a psychological reaction related to stress.

How can you avoid feeling sick?

There are several tricks to prevent or at least to relieve nausea during pregnancy. The first pieces of advice are related to food: split meals avoiding eating too much at once, avoiding foods that easily make you feel sick, drinking water between meals, always having some water and salt crackers on your bedside table to be able to eat if you start to feel nauseous or low sugar, chewing small pieces of ice, eat citrus fruits like orange, lemon or pineapple, choosing dry and simple foods, avoiding drinking liquids during the meal which slows digestion, avoiding foods very spicy or slow to digest.

As you have seen at the food level, there are many small precautions that you can take that will help you but there are a few more. Always keep the areas where you are well ventilated, avoiding places that have very saturated air or annoying smells. If you feel tired or very sick try to rest. Do not lie down right after eating - if this advice is valid for everyone it is even more so when you are pregnant, thus avoiding gastric reflux which can lead to more nausea and heartburn.

If the nausea is persistent and very annoying, talk to your doctor. In many cases he may be able to prescribe an antiemetic medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting. There are available elastic bands known as “sea-bands”, which have a small button that exerts pressure at certain points to relieve nausea, and there are even those who advise taking a nutritional vitamin B6 supplement.

When does nausea stop?

Most women stop feeling sick in the fourth month of gestation, between the 12th and the 16th week, when hormone levels start to drop slightly. If you experience persistent nausea and vomiting (more than once or twice a day) that prevent you from eating or drinking or that extend beyond the first trimester, talk to your doctor so that he can help you.

Don't you feel any nausea? It is not a cause for concern! Not all women have motion sickness and this has nothing to do with the baby's well-being and development.
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