Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is mistakenly known as “morning” sickness. Mistakenly, because it doesn’t occur only in the morning. One Canadian study reported 80 per cent of its sample of pregnant women experienced nausea that lasted all day, compared to only 1.8 per cent who reported it occurring just in the morning. However, half of pregnant women in a British study did vomit in the morning, between 6am and 12pm.
The most popular evolutionary hypothesis linked to nutrition seems to be that nausea and vomiting may have protected pregnant mothers and their unborn children against potentially harmful substances in food. Imagine you’re a pregnant, hairy woman who feels too sick to try that new, delicious-looking plant that has just started to grow on your cavestep.
Negative effects of pregnancy nausea on mum can include stress, anxiety and depression, an inability to work, malnutrition, dehydration, contribution to constipation, decreased quality of life and irritability, increased sleep disturbances and lowered mood.
What should you eat?
It can be hard to eat a balanced diet when you are suffering from nausea and vomiting. You may only feel like oranges, hot chips, lemonade, ice blocks and pizza.
It’s best not to worry too much about this in the short term (beginning mid-pregnancy), as you can catch up with better nutrition when you start to feel more human. It’s better to eat anything than nothing at all.
It’s important to note some foods should be avoided during pregnancy. It’s also important to note more reflux-associated nausea and vomiting that may occur later in pregnancy comes with its own list of nutrition tips. These can be different to those for earlier nausea and vomiting.