pregnancy

Hello, morning sickness. Here's what to expect if you're newly pregnant.

Some women describe it as sea sickness, others like permanent hangover. And some lucky you-know-whats will never get morning sickness at all.

That’s perhaps the most important thing to know before you deep-dive into morning sickness horror stories online, before you listen to your friends lamenting months spent hugging the toilet bowl: it’s different for everyone.

So with that in mind here are some…

Things you ought to know about morning sickness.

  • Roughly 80 per cent of women experience symptoms of morning sickness. For many, these symptoms include things like nausea, vomiting, a loss of appetite, and a heightened sensitivity to certain smells.
  • In the majority of cases, morning sickness symptoms begin at around four weeks and subside after the first three months. Although for some women, they can persist for the duration of the pregnancy.
  • The name ‘morning sickness’ is a misnomer. Morning sickness can – and does for some – occur at any time of the day or night. (Post continues after gallery.)
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  • The severity and duration of symptoms not only vary greatly from woman to woman, but also between pregnancies. Unfortunately, the fact that you avoided it with your first child, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will the second, third or tenth time around.
  • Roughly one per cent of women will experience Hyperemesis gravidarum – this is morning sickness so severe that it results in unrelenting nausea, excessive vomiting (more than four times a day), headaches, weight loss and dehydration. Sufferers may require hospital admission and medication. Perhaps the most famous sufferer of Hyperemesis gravidarum that we know of is the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
Kate Middleton suffered greatly during her pregnancy with Prince George. Source: Getty.

How to ease morning sickness.

For many women, daily nausea is an unavoidable part of pregnancy, but there are a number of ways you can help alleviate or even prevent that awful sensation from taking over.

Consider the following advice via the Federal Government's Health Direct service.

  • Keep some dry crackers and water by your bed. A lot of women find it helpful to eat/drink before they get up in the morning.
  • Eat smaller meals more often, rather than three large ones.
  • Avoid going for long periods without food. This can actually make symptoms worse.
  • Have a range of foods on hand (for example, salty, sweet, crunchy) as your taste may change during the day.

Listen: Who are you calling Pregasaurus? Post continues...

  • Avoid fatty foods and coffee.
  • Remember to drink plenty of water - ideally six to eight glasses a day - ESPECIALLY if you're vomiting. Sucking crushed ice may also be helpful. Again, smaller glasses more often may prove better than occasional large ones.
  • Dry ginger ale, ginger tea or flat lemonade may also be helpful.
  • If you are vomiting a lot, consider talking to your pharmacist about an oral rehydration solution, which will help replace important electrolytes.
  • To relieve nausea, some women find acupressure wristbands (available from pharmacies) effective, while others chew ginger pieces or mints.
  • If your morning sickness is a concern, talk to your doctor. There are prescription medicines available for extreme symptoms.
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