What is Nausea?

Nausea and vomiting is a common symptom that occurs during pregnancy for most women. Between 50-80% of pregnant women experience nausea. It happens in about 70-80% of pregnancies. About 50% of pregnant women will have nausea plus vomiting, 25% will have nausea only, and 25% of women will have neither nausea nor vomiting. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, with no known definitive cause as to why some pregnant women suffer from mild symptoms as opposed to severe symptoms. If you have nausea and vomiting in the second and third trimester, especially if it's associated with diarrhea, then other conditions than simply the pregnancy could be responsible and must be looked for.

Hormones, specifically estrogen, are thought to be a primary cause of nausea or morning sickness. Estrogen levels suddenly increase and fluctuate during the beginning of pregnancy. As this hormone fluctuates, women often see changes in their sense of smell, which may be linked to nausea. Other causes of nausea may include hCG, relaxing digestive muscles, and skipping meals due to fear of vomiting. If your nausea and vomiting become unbearable or so frequent that you have trouble keeping anything down at all, you should contact your doctor right away. If you do suffer from nausea during pregnancy, there are some things you can do to alleviate your discomfort. It helps to eat your meals at a slow pace to reduce nausea and to eat small meals during the time of day when you typically experience the most nausea. Also, make sure to drink fluids before or after meals as opposed to during meals.

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