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Morning Sickness In the First Trimester

August 14, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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pregnant woman in bed feeling sick



Morning sickness happens in the morning, right?  

Not necessarily.  

The nausea and vomiting known as morning sickness can be experienced at any time of day or night. It affects up to 80 per cent of pregnant women and for many, it can go on beyond 20 weeks.

Morning sickness is severe for some women and moderate to mild for others. Be sure to see your doctor or midwife if you:

  • are sick most of the time and can’t keep fluids or food down
  • vomit more than five times a day
  • have lost more than five per cent of your pre pregnancy weight
  • pee less than three times in 24 hours

To help with morning sickness:

  • eat smaller amounts of food every one to two hours during the day
  • try to follow Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide as much as possible; ignoring the guidelines for a short time while you're feeling sick won’t hurt your baby
  • switch to a liquid form of vitamins
  • try to keep taking your folic acid supplement even if you can’t stomach prenatal vitamins
  • eat whatever appeals to you during this time
  • avoid fatty and fried foods
  • drink fluids such as apple juice, ginger ale, water and clear black tea
  • eat cold meals to avoid food smells, or have someone else cook
  • circulate fresh air in the bedroom while resting, and in the kitchen while cooking
  • rest whenever possible
  • wear loose clothing around your chest and waist

Does my morning sickness harm my baby?

No. During pregnancy, the fetus takes the nutrients it needs from your body. Even if you aren’t eating very much, or if you are vomiting your food, the growing fetus should be fine. 

Battling Morning Sickness

If your morning sickness is unmanageable, talk with your healthcare provider about medication that can help. You can also contact the Motherisk Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy Helpline, toll free at 1-800-436-8477.

Resources & Links: 
HealthLink BC: Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
HealthLink BC: Dealing with Morning Sickness

MotherRisk: Morning Sickness

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