How to cope with pregnancy nausea and morning sickness

Morning sickness or nausea is caused by pregnancy hormones during the first trimester of pregnancy. (Shutterstock)
Updated 14 October 2019

How to cope with pregnancy nausea and morning sickness

Morning sickness or nausea, sometimes accompanied with vomiting, is caused by pregnancy hormones during the first trimester of pregnancy, and sometimes begins as early as two weeks after conception. Some women find that nausea and vomiting are worst in the morning. But symptoms can occur at any time of day or night. Most women feel better at the beginning of the second trimester (around the 12th- 14th week), while some others continue to feel ill throughout their pregnancies.

Morning sickness affects a large proportion of pregnant women though it tends to be worse in first-time pregnancies. Morning sickness can range from mild, occasional nausea to severe, continuous, and disabling nausea with bouts of vomiting. Rarely do pregnant women get morning sickness that is so severe that it may require hospitalisation and treatment. 

What causes morning sickness during pregnancy?

Early in pregnancy, hormone levels (pregnancy hormones hCG and estrogen) increase dramatically causing that nauseous feeling as the body is not yet used to the new hormone levels. Also women carrying twins or more have higher hormones levels and tend to have severe morning sickness.

Increased levels of progesterone make the muscles of the digestive tract more relaxed which slows digestion and make the stomach take more time to empty.

Pregnant women develop a heightened sense of smell, making previously mild odours strong enough to cause vomiting.

Skipping meals and pregnancy food aversions could also contribute to the nauseous feeling.

How to cope with morning sickness:

  • An empty stomach may aggravate nausea. 
  • Eat small meals or snacks every two to three hours rather than three large meals to ease the symptoms. Chew your food slowly and completely.
  • If nausea is a problem in the morning, eat dry foods like cereal, toast or crackers before getting out of bed to lessen the nauseous feeling. 
  • Eat a high-protein snack– such as lean meat or cheese– before going to bed could lessen the nausea in the morning as protein takes longer time to digest.

Eat small meals or snacks every two to three hours rather than three large meals to ease the symptoms. (Shutterstock)

Opt for foods that may help:

  • A combination of protein and complex carbs is good for keeping nausea at bay.
  • Salty foods and crackers.
  • Foods and drinks that contain ginger. Although there’s some concern that ginger may affect fetal sex hormones. 
  • Avoid eating, seeing, smelling, or even thinking about foods that trigger the queasy feeling, which could include:
  • Greasy, fried, spicy, acidic and fatty foods.
  • Foods with a strong aroma. 
  • Citrus juice, milk, coffee, and caffeinated tea.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids. 
  • Get plenty of fresh air if the weather allows it. 
  • If strong smells associated with hot food are upsetting, eat your food cold or at room temperature.
  • Take prenatal vitamin in the evenings or with a snack or meal and not on an empty stomach. In case you take iron supplements, consult your Ob-gyn if you could put it on hold for a while as iron can make nausea worse. Some doctors prescribe Vitamins B6 and B12 and certain antihistamines as they could play a role in stress reduction and nausea relief. 
  • Get lots of rest as stress and fatigue can worsen morning sickness.
  • Try classic stress-reduction techniques, like meditation and prenatal yoga.

Consult your doctor if the nausea or vomiting is constant or so severe that no fluids or foods are kept down, and if it is causing dehydration or weight loss, or in case the morning sickness is accompanied by pain or fever or dizziness and fainting or blood vomiting or passing small amounts of dark urine. Some severe cases of morning sickness could require prescribed medicines or hospitalisation.

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REVIEW: Hijack movie ‘7500’ opts for low-key suspense

Updated 09 July 2020

REVIEW: Hijack movie ‘7500’ opts for low-key suspense

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in tense, claustrophobic drama

AMMAN: After a string of huge movie roles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has taken a step back from Hollywood to focus on his family in recent years. Now, the 39-year-old is back on screen playing Tobias Ellis, the first officer on a commercial flight from Berlin to Paris. When hijackers attempt to take over the plane, Tobias winds up trapped in the cockpit while chaos unfolds just a few feet away. The film — named for the emergency code given to hijacked aircraft — is the feature debut of Patrick Vollrath, a German director with an Academy Award nomination (for the short “Everything Will Be Okay”) already to his name.

Vollrath limits the action to the cockpit of the plane, creating an almost unbearably claustrophobic atmosphere that’s only heightened by the contrasting mundanity of the opening scenes. As Tobias and his captain (played by German actor Carlo Kitzlinger) go through their checklists and procedures, the knowledge that something terrible is about to happen only ratchets up the tension, and when the situation does erupt, the brutality of the attack is shocking in the extreme.

Quite deliberately, “7500” lacks the spectacle of classic disaster movies, and though it’s fiction, the obvious similarities to events such as those aboard United Airlines Flight 93 lend the movie a sense of disconcerting resonance. Gordon-Levitt turns in a masterful performance, never once seeking to dominate the film, but capturing a sense of impotent fury and fear as his place of work — previously his comfort zone — is turned into a literal prison.

Vollrath never opts for histrionics, but lets the sparse script and his semi-improvisational style empower his lead actor to bring a raw and uncompromising edge to the performance. Vollrath sidesteps many of the usual clichés used in modern terrorist movies, making less of the reasons for the attack and instead exploring the toll exerted on both sides. There’s no music score, so the movie uses the noise of the aircraft, the attack, and the muffled sounds of the world beyond the cockpit to underline just how trapped Tobias becomes.

“7500” is not an easy film to watch, and it would be hard to describe it as ‘enjoyable,’ but it is an impressive demonstration of a director and an actor at the top of their respective games.