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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Behind the scenes of ‘Onward,’ Pixar’s new seven-year production

The “Onward” production began working on the film in 2013. (Supplied)
Updated 24 February 2020

Behind the scenes of ‘Onward,’ Pixar’s new seven-year production

  • Set to be released in March, Arab News took a studio tour to go behind the scenes of Pixar’s latest flick

LOS ANGELES: First announced at Disney’s fan expo, D23, “Onward” was teased as a “suburban fantasy,” taking place in a world that was once filled with swords and sorcery that have been replaced by technology.

Set to be released in March, Arab News took a studio tour to go behind the scenes of Pixar’s latest flick.

The tour began with a photo of members of the “Onward” production team on the first day they began working on the film in 2013 — and since then, the team has faced more than a few hurdles.

“To create a story from nothing is just hard,” said Kori Rae, the film’s producer. “We don’t start with a script already. We literally start in that room with four white walls and we have to do a lot of talking to even come up with a kernel of an idea.”

The film centers around Ian and Barley Lightfoot, two elf brothers based on director Dan Scanlon’s experiences with his real-life brother.

The boys lost their father at a young age but were given a tape recording of his voice saying “hello” and “goodbye.” Scanlon describes the experience as “magical,” and brought that magic to life in “Onward,” by giving Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) and Barley (voiced by Chris Pratt) a spell that lets them meet their father for one day.

With the idea kernel pinned down, the team was ready to take the first steps toward making the movie. Concept artists began drawing ideas for the fantastical creatures that populate the movie, totaling around 240 characters and 13 species, ranging from elves to dragons to centaurs.

Meanwhile, the design team was figuring out how to make a fantasy world into a modern one.

“The question was how much fantasy and how much familiar do we want to bring to that,” designer Noah Klocek said. “It took us at least a year-and-a-half to figure out the ratio we wanted.”

They settled on a 70-30 split of a very familiar world with hints of magic and began fleshing out the story. According to the head of story, Kelsey Mann, the early drafts of the movie were drastically different from what audiences will see in theaters. But the idea they came up with back in that empty room kept the theme of the movie consistent.

“The one thing that’s constant is the ending. We boarded this emotional climax and that has remained the same since screening one. And that’s pretty unique.”

Head editor, Catherine Apple, said that the film was fully recut eight times, with many more edits in-between. Each of the eight versions of the film were screened for members of the Pixar staff working on other films to critique. While the first day may have been the hardest part, for many of the staff showing a work in progress to your peers was the most nerve-wracking.

“Really what they’re trying to say is ‘you’re not making your point,’ ‘you’re not being clear,’ or ‘this isn’t happening in the most entertaining or original way.’ So, seven years of that is exhausting,” said Scanlon. “It’s done with love and we trust each other. Everyone has the same goal which is to make the best film possible.”

This spirit of creative camaraderie among the crew of “Onward” seemed to permeate throughout Pixar. For a studio that is constantly innovating, raising the bar for itself and the industry at large, Pixar is also creating a community for its filmmakers.

As we left the Pixar campus and headed for the airport home, we were left with a feeling of wonder as we reflected on our peek into the fantastic and familiar world of “Onward” as well as the filmmakers’ reminder to treasure family.