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This is a common complaint of women in the early months of their pregnancy. It refers to a feeling of nausea or actual vomiting.
It is particularly common during the first trimester (three months) of a pregnancy. In rare cases, morning sickness is still experienced after the first trimester.
Morning sickness, despite its name, may occur at any time during the day although it is indeed commonest in the morning. The medical name for morning sickness is nausea gravidarum. Severe vomiting is referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum.
The exact cause is unknown but it is almost definitely related to hormonal changes which take place during pregnancy. It may also be associated with an imbalance in blood sugar levels.
The morning sickness most women experience is not harmful to a baby as long as the woman is eating a well-balanced diet and is getting enough fluids. Most women soon realise what they can and can't eat.
Most women who suffer morning sickness suffer no complications. In rare cases, the vomiting becomes severe and prolonged, a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. This may cause dehydration, nutritional deficiencies and weight loss.
The symptoms to watch out for are:
These symptoms suggest dehydration and require medical attention. Women who become dehydrated need to be admitted to hospital for replacement of lost fluids and chemicals through a drip. If treated quickly, dehydration will not harm your baby.
If you have any queries or worries regarding morning sickness, visit your doctor.