Mr Kevin Harrington, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, The Portland Hospital
Q. I am in my first trimester and I’m struggling with morning sickness. Can you recommend ways to help me cope?
A. Symptoms of nausea, dizziness, vomiting and feeling unwell are common in the early stages of pregnancy, and are most definitely not restricted to the morning. The symptoms of morning sickness usually subside around 11-13 weeks, when the placenta takes over making the pregnancy hormones.
There is no cure for the sickness, but there are ways of alleviating the symptoms. Develop a tapas lifestyle; eat small portions regularly and often, avoiding foods you do not like and avoiding foods that are hard to digest, such as red meat. Stay hydrated. Dehydration leads to nausea and feeling unwell, so will exacerbate symptoms. Drink a small amount regularly, e.g. 50 mls every 30 minutes, throughout the day. For energy add sugar to the fluids you can tolerate. Tea or milk with sugar or carbonated drinks (gone flat if that helps) will ensure you will survive the first weeks of pregnancy.
Every woman is different but many are amazed at how tired they can become in the first trimester. If your body is telling you to go to bed at eight, go to bed and get all the rest you need. When you are up and awake keep yourself busy with work, exercise etc. Sitting at home waiting for nausea to get worse will guarantee the nausea will get worse!
Consider acupressure bands, reflexology or massage. Make sure to let the therapist know why you are there as some treatments are unsuitable during pregnancy. Antihistamines, which are also used for travel sickness, have been around for many years, with no known adverse effects on the foetus. While they will not cure the sickness, they can take the edge off the symptoms (allowing you to concentrate on all of the aforementioned advice).
Finally, stay focussed on getting to the end of the first trimester. When the symptoms subside and you finally see your baby on the ultrasound scan, it will all be worth it and you can look forward to the rest of the pregnancy and eventually, holding baby in your arms for the first time.
For further information or to book an appointment please contact Mr Harrington’s secretary.
Telephone: 020 7387 0022
Fax: 0207 388 8658
www.gynaecare.eu or www.pregnancycare.eu