What is Morning Sickness?

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Morning Sickness

Morning sickness refers to a pregnancy condition associated with nausea and vomiting that affects more than fifty percent of pregnant women. Morning sickness is also referred to as nausea gravidarum or emesis gravidarum. It is manifested in feelings of nausea, fatigue and vomiting. Women who are under the hormonal contraception or hormonal replacement therapy may also experience symptoms of morning sickness. Generally, morning sickness is experienced during the morning hours and eases gradually as the time progresses thus its name. However, there are experts who argue that the name is misleading because the condition can be experienced anytime during the day. The nausea experienced during pregnancy may range from mild to severe that it induces vomiting. When the symptoms become very severe, they can lead to weight loss, dehydration and alkalosis, a fatal drop of acidity levels in the blood. Severe morning sickness can also result to low potassium levels in blood, a condition known as hypokalemia. An estimated 1% of pregnant women experience severe symptoms of morning sickness, a condition referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum.

Some facts about morning sickness

Symptoms associated with morning sickness, particularly vomiting and nausea are among the initial indicators of pregnancy. These symptoms begin to manifest around the sixth week of pregnancy and end at around the twelfth week. Morning sickness does not harm the unborn baby. However, excessive vomiting that makes it difficult to keep food in the body can lead to hyperemesis gravidarum which can harm the mother and the baby when it gets severe and is left unaddressed. This is because it causes deficiency of nutrients for the mother and unborn baby and also causes an imbalance of electrolytes. The nausea experienced during early pregnancy is caused by the rise in hormone levels within the body. Most doctors say morning sickness is a strong indication that the placenta is growing well.