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Coping With Morning Sickness in Public

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 15 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
Morning Sickness Pregnancy Public Nausea

Morning sickness is a phrase used to refer to the nausea and vomiting that affect pregnant women. The phrase itself came into popular use because many women experience these symptoms only or most strongly in the morning, though others swear that it affects them at all times of the day or night. Experiencing morning sickness in public is far from ideal but there are precautions and treatments that you can take to limit the embarrassment you feel from this condition.

Understanding Morning Sickness

The exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, but most experts believe that the nausea and vomiting are brought on by chemical changes in a woman's body during pregnancy. It is known that hormone levels rise during pregnancy, including oestrogen, progesterone and human chorionic gonadotopic (hCG) levels, and that excess stomach acids may be secreted. Many health professionals believe that it is a combination of these increased hormone and acid levels, possibly along with an enhanced sense of smell, which lead to the symptoms of morning sickness in early pregnancy. Morning sickness may be most strong in the morning because of all of these changes are combined with lowered blood sugar because women have not eaten for many hours during the night. Despite its name, morning sickness can last all day and while the general rule of thumb is that morning sickness is worst in the first trimester some women may experience it throughout the entire pregnancy.

Morning Sickness Precautions

Coping most effectively with morning sickness in public requires taking precautions before you even leave home. If you worry that morning sickness makes it unsafe for you to operate a vehicle then planning out public transport options or car pooling with others is important. Eat breakfast before leaving home in the morning, and eat regularly throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels more even. Keep a bottle of water, some plain crackers and plastic bag with you at all times. The water and crackers may help settle your stomach while the bag will be a necessity should you need to vomit with little warning. Carrying breath mints or gum will also be important for freshening breath, and stashing a toothbrush, toothpaste or mouthwash at work is a good idea too. Nausea may pass more quickly if you are able to cool yourself down when you begin to feel overheated, so wearing layers and keeping a washcloth (which you can wet and wrap around your neck or press against your wrists or forehead) might also help. Though you may not want to share news of your pregnancy right at the start, you might find that letting a few people know becomes important for explaining frequent absences from your desk or other responsibilities. Letting others know will probably also be important so that no one worries that you are ill and/or unable to keep your commitments. You may also feel less embarrassed about morning sickness simply by letting others know the reason for it.

Treating Morning Sickness

When you do feel morning sickness come on while you are in public there may be a few things you can do to hold it off. Some women find that eating a snack with ginger in it, for example ginger snap biscuits with ginger ale, can help quell their nausea. Other women find that sipping peppermint tea can help. If you notice that certain smells make your morning sickness worse then keeping a clean handkerchief with some essential oils on it may be useful so that you can mask any odours you find offensive (just be sure to ask an aromatherapist if any oils are not suited for pregnant women). Some women find that morning sickness is so bad that they can not keep anything down and subsequently lose a great amount of weight or become dehydrated. Should this be the case, a doctor may be able to prescribe medication to lessen the nausea and vomiting.

There is little you can do to cure morning sickness, so coping with it in public is basically about lessening any associated embarrassment. Once you understand morning sickness and how it affects you, you can better plan out precautions for when you are in public and treatments which may help you postpone it for a little while.

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I had terrible morning sickness with my first and threw up at least 4 times a day.Now I am a wheelchair user and my ab muscles are so weak that I end up retching more than vomiting. At least when I threw up, I felt better after.Now I just gag over and over for nearly an hour before I can get anything up and feel better.I worry about taking medicine and the effect on the baby.
Ask A Gimp - 15-Dec-17 @ 1:09 PM
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