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Morning sickness

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Morning sickness, also known as nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, is a normal part of pregnancy and does not put the baby at any risk.

During early pregnancy, as many as half of all women experience vomiting and around 3 in 10 experience nausea without vomiting. Morning sickness usually goes away after the first 3 months of pregnancy but around 1 in 10 women continues to have it for up to their 20th week.

What causes it?

The exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, but a few have been suggested over the years. These include:

Around half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness

What are the risk factors?

There is no sure way of knowing whether or not a woman will have morning sickness during her pregnancy, but there are a few known risk factors, including:

How is it treated?

In most cases, morning sickness is treated by making some dietary and lifestyle changes, which may involve:

In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe medication, designed to reduce both nausea and vomiting.

The risk of morning sickness is increased if the foetus is a girl

When should I seek help?

Sometimes morning sickness can be mistaken for a more serious underlying condition, such as urinary tract infection or appendicitis. It is important to seek immediate medical help if any of the following symptoms arise:

Click here to read about pre-eclampsia, ectopic pregnancies, stretch marks and what happens during a miscarriage.

Images: davhor and danox on Flikr

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