Morning sickness is a bit of a misnomer; while morning is the most common time to experience feelings of nausea, morning sickness can be experienced at any point in the day – especially if you are carrying twins. Researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes morning sickness, but there is a general consensus that morning sickness is at least partially related to hCG, (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone produced during pregnancy. During a multiple pregnancy, hCG levels are higher than in a singleton pregnancy which explains why episodes of morning sickness tend to be elevated in twin pregnancies. This leaves many moms asking how to cope with morning sickness.
There aren’t many scarier experiences in a woman’s life than when she is thinking she may be having a miscarriage. Statistics tell us that around 50% of pregnancies do end in miscarriages, but most of those women have no idea they were even pregnant in the first place. The majority of miscarriages happen in the first two weeks after conception, and the woman thinks she is just having a slightly heavier menstrual cycle than normal. However, when miscarriage happens further along in the pregnancy it can be truly devastating, especially to those parents who have planned and perhaps waited for years for their baby. Many women will ask – how can I tell if I have miscarried?
Some scientists say that implantation is when and where pregnancy begins. What is implantation and are there any common signs of implantation? Implantation occurs when the egg that has been fertilized by the sperm attaches to the inner wall of the uterus about 7-9 days after conception. Having traveled down the fallopian tube and divided several times, the fertilized zygote has reached its final destination in the warm and nourishing uterine lining. Now it can receive the oxygen and nutrients from mom to begin to grow and develop into the beautiful baby it will become. Implantation must occur for pregnancy to continue.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell your period apart from early pregnancy signs. I remember with both pregnancies asking myself “am I getting my period or could I be pregnant?” A lot of women confuse the symptoms with each other. Some of the early signs of pregnancy include: fatigue, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, sore breasts, and headaches. These are just a few of the early pregnancy symptoms. However each woman is different and the pregnancy symptoms may vary.
Early pregnancy symptoms are also similar to those of side effects of getting your period. But how do you tell if you’re pregnant and it’s not just your period? If your period is a few days late I wouldn’t get too worried just yet. While your period can be on time for many years, it can also regulate now and then. If your period is 7 or more days late, you can always try a pregnancy test. It’s usually difficult to even catch a pregnancy with a test at the very early weeks, so if it’s negative your first time and your period still hasn’t come, I would wait a week or so then try the test again. Cramping, hot flashes, headaches, and light spotting can very well just be your period.
Some pregnant women do notice a little light spotting around the time of their period, however you can also experience light spotting during the time of your period even when you are not pregnant. If you have more than a few of these symptoms, I would take a pregnancy test right away.
– Sore breasts
– Lack of energy
– 5-7 days or later period
– Cravings or food aversions
– Mood swings
– Elevated body temperature
– Sensitivity to smells
– Dizziness or fainting
All of these signs can point to pregnancy. (We also have some ‘Very Early Pregnancy Signs‘ if you are interested). If you feel other symptoms such as pelvic or abdominal pain, or lightheadedness, call your practitioner immediately. These can be signs of ectopic pregnancy.
If you are not one of the lucky few who feels great during the first trimester, read on. As hormones shift in early pregnancy, morning sickness, nausea and vomiting can wreak havoc on daily life. For morning sickness rememedies you may have tried preggo pops, tums and dry crackers, but there are a few other options as well. Motherisk is run through Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and provides excellent support for pregnancy and parenting. The phenomenal Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP) forum is great.
Here are some morning sickness remedy tips:
- Ice cold drinks can calm the stomach.
- Complex carbohydrates are best.
- Eat every 2 hours.
- Limit straight milk.
- Talk to a health provider about Diclectin, a drug that can help.
- Ginger settles the stomach.
- Freezing Gatorade in ice cube trays can help keep you hydrated and replace electrolytes.
- Grab an essential oil that calms you (grapefruit is amazing).
- You can try this old home remedy: 1T pure apple cider vinegar, 8oz. filtered water, and 1T pure honey
- Take some Vitamin B6
- Sea Bands can help by using acupressure on the inside of the wrist
- Licorice (tea or candy) has been said to help greatly
And if that doesn’t work, go buy yourself a comfy Juicy tracksuit, get a massage and get some firefighters to fan you with palm leaves. It’s worth a try.
Motherisk Nausea Hotline: 1-800-436-8477
Severe heat can inhibit the safety of babies and children. With global temperatures on a slow march upwards, heat waves such as this are unfortunately likely to become more frequent than their previous once-in-a-lifetime occurence. Some people adore the heat, but babies and children as well as pets and elderly relatives are vulnerable to heat strokes, dehydration and other serious heat-related ailments. Here are some tips on surviving the heat:
- Never, EVER, leave a baby, child or pet in a parked car during hot weather. The temperature inside a parked car can very quickly rise to extreme levels. Children and pets can become extremely over-heated and some have even died when left in a hot car. This tip is therefore very important.
- Make sure babies, children and pets have plenty of water to drink. Heat produces sweat which causes the body to lose vital water. It is very important to replenish the body with water in order to prevent dehydration, which can be very serious.
- Keep babies, children and pets where it is coolest. Find the coolest room in the house, most likely the basement, and spend as much time there as possible. Only go outside unless you are doing water-related activities or if your house gets so hot, it’s cooler in the shade outside. Restrict outdoor exercise, including walking dogs, to cooler evenings. Avoiding the heat is a great reason to spend the afternoon at the air-conditioned library.
- Dress appropriately. Keep babies and children in lightweight, loose fitting clothing. Is your toddler not a fan of clothing? Well, this is a good time to let him get away with his preference for nakedness!
- Hats and sunscreen. If you are outside in the sun at any time, make sure babies, children and yourself have hats and waterproof, high-SPF sunscreen on. Make sure to re-apply it when necessary. If baby is constantly taking his hat off, find a hat that has a Velcro strap that goes under his chin.
- Fans and air conditioners. These are of course, summer-heat standbys. Here’s a good tip: put a bowl of ice in front of a fan. The fan will blow the cooler air around the ice towards you!
- Don’t leave a baby or child to nap in direct sunlight. That tip speaks for itself.
- Utilize water. Cold showers and baths, pools and natural bodies of clean water are of course great. But here’s another tip: fill up a bucket with very cold water and sit with your feet in it. As your blood circulates through your body, it will cool down in your feet and circulate cooler blood throughout your body. I tried this today and it helped a great deal. Just make sure there are no electronics that can fall into it to avoid electrocution.
- Keep cool at night. Have the whole family sleep in the basement if possible. Make sure babies and children are in light clothing, if clothing is necessary, and that they only have a sheet to cover them, if necessary. Open windows, if safe, to ensure plenty of circulation of the slightly-cooler night air. A cold shower or bath before bed can also help.
- Check in on elderly relatives. If elderly relatives live in hot areas, make sure to check with them that they have everything they need to beat the heat. The elderly are very vulnerable to overheating. Sadly, sometimes, it even causes death.
- Be careful of worsening air quality. Heat causes air quality to diminish. Be aware of this and make sure people with respiratory problems, including kids with asthma, are looked after. Try staying inside where the air is a little better.
- Indulge your children in frozen treats. If it’s very hot, the cooling effect of frozen treats can be more important than their sugar content. If you’d prefer a healthy alternative, pick up a popsicle mold and make fruit juice popsicles by filling the mold with fruit juice.
Have you got a tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: Beat the Heat) with your name, city and tip and we will add your tip to this page!
Here are some signs of overheating to look out for:
*rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
*weakness, dizziness, or fainting
*more tiredness than usual
*confusion or disorientation
If you see these signs in someone help them cool down by removing clothing, having them drink cool (but not ice cold) water, bathing them with cool water and moving them to a cooler area. If they appear seriously listless or disoriented, take them to the emergency room or call 911.
The above signs to watch out for were taken from the Toronto Public Health’s brochure on beating the heat. This brochure also has tips similar to some of the ones above. You can view this brochure here: http://www.toronto.ca/health/heatalerts/pdf/beattheheat.pdf
For more information about the health effects of extreme heat call
Canadian Red Cross Heat Information Line 416-480-2615
Q: Are there any vitamins that will help with morning sickness?