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Morning sickness is known to most people as a symptom that plagues the first trimester of pregnancy. Unfortunately, some women experience this symptom well past the first trimester. Second trimester morning sickness is not very common, but it is possible to experience it for no apparent reason. The good news is that those suffering from this symptom usually find that it disappears by about week 17, though a select few women find that it does not disappear until the birth of the baby.
The main reason behind morning sickness is a rapid change in hormones. There is an increase in human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This is known as the pregnancy hormone, and it is what most home pregnancy tests pick up in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Though all women have it when pregnant, they tend to have varying levels, which is why some women have morning sickness all day while others avoid it completely. Morning sickness in the second trimester is usually caused by extra hCG in the system that never leveled out like it should have in the first trimester.
Another cause of morning sickness is thought to be low blood sugar. For this reason, one way to control morning sickness is by eating frequent small meals throughout the day. Many women feel nauseous when they smell aromatic foods, so sticking to basic foods that lack strong flavors and smells is often a good idea. Crackers, dry cereal, and toast are all foods that many women suffering from first or second trimester morning sickness can tolerate.
Many cases of second trimester morning sickness are the result of hyperemesis gravidarum, which is an extreme form of this symptom. Constant nausea, daily vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration are all signs of this severe type of morning sickness. It usually requires a trip to the doctor for treatment, and sometimes includes a hospital stay if the electrolytes are imbalanced or there is excessive weight loss. In most cases, doctors will prescribe an anti-nausea medication that is safe to take during pregnancy, while some prefer to just advise patients to rest and avoid certain foods.
Eating small, frequent meals that include bland foods can help combat second trimester morning sickness. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding foods that are known for being high in fat are a few more ways to prevent this symptom. Additionally, it should be known that some women become sick due to their prenatal vitamins. If the nausea seems to appear only after taking the pill, it is wise to consider either taking it with food, or switching to a different brand of prenatal vitamin; there are many available with different formulations.
It isn't as uncommon as some people think it is. My paternal grandmother was sick throughout most of her pregnancies, so was her daughter, and one of my cousins. Another of my cousins also had morning sickness through the seventh month, as well as other complications.
One old wives' tale suggests women will often have the same kind of morning sickness as their mother did. This is certainly true in my family, although it may not be true in other families.
Smells are probably the worst triggers for nausea in the second trimester. I have many friends who said they couldn't tolerate any kind of cooking odors when they were pregnant, and it's a known fact that many women have a more acute sense of smell at this time.
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