Almost 80 percent of all pregnant women encounter nausea at some point or the other. Morning sickness or what some women call "all day" sickness is one of the most common side effects of a pregnancy. While most pregnant women get relief towards the end of their first trimester, not all are as lucky. If you still experience sickness at 21 weeks pregnant, whereas most women seem to be enjoying their second trimester, one may start wondering if it's normal or something is essentially wrong.
22 Weeks Pregnant Feeling Sick, Is It Normal?
Nausea in pregnancy may be uncomfortable but in most cases, it indicates that the pregnancy is developing. Some women may feel nauseous beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy and can get worried. The influx of hormones and changes in the body's natural chemical balance usually adjusts in the first 12 weeks or so but you can have sickness at 21 weeks pregnant because of the hormonal changes.
Although normal, several factors can make you feel nauseous. Although most nausea and vomiting ends in the first trimester, it doesn't just stop once you’ve hit week 20. It sounds like it's just your hormones and you just need to take it easy. Let’s say you are 22 weeks pregnant feeling sick. There could be several underlying factors, in addition to the hormonal imbalance that can add to your distress.
Before you start worrying too much, it is important to remember that the expanding uterus is pressing your stomach, making it difficult for you to keep food down. The digestive tract can sometimes be pressed by the weight of the uterus, forcing our food out the wrong way.
What Can I Do to Feel Better?
If you are 22 weeks pregnant feeling sick occasionally, you do not need to rush to the doctor. Using some of the basic tips mentioned here can help alleviate your suffering.
1. Stress Management
A million thoughts race through a soon-to-be mom's mind. The lifestyle changes and the physical limitations that come with the increased weight can throw some women off balance. The fear of being a good mom or health related concerns about the child can upset the body's system. The stress that accompanies can be a major reason for vomiting even at 22 weeks pregnant. It is always a good idea to convey your worries to your partner, another mom/mom-to-be or even a professional if you think stress is getting the best of your health.
2. Relaxation Exercises
The hustle bustle of day-to-day life and the ever-racing mind need to be calmed down by the use of relaxation exercises. If you are 22 weeks pregnant feeling sick, set aside some time for tried and tested activities like meditation, deep breathing and having some solitary time so you find a way to relax your tense body muscles.
You can also go for a massage. Make sure it’s a professional masseuse certified in massaging pregnant women. As long as you take a break from the daily activities and set aside some quality time for yourself, the body will find a way to relax.
3. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 (or pyridoxine) is considerably helpful in curbing nausea in pregnant women, even if it is nausea 31 weeks pregnant. You can take supplements at the prescription of a caregiver. A pregnant woman can have between 30 to 75 mgs per day. Alternatively, you can eat foods rich in this vitamin. Bananas, potatoes, cauliflower, nuts and fish are some good sources of natural vitamin B6.
4. Herbal Treatments
Ginger is a common natural remedy to help nausea. If you are 21 weeks pregnant and throwing up, the daily intake of ginger will significantly reduce the occurrence of nausea. If you think ginger is not able to help, you can seek assistance from a qualified professional to suggest herbs. Wild yam root and dandelion root are often prescribed by herbalists to combat nausea.
Alternatively, you can add a drop of ginger in boiling water. Inhaling the smell can put nausea at bay. However, sometimes pregnant women can be allergic to ginger smells and hence care must be taken.
Some essential oils can help alleviate nausea. Spearmint oil is one of the most frequently recommended essential oils. However, you have to be careful because some essential oils like peppermint are considered toxic for the fetus. One has to be especially careful with essential oils in the first trimester of pregnancy.
6. Eat Small, Frequent Meals
You feel sick after eating food but remember that an empty stomach will cause more nausea. Try to eat small meals at regular interval throughout the day to help calm the stomach acids that cause nausea. Simple meals comprising bread and crackers can go a long way. Try having biscuits or crackers after waking up to alleviate morning sickness. Fruits can also help. If nausea is triggered by smells, cold meals can be a better option.
7. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Increase your intake of fluids. Water is very helpful to alleviate nausea. Drinking a lot of water on an empty stomach, however, can make you feel sick. Drink water frequently. Sweet drinks and juices can also be a good remedy.
When to Worry
While nausea is a common symptom of pregnancy, always follow your instincts. If your nausea 31 weeks pregnant seems to be constant, please contact your obstetrician. Likewise, the sudden onset of nausea, even if you are 21 weeks pregnant is a cause for concern. Pregnant women are more susceptible to infections, especially a liver disorder called cholestasis. It is usually accompanied by itchy skin and can occur towards the end of your pregnancy.
Additionally, please contact your caregiver if you experience one or more of the following.
- Persistent nausea that makes it impossible to eat or drink anything, thereby reducing the intake of essential nutrients
- If you are throwing up more than three times a day
- If you notice that your vomit has streaks of blood or if it’s brown in color
- Monitor your weight and if you suffer from weight loss, consult your doctor
- Fainting or dizziness/confusion
- Decreased urination
- Rapid heart rate
- Recurrent headaches
- Unpleasant body odor or a smelly mouth
- Severe exhaustion
All of the above can be an indicator of something more serious than the regular pregnancy nausea. If you suffer from any of these, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Consult your physician right away.