The Duchess of Cambridge left the King Edward VII Hospital in central London following three nights under observation after suffering from acute morning sickness, last week. 

Health on Female First

Health on Female First

Yvonne Mourah, Pharmacist at John Bell & Croyden (holders of the Royal Warrant as Pharmacists to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II since 1958) explains the causes and symptoms and expels common myths.

Morning sickness is a common condition suffered by women during the early stages pregnancy. Its cause has not been identified and it doesn’t always occur in the mornings as its name implies. It may be caused by the high levels of oestrogen, and emotional stress creating changes in the body.

Yvonne Mourah recommends ginger products to lessen the effects of morning sickness. Ginger biscuits (Simpkins Ginger Biscuits £2.10) and ginger tea (Alvita Caffeine Free Ginger Root Tea £6.25) can sweeten the day for a sick mum-to-be.

Yvonne Mourah expels morning sickness myths:

1)                  The worse the morning sickness, the more likely it is you’re having a girl.

FALSEmost experts believe there is no truth in this myth.

2)                  If you get a lot of heartburn during pregnancy, your baby will have a lot of hair.

FALSEHeartburn also known as ‘acid reflux’ is very common during pregnancy. There is no connection between the growth of the baby’s hair. It occurs because as the baby grows and the uterus expands, it pushes against the stomach making it easier for acid to return to the lower oesophagus resulting in a burning sensation in the chest region, hence the name ‘heart burn’. This can be prevented by eating small frequent meals and remaining upright after eating. If you do suffer with heartburn, speak with your pharmacist as there are several antacids safe to use during pregnancy. 

3)                  Avoid sleeping on your back or, always sleep on your left side.

FALSE - The best position for sleeping is the one that's most comfortable, there is no medical reason for why sleeping on your side or back is unsafe.

4)                  To keep your unborn child safe, avoid sex and exercise during pregnancy.

FALSE There is no recommendation to avoid exercise or sex during pregnancy. In fact, gentle regular exercise is good for both mums to be and baby, unless told to avoid by your doctor or midwife.  

5)                  If you are pregnant, you cannot have X-rays and should avoid microwaves and PCs. SOME TRUTHYou should use common sense and avoid over-exposure to X Rays when pregnant but there is no evidence that microwaves or PCs can cause any harm to the mother or baby.

6)                  Don’t take a bath if you’re pregnant.

FALSEIt is perfectly fine to take a warm bath whilst pregnant only avoid taking a bath if you are bleeding or waters have broken to avoid spreading infections.

7)                  If the weather is stormy or the moon is full, you are more likely to go into labour, even if you are weeks away from your due date.

FALSEThere has been no evidence to suggest that the weather or phase of the moon can trigger women going into labour.

8)                  Avoid spicy foods — they can trigger labour before you’re ready.

FALSE - Spicy foods can help trigger labour if you are close to your due date but not in the early stages of pregnancy.

Helpful tips to manage morning sickness:

  • Get plenty of rest as tiredness can make nausea worse.
  • Drink plenty of fluids such as water, and sipping it instead of drinking it in a large amount.
  • Avoid cold sweet drinks.
  • Avoid smells and foods that make you feel sick.
  • Distract yourself as much as you can.
  • Wear comfortable clothes without tight waistband.
  • Wearing a sickness wrist band may help with symptoms.
  • Eating small frequent meals that are high in carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, rice, dry biscuits, and eat low fat foods.
  • Ginger products can be helpful such as tea, sweets, biscuits and capsules, tablets, or even fresh ginger.

Seek medical advice from your doctor or midwife:

  • If you are vomiting and can’t keep any food or liquids down, there is a chance you could become dehydrated or malnourished.
  • If you pass very dark coloured urine or pass no urine in 24 hours.
  • If you feel weak, dizzy or faint when standing up.
  • If you experience abdominal pain.
  • If you develop high temperature or fever.
  • If you start vomiting blood.

Further product recommendations:

  • Sea Band Mama – drug free morning sickness relief £8.20
  • Sea Band Mama – Ginger Lozenges with Folic Acid £4
  • Lamberts Ginger Capsules £9.25 

Femalefirst Taryn Davies

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