There isn’t a simple answer to when does morning sickness start in the first trimester pregnancy. Nausea and vomiting are the most common morning sickness symptoms of early stages of pregnancy up to week 16. It can vary from slight nausea to vomiting every time you eat. Morning sickness does not only occur in the morning as you may think. In fact, it can strike at any time during the day and also more than once a day. Approximately 80% of women are worried by these unpleasant symptoms in an early pregnancy especially during first trimester. Some find almost impossible to eat large meals whereas for others strong smells and tastes can become unbearable. Don’t worry if you are not able to piece together a perfect diet while sick. Eat mini meals and as often as you can and resume a balanced diet once the symptoms ease. These are likely to pass around week 12 when your appetite will return.
A healthy baby starts with a healthy mum. To aid your unborn baby’s development it is vital that you eat a balanced diet. During the first trimester (about 12 weeks) your baby only grows to be about 8cm long. Such a tiny being does not need much energy. At this stage you don’t need extra calories but you do need a good variety of foods to provide all the nutrients for baby’s healthy growth. Follow the guidelines on the Food Pyramid, take as wide a variety of foods as possible and continue taking a 400mcg folic acid tablet daily until at least week 12.
Aim for little weight gain in these early days. You should gain about 3kg (a half-stone) or less by week 12, if you are of normal weight. Aim for a bit more than 3kg if you are expecting twins, or no weight gain at this stage if you are overweight. Your doctor, midwife or dietitian can guide you toward healthy weight gain.
If you are gaining too much weight too quickly, avoid high-calorie foods that have little nutritional value such as crisps, sweets fizzy drinks and deep-fried, fatty foods, skipping meals can lead to roaring hunger and overeating. Always eat regular meals and snacks spread evenly throughout the day.
Morning Sickness Remedies
- Eat small meals six to eight times daily, or about every two hours, and eat something before you get out of bed in the morning.
- Choose mainly dry or light, starchy foods such as plain crackers, biscuits, toast, bananas or dry breakfast cereals.
- Avoid high-fat or overly-rich foods such as butter and oils until symptoms ease. Avoid coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks.
- Drink your fluids between meals rather than with food.
- Avoid strong smells such as cigarette smoke, cooking odours and perfumes. Rest immediately after eating and try to take a nap in the afternoon.
- Go with your cravings. Eat whatever food you feel you can tolerate. This can change from moment to moment.