The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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If you're repelled by smells, you're not alone. A heightened sense of smell and taste—especially in your first trimester—can trigger morning sickness, food cravings, and food aversions. It's most likely your body's way of telling you to eat what you can stand—and to avoid the foods that turn you off.
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There's good news if you're not feeling well enough to cook: Several studies have found that, when taken for a short period of time, ginger supplements help relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy without any adverse effects on you or your baby. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who took a 1-gram ginger supplement daily for four days had significantly less nausea and vomiting compared with women who were given a placebo.
If you have morning sickness, you may be rewarded with 30-percent lower odds of getting breast cancer later in life. If symptoms are severe or persist into the second and third trimesters, your risk drops even further--a remarkable 40 percent lower than women whose pregnancies were morning sickness-free.
Perhaps. While "morning sickness" is most common in the first trimester, it can happen anytime during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins may intensify your symptoms; if you suspect this is the case, try taking yours before going to bed to allow you to sleep through the discomfort. Using antacids also can be helpful, as can "grazing" on several small, healthy meals throughout the day. Additional vitamin B6 seems to curb nausea for some women; talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.
Morning sickness can be miserable, but it may serve the valuable purpose of keeping your diet as healthy as possible for your growing baby.
A recent British study is the latest to contend that how much nausea a pregnant woman experiences may depend on how nutritiously she eats. University of Liverpool scientists analyzed 56 studies on morning sickness and found that symptoms were linked to higher intake of sugars, sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine and meat and to lower consumption of cereals.
Most pregnancies are perfectly healthy, and moms-to-be glide through them with nothing more severe than a few bouts of nausea and the occasional backache. However, some women do develop more serious health problems that can threaten their own and their baby's well-being, sometimes even their lives. Don't worry—life-threatening complications are extremely rare. But it's important to know what signs and symptoms to look out for.
Here are some common pregnancy problems, along with information on their causes and treatments.