The first thing that women associate with pregnancy is morning sickness. It is often perceived to be an early sign of pregnancy. However, morning sickness isn’t the only thing that women should be worried about. Evening nausea can be far worse and can kick in at the oddest of timings, especially before you want to go to sleep and even when you are asleep.
Evening nausea is also termed as “morning sickness at night”. This is because women go through the same kind of nausea and vomiting at night, just as they do in the day. Sudden vomiting in the middle of the night can keep you up all night.
Pregnancy nausea is something most pregnant women experience, especially during early pregnancy weeks. For many women, nausea takes a backseat as the pregnancy progresses to the second trimester, while for some others it is a constant feature all through the 9 months.
The first few weeks of pregnancy are marked with increased hormonal surge, exhaustion, fatigue and lots of new symptoms – having morning sickness and nausea can make the early weeks quite frustrating.
When Does Evening Nausea Begin?
Nausea begins just before nine weeks of pregnancy and continues till twenty weeks of pregnancy. For some women, it may also start as early as two weeks and last an entire week. Although majorly referred to morning sickness, it is actually a misnomer as nausea can actually strike any time, day or night.
“When I was pregnant with my first child, I kept experiencing morning sickness. To my surprise, this escalated to evening and night sickness. It took me some time to get used to the fact that I could vomit at any time of the day”, says Samiksha, mother of two.
What Are The Causes of Evening Nausea?
The causes of evening nausea can be similar to those of morning sickness. This is because nausea in pregnancy begins with morning sickness and then escalates to evening sickness as well.
However, people only consider morning sickness to be a side-effect of pregnancy while evening sickness can be way worse. Here are some causes of evening nausea that you need to look out for-
1. Physical Changes In The Body
During pregnancy, the body goes through a number of physical changes such as a larger chest, growing tummy, swelling up of feet, weight gain, etc. This happens because the body is trying to accommodate to these changes taking place because of pregnancy. This often causes morning and evening sickness. Evening sickness can be way worse than morning sickness as it can disrupt your entire night.
2. Change In Hormones
Change in hormones during pregnancy cause aversions to certain smells which leads to evening nausea too. Pregnant women also experience a weaker digestive system due to change of hormones, which makes women more prone acidity and indigestion and causes evening sickness. You’ll find yourself rushing to the washroom minutes after having your dinner or sometimes in the middle of it.
3. Sensitivity to smells
Pregnancy is a time when hormones are at play. This can result in making many pregnant women sensitive to smells. Certain smells can make a pregnant woman queasy and uncomfortable ultimately leading to throwing up. It can be cooking smells, smell of a particular food item, a perfume or simply just about anything that seemed very normal till about a few days ago.
4. Thyroid or Liver Problems
The above is a rare cause of evening nausea. In rare cases, thyroid and liver problems cause evening nausea in women. This happens in rare cases and may not have anything to do with evening nausea. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with any thyroid of liver disease before pregnancy, it means that they could be causing your evening nausea.
5. You’re Carrying Twins
If you feel that you are twice or thrice as times as tired of evening nausea compared to other pregnant women, there are chances that it is linked to the fact that you are carrying twins or multiples. Women carrying twins experience a higher level of evening sickness. Evening nausea in women carrying twins begins quite early, sometimes even before the tests turn positive.
Can Evening Nausea Predict The Gender Of The Baby?
Though there isn’t any scientific explanation for it, research suggests that women who are pregnant with a girl are more likely to experience evening sickness that those pregnant with a boy. However, the gender of your baby doesn’t have anything to do with the frequency of the nausea you experience.
Some causes of evening nausea also include stress, rise in blood sugar levels, sensitive gastrointestinal tract, frequent travelling, etc.
Tips To Prevent Evening Nausea During Pregnancy
Pregnant women need at least six hours of sleep at night. Women experiencing disruption in sleep patterns due to evening nausea, reduce their chances of normal child birth by four to five times. Sleep is an essential need for women during pregnancy because during the first three months, there is an increased secretion of progesterone during sleep which causes a great amount of fatigue during the day which makes it essential for both the mother and the child to take precautions to avoid evening nausea. Here are a few precautions to take to avoid morning sickness at night.
1. Avoid strong smells
Stay away from any strong smells before going to bed. Avoid the smells that could trigger your nausea, especially the ones that have strong nauseatic influence on you.
2. Never go to bed empty stomach
Sleeping on an empty stomach may cause acidity and could trigger your evening nausea. In times you go to sleep empty stomach, keep a bed-time snack always by your side.
3. Watch your sleep position
Acid reflux can also cause evening nausea, so sleep in a position that makes your head elevated. Use pillows for support. Also sleep on your left side to with your right knee propped on a pillow.
4. Have small meals
Smaller, healthy meals will keep you full for longer without filling you up. When you are pregnant, digestion becomes a slow process because the belly is mostly occupied by the baby. Having smaller meals puts lesser stress on the digestive system.
5. Oily, fatty and sugary foods should be avoided
Oily foods can make your system slow down, plus they do not add much of nutritional value to your meals. Fatty and sugary foods too only add on the calories without many nutrients. Indigestion and acidity are common side-effects of oily and fatty foods. Remember, pregnancy is a time to eat healthy, clean food rather than indulging in foods that provide no nutritional value.
6. Keep yourself hydrated
Keeping yourself hydrated can ward off indigestion and can help you cope with evening nausea better. Plain water is the best hydrant, though having fresh juices and lemonade are also good options.
Related Reading: Is it safe to drink soy milk during pregnancy? What are the risks?
Have a small piece of ginger before going to bed. Ginger is known to have properties that can help in digestion and cure nausea.
8. Keep something light to munch on
If you happen to feel queasy, grab a piece of a cracker or a biscuit to make the feeling go down. Keep a pack at your bedside so you can eat even if it feels queasy in the middle of the night.
9. Fresh air
Go out to have some fresh air after your dinner. You can stand near your window or in the balcony before you go to bed.
10. The Indian formula of eating sour things
Pickles anyone? Apparently having sour foods helps curb nausea so keeping your favorite pickle by your side is a great way to avoid evening nausea.
11. Ask your doctor to give to multivitamins to help your evening nausea.
What If I’m Too Nauseous to Go to Bed?
If you feel too nauseous to go to bed, go to an open space or near the window to get some fresh air. Have some ginger to see if it goes away. If your evening nausea persists in the following days as well, ask your doctor to give you some medicines to tone down the evening sickness.