Psychotherapy Services in South West London

Physical symptoms in pregnancy

Treatment and support for women experiencing nausea and vomiting (NVP) during pregnancy has improved and yet there are even now a number of practitioners who attribute blame to the woman for her sickness such as anxiety and ambivalence towards the pregnancy. NVP is commonly referred to as morning sickness but this term is in fact a misnomer. Fewer than 2% of sufferers report experiencing it only in the morning, most pregnant women experience nausea or vomiting at some time during their pregnancy with some estimates ad high as 90%. The causes of NVP are elusive. Physical explanation is one but inconclusive. Research has focused on a range of theories. For example NVP may be an evolutionary adaptive mechanism to avoid the ingestion of toxins and teratogens during the critical period of embryonic growth and NVP may be a result of either enhanced olfactory or taste mechanism but research has proven to be inconclusive. For severe NVP is essential that one receive care and support. Women need to be monitored for dehydration and if necessary admitted to hospital. Psychologically it is important not to blame women, the myth is that NVP occurs to women who are anxious, in actual fact the NVP causes the anxiety not the other way round.

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