Mandy Moore has revealed she was “really sick” and “lost a bunch of weight” during the first trimester of her pregnancy.
The This Is Us star, 36, who is expecting her first child with husband Taylor Goldsmith, 35, was speaking on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show about the struggles she’d experienced during the first stage of her pregnancy.
The actor admitted that while she feels “very lucky” to be welcoming a baby next year, the early stages of her pregnancy left her unable to eat and having to spend lengthy periods in bed.
“I was really sick in the beginning,” she revealed. “Super sick, but I was home. So I didn't have to miss out on work.”
“I don't know how women do it,” she continued. “I literally woke up and was sick all day long. I couldn’t eat, I lost a bunch of weight. I just stayed in bed all day.”
Watch: 'This Is Us' prepared Mandy Moore for motherhood
Moore, who announced her pregnancy in September, was able to hole up at home and is now through the worst of it.
“I know that’s not the case for everybody, that it sometimes can persevere for the entire pregnancy,” she continued.
“So I’m lucky that that kind of trailed off, and I feel much better now, but beyond that, I feel like I had my energy back and feeling good. Like nope, no complaints.”
What is morning sickness?
Moore isn’t alone in finding that so called ‘morning sickness’ can actually last all day.
“Despite nausea experienced during pregnancy often being called ‘morning sickness’, it can occur any time during the day and can be experienced throughout pregnancy,” explains Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife, and co-founder of My Expert Midwife.
“Unfortunately for many pregnant women, feeling nauseous is very common as there are lots of changes, especially hormonal changes, occurring in the body.”
According to Gilchrist up to 80% of women experience some nausea and/or vomiting during their pregnancy, with around 30% of women needing to take some time off work during pregnancy due to sickness and nausea.
While a few women may feel nauseous for their entire pregnancy, it usually disappears around 12-16 weeks of pregnancy.
“However, 1-2% of women will develop hyperemesis gravidarum, extreme morning sickness, which can cause severe dehydration and hospitalisation,” Gilchrist continues.
Weight loss in pregnancy
Dr Daniel Cichi from Doctor-4-U says it is not uncommon to lose a bit of weight during the first trimester of pregnancy because of vomiting, nausea and a lack of appetite.
For most women, this should subside at around 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy and they should start to gain weight after this.
“Weight loss in the first trimester because of sickness is not usually something to worry about, particularly if this doesn’t last long and you begin to gain weight soon after,” he explains.
“However, if weight loss is continuing after the first trimester and it’s quite a significant amount of weight loss that doesn’t seem to be improving, this could be a cause for concern.
“Weight gain is important to support the growing baby through pregnancy and after if you choose to breastfeed.”
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Dr Cichi says weight is monitored as part of the prenatal checks, however, if your weight loss is severe and long-lasting you should speak to your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
“You may be given supplements or prescription medication to manage the sickness so you can gain an appetite and increase your calorie intake,” he adds.
“In severe cases of pregnancy weight loss caused by sickness, otherwise known as hyperemesis gravidarum, you may be hospitalised but this quite rare.”
If you’re losing weight during pregnancy Dr Cichi recommends you visit your doctor or midwife, particularly if you’re feeling dizzy and weak, you have stomach pain, you haven’t been able to keep anything down for 24 hours, and your urine is dark, as these could be signs of dehydration.
“Your doctor can run some tests and provide treatment if necessary,” he says.
How to manage morning sickness
Gilchrist says the most important things for pregnant women suffering with morning sickness to do is listen to their body.
“Rest as much as possible and to try to eat and drink little and often as this will keep fluid and energy levels up,” she says.
There are also self-help remedies that may help to reduce feelings of nausea and vomiting before resorting to medicines or medical help.
“For instance, ginger can be a good solution for morning sickness, as it is known for its anti-nausea properties,” she says.
Pregnant women can try ginger in different forms to see if one type helps more than another. Examples include drinking hot water with chopped fresh ginger or eating crystallised ginger and ginger biscuits.
Gilchrist also recommends trying to identify the times of the day when sickness is worst and trying to eat something small, such as a biscuit or a piece of bread, at those times, as this can help stave off the nausea.
“It may also help to avoid eating rich, creamy, or spicy foods, and stick to foods that are blander in smaller portions, rather than eating large meals,” she adds.
Dr Cichi recommends trying to eat smaller meals and space them out throughout the day.
“Instead of having three big meals you may have five smaller meals as this may be more manageable,” he says.
He also suggests sticking to the foods that you enjoy, as you’re more likely to eat them, and avoiding any foods or smells that are triggering your sickness.
When to seek help
If nothing seems to be helping, Dr CiChi recommends speaking to your GP as you may find that anti-sickness medication is the only way to stop the sickness and enable you to gain weight.
According to Gilchrist there are certain situations in which pregnant women should seek medical help for nausea and vomiting including any none of the following:
· When they have tried self-help remedies and nothing has eased their symptoms.
· They are unable to keep down any food or fluids for 24-48 hours.
· They are not passing any or very little urine and it is dark in colour.
· They feel weak or faint and not able to stand up for any length of time.