What actually is morning sickness and how long does morning sickness last?
Why do pregnant women have nausea and vomiting?
I can’t eat properly due to vomiting; will it affect my baby?
What can I do to get relief from morning sickness?
Morning sickness is one pregnancy symptom that majority of pregnant women will have to go through especially in the first trimester.
Here is a post all about morning sickness during pregnancy and how long it lasts!
What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness is one among the first signs of pregnancy which involves symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Therefore morning sickness is often termed as NVP which means ‘nausea and vomiting of pregnancy’.
Unlike the name suggests morning sickness doesn’t necessarily happen only when a woman rises out of bed in the morning, it may occur anytime in a day. That is the reason we call it a distorted term.
Some of you will be amazed to know that for a few women, morning sickness is worse in the morning and gets better over the day. While for others it may happen at any time during the course of a day.
The intensity of morning sickness varies from body to body. Vomiting is more often seen during the first trimester as compared to nausea.
When I fell pregnant, morning sickness was the very first symptom I faced. It triggered anytime during the day right from week 5 and I used to throw up everything I ate or drank.
Later weeks, it became so severe that my eyes popped out red and wet every time I puked. I had no option but to talk over with my gynecologist and get myself treated. After remedies didn’t work for me, I was prescribed to take the tablets an hour before eating to keep my gut strong and not throw up. The medication helped me ease the symptoms and eventually subside over the week 10.
Causes of morning sickness
When a human body starts making room to nurture a baby inside, massive changes take place. The hormonal and physical changes that take place start showing signs, nausea, and vomiting being one of the starting signs. Some changes that take place include:
- Human Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG):
hCG hormone tends to rise promptly early during pregnancy. Although the rise of the hormone is not associated with morning sickness, the symptom, and hCG hormone level rise rapidly at the same time. Hence it is considered as a reason for what causes morning sickness in pregnancy.
Another hormone that rises speedily during early pregnancy may also be a contributing factor for morning sickness.
- Mental stress:
There’s always a preconceived notion about vomiting and nausea as the first sign of pregnancy among women which adds to the psychological stress.
- Increased sense of smell:
If you are pregnant already you must be familiar with the fact that your sense of smell has started to work too much while pregnant. Thanks to all the hormonal changes, now you can smell and identify things even when they are 2 rooms away!! And of course certain aromas irritate you like they never did before and trigger a gag reflex during the time of pregnancy.
- A sensitive stomach:
During the early stages of pregnancy, the digestive tract of some women are more sensitive leading to vomiting.
Is morning sickness more for some pregnant women than others?
The degree of nausea and vomiting one has to deal with while pregnant changes from person to person and from pregnancy to pregnancy.
Some pregnant women tend to feel queasier while others have very mild morning sickness which doesn’t bother them at all.
You have a high chance of feeling queasier if:
- You’re pregnant with multiples
- You are inclined to motion sickness
- You have a morning sickness history in your family
- You face symptoms like nausea and vomiting as a side effect of taking birth control tablets
- You had morning sickness symptom in your previous pregnancy
- You have a migraine headache
Is morning sickness harmful?
Reports suggest that morning sickness isn’t a harmful condition for either mother or the baby. In fact, as per gynecological information, it is a good sign of placenta developing properly.
Moderate symptoms don’t harm the mother or the baby. Poor weight gain in the first trimester is also not a reason to worry.
In normal cases, pregnant women overcome nausea and vomiting by 12th week of pregnancy, start being able to keep food and start gaining weight thereafter.
However if at all vomiting doesn’t let you stay hydrated, doesn’t let you take balanced meal and keep food down in the stomach; you should see the doctor right away.
How long does morning sickness last in terms of nausea and vomiting?
According to the surveys, it is found that more than 50% women experience this symptom as they enter the first pregnancy trimester. Usually, nausea and vomiting begin somewhere around the week 6 of pregnancy and morning sickness goes away by around 12th to 14th week of pregnancy.
Having said so, for some women the symptom could occur right from week 4 of getting pregnant. Once started, it generally gets worse over the coming weeks and later subsides to feel completely relieved by week 14 of pregnancy.
In occasional cases, morning sickness could also last for an additional of 3-4 weeks more for the unsettled stomach to restore. Very rarely, for a few women, the symptoms come and go or may remain throughout the phase of pregnancy.
Do’s and Don’t for getting relief from morning sickness
This one, among the very first pregnancy symptoms, feels exhaustive and depressed to many women and leave them thinking how tough would later months be when the start itself is so terrible. But don’t get too stressed on this morning sickness, there are ways to help you feel better.
One should talk over with the expert about tips on relief. Meanwhile, you may also practice the below measures:
- Eat small portions of meals frequently.
- Take nutritious diet in small snacks through the day
- Choose foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates. This may help you.
- Get proper rest and take naps
- After waking up, sit for a while instead of jumping off the bed directly
- Exercising with proper guidance
- Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms
- Eat slowly
- Avoid fried, spicy, fatty and acidic foods
- Avoid warm places. Keep the rooms ventilated to let the fresh air in.
- Avoid smells that make you feel like throwing up. They might include aromatic fragrances.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated. Here are 8 refreshing drinks for you.
- Lemon, ginger, and lemonades are a few morning sickness remedies that really work
- Peppermint candies and sour candies also provide relief from morning sickness
- Crackers and toasts are also good
- Do not drink fluids along with meals. Prefer drinking fluids 45 minutes before/after taking meals
- Do not hesitate about eating in fear of vomiting out.
- Don’t eat hot food as it feels better to have food at room temperature
- Do not lie down immediately after taking food or drinking fluids.
Are there medications for morning sickness?
Nausea and vomiting can become miserable for many pregnant women as they can’t keep food and remain nauseated round the clock. When tips and suggestions don’t work, one should get in touch with concerned health care expert and start taking tablets as per prescription.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum – very severe morning sickness
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a state where in you experience severe vomiting and nausea, weight loss and disturbance of electrolytes. Most women mildly suffering from this condition are treated by proper rest, measures of diet and certain antacids.
However more severe cases might require medical attention and even admittance at the hospital. It is suggested to consult the gynecologist for right treatment at right time. Prolonged morning sickness may put the mother at the risk of low birth weight of the baby, pre-term birth.
You require medical attention if :
- Nausea and vomiting do not subside even after 12 weeks of pregnancy
- Nausea and vomiting started after week 9 of your pregnancy
- If at all vomiting goes along with pain and fever
- If you experience severe nausea and vomiting that food does not remain in the stomach at all
- There is too much of weight loss and dehydration
- You have swelling in the front of neck
- You have blood when you vomit
- You can’t even stand due to nausea
Morning sickness is one common pregnancy symptom that most women have to deal with. It is nothing to worry about and will not harm your growing baby. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy will mostly go away by 12 to 14 week of pregnancy. Know about Hyperemesis Gravidarum and if you feel you have symptoms do consult a doctor for proper treatment.
I hope now you have an idea about what morning sickness is, how long it lasts, how you can get relief from it and other questions around the topic.
Do share your experiences about the symptoms you experienced during pregnancy and tips on how you overcame the same.