You’ve taken your pregnancy test and confirmed that a little bundle of joy is blossoming inside of your belly. Just as you’ve started sharing the news with friends, family, and everyone you know on Facebook, you start to notice that your mornings begin a bit...queasy.
For many women across the globe, the first symptoms of pregnancy come in the unfortunate form of nausea and vomiting. Flaring up as soon as five weeks into your first trimester, your increased hormones are sent into overdrive and leave you with that woozy, nauseous feeling.
Fortunately, studies have found that morning sickness symptoms pose no health risks to you or your baby. It’s just one of those curious things that happens to a woman’s pregnant body. We’ll walk you through curious facts and answer questions you may have about morning sickness—giving you the peace of mind you deserve during your first trimester.
Morning sickness is the combination of nausea and vomiting that occurs during pregnancy. Especially common during the first trimester of pregnancy, morning sickness is a completely normal characteristic of early pregnancy. In fact, four out of five pregnant women experience morning sickness symptoms during their first trimester.
Though nausea and vomiting are the most common symptoms women report, there are a number of other side effects that can make up your unique morning sickness formula.
Some women experience extreme fatigue and sudden exhaustion. Normal everyday tasks may become difficult to complete, and keeping up a busy routine may prove to be too overwhelming for your body and mind. Around 50% of pregnant women suffer bouts of vomiting during their first trimester, and of that percentage, many have to take multiple trips to the toilet throughout the day.
There are a number of symptoms of morning sickness that stretch beyond nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms of Morning Sickness
Fortunately, experiencing morning sickness does not indicate a downturn in your baby’s health; rather, it could very well mean the opposite! Studies have found that women who experience morning sickness have a significantly reduced risk of miscarriage within the first eight weeks of pregnancy. But remember, every pregnant body is different. If you’re among the small percentage of women that never experience morning sickness, don’t panic (and feel lucky)!
While there are many theories out there about what causes morning sickness, there is no sure answer among doctors and scientists. Some of the theories behind the causes of morning sickness include increased sensitivity, stress, fatigue, genetics, and first-time pregnancy status. Let’s break these down, one by one.
This can be said for women with sensitive stomachs, as well. Though some people are just born with more sensitive digestive tracts, pregnant women may find that their tummy can’t handle spicy foods, acidic foods, or certain meats very well.
Exposure to unbalanced hormones and bodily changes may throw new moms into a frenzy of confusion and anxiety. But again, everyone mom-to-be is different, some bodies are simply queasier than others.
When you wake up and have to make an immediate run for the toilet, the first question you’ll probably ask yourself before saying “not again!” will probably by “why is this happening?” Again, there is no definitive answers that scientists or doctors can find.
It has been debated that morning sickness occurs as an evolutionary instinct to protect expecting women from consuming dangerous foods, but it could also just be an unpleasant side effect that arises when hormone levels change. Researchers have even considered that morning sickness could be the result of the internal tug of war for resources going on in your body between your body and your growing baby.
Wondering why you may feel sudden bouts of extreme nausea? There are a number of triggers that could provoke that queasy feeling without you doing much of anything. These common scents could send your pregnant body into puke mode.
These triggers may make trips to the grocery store or even your own fridge a daunting task. Learning your triggers and managing a diet and environment that is free of them and friendlier to your body will soften the blow morning sickness deals time and time again.
If you are part of the 80% to 90% of pregnant women who struggle with regular bouts of morning sickness, you can expect these symptoms to start up as early as the middle of your fifth week.
This is also about a week and a half after your first missed period. A small percentage of women experience morning sickness before missing their period, but most women will not feel any nausea until after.
Morning sickness starts to creep up during weeks 6, 7, and 8 of pregnancy. Women closing in on week 14 without any symptoms aren’t likely to experience any morning sickness at all. Like all things with individual bodies, some moms-to-be may experience a later onset date than other moms do.
There is nothing comforting or pleasant about morning sickness, and it may feel like there are hundreds of things that can trigger it, and close to nothing that can soothe it. Pregnant women in search of safe, natural, and inexpensive ways to catch a break from bouts of morning sickness should consider these many tips on how to relieve the symptoms of morning sickness.
It won’t be long before you feel absolutely sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, when does morning sickness end? Typically morning sickness will go away around the 11 to 14 week mark of your pregnancy, but could show signs of slowing as early as week 10.
This is generally close to the finish of your first trimester. By the you’ve started thinking about setting up a nursery or buying a baby bassinet, your morning sickness should be a distant memory. A small percentage of women may find that their morning sickness symptoms extend beyond the 14 week mark.
Common as morning sickness may be, there is no getting used to that dreaded queasy feeling that rears its ugly head when you least expect it. With constant worry of what your body will do next comes a slew of worries and questions you may have about your pregnancy.
These nine months of your life are unlike any other you’ve experienced, and you want to be sure everything is safe and sound for your growing baby. Though you may understand why you get morning sickness, when morning sickness starts and ends, and how to ease the intensity of its effects, you may still have a number of questions about your wellbeing. Let’s break down some of the most frequently asked questions about morning sickness
While most women who experience morning sickness tend to cycle through it during their first trimester, there is no cause for concern if you continue to have morning sickness into the second semester. Every woman is different,which means every pregnancy is different. Unless your doctors has diagnosed you otherwise, your experience may be uncomfortable - rare even - but not abnormal.
Morning sickness is most commonly found to be a characteristic of the first trimester, and generally fades just before the beginning of the second trimester. Fortunately for pregnant women, it is incredibly unusual for morning sickness to last the entire duration of a pregnancy. Experiencing morning sickness into the second trimester is rare, but happens—however morning sickness into the third trimester should call for a doctor's visit.
When your stomach is constantly feeling queasy and upturns itself every time you vomit, it’s easy to become worried for the growing fetus habitating your stomach. Luckily your baby is unaffected by morning sickness even though you may often feel at your wits end. In fact, many studies have suggested that morning sickness is a sign of a healthy developing baby.
If your morning sickness is severe and your doctor has diagnosed you with hyperemesis gravidarum, then your baby could be susceptible to harm. Dehydration is one of many characteristics of hyperemesis, but poses the largest threat to your baby.
When your body is not getting enough liquids, the growing baby will not have enough fluids and nutrition. To properly address the problem and ensure that you and your baby are safe and healthy, women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum have been admitted to the hospital for IV fluids and nutrition. This helps them keep down the necessary nutrition, in order to maintain a healthy functioning body for both mom and baby.
Women struggling to keep anything down and suffering intense morning sickness symptoms may have a more serious condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HP). The symptoms of this condition include:
It is believed that pregnant women with HG begin to feel symptoms around the 4-6 week mark, and peak between 9-13 weeks. Though only 2% of pregnancies are affected by HG, 20% of diagnosed women require hospital care to rehab their symptoms, and since there is no known prevention for the condition, moms-to-be with severe morning sickness are highly encouraged to make an appointment with their OB-GYN instead of trying to manage it alone.
Morning sickness and the associated nausea and vomiting is never comfortable or painless, but there are significant distinctions when it comes to mild symptoms versus severe symptoms. Women who experience morning sickness come down with that queasy feeling for short spurts and vomit once or twice a day— this can be considered mild. Women who find themselves hugging the toilet several times a day and find that their symptoms make normal human functions feel close to impossible.
Triggers have no precedent over distinguishing mild symptoms from severe symptoms. Whether the scent of coffee sends you straight to the toilet, or a simple whiff of eggs does it, sickness triggers are just a part of pregnancy.
Women experiencing any severe symptoms should schedule an appointment with their OB-GYN as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may be able to recommend proper treatment or refer you to another medical professional who can conduct lab tests to check on your body’s wellbeing. Regardless of bodily changes, you should always feel free to contact your doctor at any point during your pregnancy.
With a more comprehensive understanding of when morning sickness starts and ends, what causes morning sickness, and how early to expect morning sickness, you and your growing baby can rest assured knowing your body is functioning just as it should be— even when you feel the worst.