What Is Morning Sickness (And How To Manage It)?

You’ve probably heard of morning sickness at some point in your life. Although it is called “morning sickness”, it isn’t exclusive to the early hours of the day. Some women experience symptoms throughout the day or for extended hours. This nausea can sometimes be one of the most challenging parts of pregnancy. Here are some of the answers to your questions about morning sickness.

When will I start to feel morning sickness? 

Morning sickness usually begins anywhere from 6-9 weeks of pregnancy. This timeframe isn’t true for all women, so it’s important to know that symptoms can start or end before or after this time, and some women don’t experience any sickness at all!

 How long will morning sickness last? 

The good news is most women only feel morning sickness symptoms for the first trimester of their pregnancy (first 12 weeks). After this time, symptoms tend to subside or go away completely. However, some women have a return of sickness during the third trimester (weeks 28-40).

What will morning sickness feel like? 

There are a lot of variances in morning sickness symptoms. A few of the most common experiences include: 

● Nausea, which is an overall feeling that you need to vomit

● Vomiting, which can occur once a day or more. 

● Hunger pain, but having an aversion to food. 

● Heartburn or acid reflux. 

● A prolonged feeling similar to sea sickness or motion sickness

Can morning sickness be serious? 

When it comes to morning sickness, feeling nauseous for a period each day and possibly throwing up once or twice is not unexpected. However, morning sickness can develop into a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. This is when the nausea does not cease, and a woman throws up 3-4 or more times each day. If you cannot stop throwing up, or if your morning sickness is severe, contact your OB/GYN as soon as possible. Throwing up excessively can lead to dehydration and other issues that could become serious.

What to eat to help ease my morning sickness? 

Eating bland foods that are high in carbohydrates or proteins and low in fat can help calm the stomach. Foods like vegetables, fruits, eggs, oatmeal, crackers, and broths may be good choices. Because a lot of women have food aversions during this time, unseasoned food may become your friend during these first few weeks. Some women could also benefit from a ginger supplement to ease a queasy stomach. Talk to your healthcare provider before consuming any supplements. 

What are strategies for avoiding morning sickness? 

Eating in small portions throughout the day instead of big meals can often lessen symptoms of morning sickness. Aim to always have a half-full stomach. Morning sickness can be triggered by both an empty and a full stomach. Some women find that keeping a snack on their nightstand and eating it before they get up in the morning can calm early morning sickness, and keeping a snack in your purse to eat throughout the day will keep you feeling full. Smells can often be a trigger as well, so keeping something that you can sniff to counteract whatever smell is making you nauseous can be beneficial. For example, some women find that smelling lemons helps to decrease nausea. 

Are there any lifestyle modifications I can make to help with morning sickness? 

Avoiding strong smells and tastes, grazing on food throughout the day, getting lots of sleep, and avoiding taking prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach can all help alleviate symptoms. Additionally, waiting a little bit to lie down after you eat can help reduce morning sickness as well. Going on a little walk, folding some laundry while standing, or standing outside for some fresh air are all things you can do to help your body digest some food before you lie down. 

Are there any home treatments for morning sickness? 

When it comes to home remedies, many people find that ginger can help to calm their stomachs. Ginger has been used for centuries to help calm an upset stomach, and people take it to solve a myriad of motion sickness symptoms. Ginger can be eaten in soups, real ginger ale, ginger supplements, ginger candy, or tea. Some women also find that sucking on a lemon drop, peppermint or any other hard candy can help to ease their nausea. 

Are there any medications that can decrease morning sickness? 

There are some medications that can be safe for use in pregnancy that can help to decrease morning sickness. Consult your doctor in order to receive a prescription for a medication to relieve morning sickness. Your doctor may prescribe an antiemetic, which is a medication that reduces nausea. You may alternatively be prescribed an antihistamine, which is generally an anti-allergy drug but can be used to treat nausea.

Our staff at Center for Women are here to help support you throughout your pregnancy. Whether you’re a first-time mom or have experienced pregnancy before, contact us for more information on parenting class options (offered to both men and women)! Our classes are a great opportunity to get answers to some of those lingering questions you might have about pregnancy and to get connected with other parents as well.

Center for Women provides free pregnancy counseling services, pregnancy testing, viability ultrasounds, STD information, and so much more. If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy feel free to reach out for support. We’re here for you every step of the way.