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Morning sickness is the conversational name for nausea and vomiting experienced during pregnancy. It’s called morning sickness because many women experience the most severe symptoms first thing in the morning.
However, many would prefer to call it “anytime sickness,” as the nausea can come and go (or even be worse at other times of day, such as in the evening).
The stereotype of morning sickness is a pregnant woman who throws up as soon as her feet hit the floor in the morning, but most moms report a variety of symptoms. Some throw up frequently, some are nauseated all day, and some just have nausea triggered by certain smells or foods.
Morning sickness most commonly begins around week 6 of pregnancy, although a few moms report feeling nausea as early as 4 weeks pregnant (which is only 2 weeks after conception!).
Week 4 of pregnancy is around the time your period is due to start. Most women have a positive pregnancy test at 5 to 6 weeks pregnant (which is typically 1 to 2 weeks after your period was due).
Symptoms may start out somewhat mildly around 6 weeks, get worse and peak around 9 to 10 weeks, and then decrease as you get closer to 12 to 14 weeks.
When does morning sickness end?
If you have morning sickness, you’re likely counting the days until you start feeling better. For many expecting moms, morning sickness begins to improve around 12 to 14 weeks (so around the start of the second trimester).
Almost all mothers report that their symptoms are completely gone by 16 to 20 weeks, although up to 10 percentTrusted Source of women have nausea all the way up to delivery. Oof.
Occasionally, nausea may resurface in the third trimester as the baby gets bigger and squishes your stomach and intestines (which doesn’t make for the most comfortable digestion).
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While morning sickness does not start earlier if you are carrying twins, it may be more severe once it does start.
The theory is that pregnancy hormones — such as progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) that are produced by the placenta — are responsible for sickness in the first place.
If you’re pregnant with twins, you have higher levels of these hormones, and therefore might experience more severe morning sickness.
While it may be very uncomfortable (or even downright miserable) and disruptive to your daily life, the positive news is that morning sickness is very rarely harmful to you or your baby.
A 2016 study Trusted Source from the National Institutes of Health showed that women who experience morning sickness may be less likely to experience a miscarriage. Morning sickness may indicate a healthy placenta that is producing plenty of pregnancy-supporting hormones.
A very small percentage of women have an extreme form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition includes severe, uncontrollable nausea and vomiting that can result in weight loss, electrolyte imbalances, malnutrition, and dehydration. It can be harmful to you and your baby if left untreated.
If you’re throwing up more than you expected to, cannot eat or drink, develop a fever, lose more than 2 pounds in a week, or have dark-colored urine, it is important to call your doctor. They can check on you and your baby, and help control your vomiting so you can stay hydrated and nourished.
what are the symptoms?
Morning sickness is a feeling of nausea, sometimes also accompanied by vomiting. It can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy for many women, appearing a couple weeks after a positive pregnancy test.
Despite being called morning sickness, pregnancy nausea can happen at any time of day. Women often feel the most nauseous on an empty stomach, which is most apparent when you wake up after not eating all night, hence how it got its name.
Morning sickness symptoms frequently occur on their own, but can also be triggered by certain foods, smells, heat, stress and other factors. The feeling can range from slight queasiness, like being a little carsick, to more intense nausea and vomiting.
Can you be pregnant and not have morning sickness?
Morning sickness is made out to be very common in movies and television, and it is. But it’s also possible to be pregnant without experiencing it. Three out of 10 pregnant women don’t experience morning sickness, so it’s not rare or concerning if that’s the case.
The same goes for aversions to certain foods or smells. Every pregnancy is unique, so not every pregnant woman will experience the same symptoms. If you think you could be pregnant but aren’t experiencing morning sickness or other symptoms, taking a pregnancy test is the only way to find out for sure.
What causes morning sickness?
While the exact cause isn’t well understood, many doctors believe morning sickness happens because of hormones. The pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) reaches its highest level around the same time morning sickness is most severe. And, increases in the hormones estrogen and progesterone can make it harder for your body to digest food, adding to stomach discomfort.
Are morning sickness and nausea inevitable during pregnancy?
Since morning sickness affects around 80 percent of pregnant people, it may feel like an unavoidable part of pregnancy. The likelihood increases with genetic predisposition and psychological discomfort. In other words, you’re more likely to develop nausea during pregnancy if your mom experienced it or if you’re experiencing stress or anxiety.
However, some people don’t experience any symptoms of morning sickness. If you’re part of the 80 percent who does, though, some precautions and self-care tips can help manage the symptoms. Taking vitamin B6 during pregnancy can reduce the severity of morning sickness in some cases.