Early pregnancy symptoms: When does morning sickness start and end?
Pregnancy comes with a whole load of different symptoms that can affect you in many ways throughout nine months.
The early stages of pregnancy can be an exciting but difficult time as your body goes through a range of physical and emotional changes.
While you experience different symptoms in the first trimester, nausea or morning sickness is one of the most noticeable and most common pregnancy symptom.
Here’s everything you need to know about morning sickness including when it’s likely to start and end during the pregnancy, what causes the symptom, as well as some ways to relieve yourself of the nausea.
What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness is a feeling of nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting. It is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, typically appearing a couple of weeks after a positive pregnancy test.
The name morning sickness comes from the fact women often feel most nauseous on an empty stomach, which is most apparent in the morning when you wake up after not eating through the night.
But don’t be fooled by the name, because morning sickness can happen at any time of the day, and it’s completely normal for women to experience all day at times.
Symptoms of morning sickness vary from slight queasiness to intense nausea and vomiting. The symptom frequently occurs on its own, but may also be triggered by certain foods, smells, heat and stress.
However, if you don’t experience morning sickness during pregnancy, this is completely normal as well. Every pregnancy is unique and no two women experience it the same way.
Three out of 10 pregnant women don’t experience morning sickness, so it’s not rare or concerning if you’re pregnant but don’t experience the symptom.
When does morning sickness start?
Pregnant women typically start feeling nauseous somewhere around the sixth week of your pregnancy, usually two weeks after your first missed period.
The symptom may some time appear gradually or can sometimes happen overnight.
When does morning sickness end?
Morning sickness usually peaks between week eight and 11 of pregnancy, and starts fading by the end of the first trimester.
Some women can experience nausea even in their second or third trimester as well.
If your morning sickness lasts beyond the first trimester, it might be because you’re more sensitive to the effects of hormonal changes happening to you during the pregnancy.
What causes morning sickness and is it bad for the baby?
The exact cause of morning sickness isn’t completely understood, however many doctors believe that it happens because of hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is at its highest level around the same time morning sickness is most severe. Increases in hormones estrogen and progesterone can also make it difficult to digest food.
If you’re wondering if nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite due to morning sickness is bad for your baby – rest assured. As long as you’re able to eat something and stay hydrated, your baby will be able to get all nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
What to do if you have severe morning sickness
It’s important to be aware of severe cases of morning sickness – hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) – where you’re throwing up more than two to three times a day and you’re unable keep anything down.
Signs of HG include vomiting so much that you:
Become persistently dehydrated
Can’t keep any foods or liquids down for 24 hours
Feel weak, dizzy and/or lightheaded
Lose three or more pounds in a week
In case you feel you’re experiencing HG, speak to your doctor or midwife to ensure that you and baby are getting nutrition and hydration needed to stay healthy.
How to relieve morning sickness?
There are plenty of simple yet effective tricks that can help you find relief from morning sickness.
Eat smaller meals throughout the day – An empty stomach tends to make you more nauseous so try eating small snack throughout the day in-between larger meals. Be aware of eating too much though as that can also make you nauseous – so it’s important to find a balance
Avoid foods that trigger you – Certain foods and drinks are more likely to trigger your morning sickness than others. Try to avoid caffeine, acidic foods like tomatoes as well as greasy or spicy foods that are harder for your stomach to digest
Try eating ginger – eat or drink foods with ginger added in as this helps calm nausea. Some options include ginger ale, ginger hard candy, ginger lollipops and ginger tea
Stay hydrated – Make sure you’re a lot of fluids in addition to water. Anything from sports hydration drinks to broth and juice, can help replace the nutrients you lose from vomiting
Wear a wristband – There are various wristbands designed to prevent motion sickness that you can try out. These wristbands work by applying pressure to specific pressure points that can help ease nausea. applying
Try the B.R.A.T diet – Try bland, easy to digest foods like bananas, rice, applesauce and toast
Experiment with hot and cold food – Switch between cold foods and drinks or a hot meal to see what settles your stomach more. Room temperature or warm food and drinks can sometimes cause nausea
These remedies may not work for everyone so if needed ask your doctor or midwife about what help they can provide for finding relief from morning sickness.