What to Expect With Morning Sickness in Pregnancy
That positive pregnancy test brings up all sorts of feelings: excitement, nervousness, nausea. You're not alone if you spend your mornings (and maybe even your afternoons and evenings) running to the bathroom to throw up or nibbling crackers to fend off nausea. Feeling like you're never going to make it through this stage of pregnancy? Most women leave behind morning sickness once they make it through the first trimester, so you may feel better very soon.
When Does Morning Sickness Start?
Morning sickness typically starts about four to six weeks after conception. Some newly pregnant moms experience morning sickness sooner, sometimes as early as two weeks after conception. Either way, it's one of the earliest signs of pregnancy that you'll likely notice shortly after you conceive. You may notice the symptoms peak at around nine weeks.
How Long Does Morning Sickness Last?
For most women, morning sickness ends or at least improves somewhere around the start of the second trimester. The sick feeling usually goes away at around 12 to 14 weeks. However, some women experience the not-so-pleasant effects for much longer or for the entire pregnancy.
Pregnant with multiples? Your morning sickness won't necessarily last longer than women who are pregnant with just one baby. But, with twins, you may feel more intense nausea because of higher levels of some hormones.
Symptoms of Morning Sickness
You know when you have morning sickness. The symptoms are nausea and vomiting, and they're impossible to miss if you have morning sickness. Not all moms-to-be actually vomit with morning sickness. You may feel nauseous without vomiting, or you may get lucky and have no morning sickness at all. Despite the name, you can feel morning sickness any time of the day.
Some moms have severe morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. The normal nausea and vomiting of morning sickness are much more severe and can even cause dehydration and weight loss. If you're pregnant with multiples, you're at a higher risk of having hyperemesis gravidarum. Check with your doctor if you vomit more than four times a day, feel dizzy or lightheaded, lose weight, or show symptoms of dehydration. You may need treatment, including IV medications, at the hospital.
How to Relieve Morning Sickness Symptoms
On one hand, morning sickness is a good thing because it's a sign you're pregnant. On the other, no one wants to spend weeks feeling constantly sick. You may not be able to get rid of morning sickness completely, but you can ease the symptoms to make it a bit more tolerable. Try these options:
- Eat lots of small meals or snacks throughout the day, so your tummy is never empty.
- Choose low-fat foods with lots of carbs and protein. Greasy, spicy and fatty foods can make it worse.
- Drink fluids regularly. Ginger drinks may help ease nausea.
- Get fresh air when you can.
- Notice what makes you feel worse, and try to avoid those triggers. For example, some pregnant women feel nauseous when they smell certain odors.
- If your prenatal vitamins make your nausea worse, try taking them at night, or divide each pill and take half in the morning and half at night. It can also help to take prenatal vitamins along with a snack.