Everything You Need To Know About Morning Sickness and How To Manage It

Morning sickness happens to the majority of women during their first trimester of pregnancy. It is characterized by nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. While “morning” is in the name, it can hit at any point in the day. It is not uncommon to experience symptoms for a prolonged period of time beyond the early hours of the day. For a lot of women, morning sickness can easily become one of the hardest parts of being pregnant. Below, we have answered some of your most common questions about morning sickness and how to reduce the pain:

When will I start to feel morning sickness? 

Morning sickness usually begins anywhere from 6-9 weeks of pregnancy but could pop up at any point in pregnancy. Not all women experience symptoms, so if you don’t, you are one of the few, and there is nothing wrong! 

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), and for those that experience symptoms beyond that, they are usually a lot more subdued and not as serious. However, some women have morning sickness for a lot longer than the first 12 weeks, and some even get a return of symptoms during the last trimester. 

What will morning sickness feel like? 

Each woman experiences a different range of symptoms. Some of the common ones are: 

● Nausea, or a prolonged feeling of needing to vomit (regardless of whether or not you actually vomit)

● Vomiting, which can occur once a day or more 

● Hunger pain, but not wanting to eat

● Heartburn or acid reflux

● A sense of seasickness or motion sickness

Can morning sickness be serious? 

Most women feel sick for long periods of time throughout the day, which is completely normal. If you vomit 0-2 times a day, you have nothing to worry about. However, sometimes morning sickness can be so severe that a woman throws up an increased amount, meaning 3 or more times. It is possible for morning sickness to develop into hyperemesis gravidarum, or persistent nausea and vomiting. If you can’t seem to stop vomiting, talk to your doctor immediately. With hyperemesis gravidarum, there is an increased risk of weight loss, dehydration, and other complications.

Nutrition tips to help ease morning sickness: 

Because most women experience an aversion to strong scents or tastes, bland foods might be your best friend during this time. Aim to eat unseasoned foods that are high in carbohydrates and proteins, and low in fat. Additionally, eating easily digestible foods like cooked fruits and veggies, oatmeal, crackers or broth will avoid upsetting the stomach further, and could help alleviate symptoms. 

What are strategies for avoiding morning sickness? 

Morning sickness can sometimes be triggered by both the feeling of an empty or full stomach. To avoid this, a lot of women eat small portions of food throughout the day and snack constantly. Keeping a snack in your purse or nightstand is a good idea. Additionally, eating immediately after waking up (even before you leave your bed) can fill your stomach slightly before you even get the chance to feel nauseous.  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. Some women find that smelling lemons or other citrus helps to decrease nausea. 

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

Yes, many lifestyle modifications can decrease the symptoms of morning sickness. Snacking constantly, avoiding strong odors and tastes and avoiding taking prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach are all good ways to combat morning sickness before it happens. It is also important to let your food start to digest before you lay down. Meaning, right after you eat, go on a small walk or stand for a while before you sit or lay down can help your body start the digestive process and hopefully stop you from getting sick. 

Are there any home treatments for morning sickness? 

Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy to calm a queasy stomach. Incorporating ginger into your daily diet whenever possible may help you fight nausea. Ginger can be consumed in soups, drinks, candy, or supplements. If nothing else, steeping some ginger tea, or putting some fresh ginger shavings in hot water can help. Also, some women find that sucking on hard candy helps keep their minds off their stomachs, so keeping peppermints, lemon candy or suckers nearby might help.

Are there any medications that can decrease morning sickness? 

Some medications can be safe for use in pregnancy and can help to decrease morning sickness. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements or over-the-counter medicine. Additionally, your doctor might be able to prescribe 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 team at Care Net Milwaukee is here to help support you throughout your pregnancy. Whether you’re a first-time mom or have experienced pregnancy before, check out our scheduled pregnancy and parenting classes. 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 moms as well.

Resources 
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/morning-sickness/symptoms-causes /syc-20375254 
https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/vomiting-an d-morning-sickness/ 
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16566-morning-sickness-nausea-and-v omiting-of-pregnancy 
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/morning-sickness/diagnosis-treatme nt/drc-20375260

Care Net has been serving Milwaukee area women since 1985 and through this blog, we hope to continue sharing with the greater community peace, hope, and information related to pregnancy.