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Morning Sickness – Causes, Signs, Treatments, & Prevention 27 January, 2022   

The 'good news' that you're pregnant is only the beginning of a journey that involves many physical and emotional changes you need to deal with on your way to childbirth. Generally, for most pregnant women, the first and the most noticeable sign of pregnancy is morning sickness. Here's everything you need to know about the symptoms, causes, treatments, and preventive measures for morning sickness during pregnancy.

What is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is a common early symptom of pregnancy that involves nausea and occasional vomiting. However, the "morning" part of this term is quite a misnomer because it neither always happens in the morning nor is severe sickness. It typically hits in the morning and usually resolves as the day goes on. Despite its name, morning sickness can hit you at any time of the day or night. According to various studies, morning sickness affects up to 80% of pregnant women.

When Does Morning Sickness Start?

Morning sickness typically starts in the first trimester, between weeks 6 to 9. It peaks between weeks 10 to 16 and usually subsides between weeks 12 to 16 of pregnancy. However, morning sickness can start earlier for some expectant moms and last longer, even up to the third trimester.

Causes of Morning Sickness

The exact causes of morning sickness are still unknown, but most experts agree that the hormonal changes of pregnancy are responsible for it:

#Estrogen Levels

The estrogen level during pregnancy can be 100 times higher compared to levels found in non-pregnant women. The change in hormone levels can trigger morning sickness.

#Progesterone Levels

During pregnancy, the rising progesterone levels relax the stomach and intestine, leading to excess stomach acid and ultimately causing acid reflux or vomiting.

#Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

Soon after conception, the developing embryo produces this hormone, and then later, the placenta produces it. An increased level of the pregnancy hormone hCG may worsen morning sickness.

#Sense of Smell

A sharper sense of smell due to various pregnancy hormones might aggravate your nausea further.


Low blood sugar (glucose) level caused by the placenta draining energy from your body can sometimes cause morning sickness.

Other factors that can worsen morning sickness include:

  • First-time pregnancy
  • Emotional stress
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Genetics
  • Hot weather
  • Having twins or triplets
  • Frequent traveling

Signs & Symptoms of Morning Sickness

The most common symptoms of morning sickness include:

  • Feeling queasy and nauseated
  • Strong aversion to certain foods
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling weak or light-headed
  • Nausea that leads to vomiting
  • Nausea that strikes after eating
  • Depression, when there is severe vomiting

Possible Complications of Morning Sickness

Normal morning sickness generally doesn't harm you and your baby. However, if left untreated, severe nausea and vomiting can cause you several pregnancy complications. Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Inability to keep foods or liquids down due to severe vomiting
  • Weight loss of 2 pounds or more
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Infrequent urination with dark-colored urine
  • Blood in your vomit
  • Frequent headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Severe nausea within the second trimester

At-home Treatments for Morning Sickness

For most cases of morning sickness, supplements or medications are not required. You can treat it at home with the following tips:

  • Wait for a while before getting up in the morning
  • Eat small meals and snacks slowly and frequently
  • Snack on nuts, fruits, and crackers
  • Don't lie down right after eating
  • Avoid being exposed to smells that trigger morning sickness
  • Drink fluids between your meals
  • Avoid eating oily foods
  • Don't eat deep-fried, fatty, acidic, or junk foods
  • Eat dishes served cold or at room temperature
  • De-stress and get plenty of rest/sleep
  • Keep yourself well-hydrated all the time
  • Take carbonated beverages in moderation
  • Add ginger to your pregnancy diet as it helps relieve nausea
  • Identify nausea triggers and avoid them

Tips to Prevent Morning Sickness

There's no way to prevent morning sickness completely. However, you can take the following steps to minimize the chances of nausea:

  • Take naps
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid spicy foods and foods high in sugar
  • Eat small meals
  • Drink water before and after meals
  • Avoid fatty foods
  • Take vitamins at night
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Ventilate your home to eliminate triggers that make you nauseous

If none of the treatments and preventive measures mentioned above works, you must consult your healthcare provider.

Author Bio:- I’m Darfashan Parveen — A passionate blogger, having 7+ years of experience. I love to read and write about Pregnancy, Parenting, and Baby Care to make people aware of parenthood challenges and easy ways to overcome them.

Pregnancy Pregnant New Moms Morning Sickness Healthy Pregnancy

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