Time Period Of Experiencing Morning Sickness in Pregnancy & How to Deal With It?

In their happiness at being pregnant, most women usually don’t remember the challenges that being pregnant brings along. Your early pregnancy is going along smoothly when you are suddenly hit with the reality of pregnancy – morning sickness. For many women, the morning sickness phase of their pregnancy is often so intense that they always feel like they are swaying on a boat. It becomes difficult for them to go to work or do any of their daily chores. If you have other kids, then the problems get aggravated even more as you feel incapable of taking care of your other kids. But does this morning sickness remain during the entire pregnancy, or does it ever go away?

While it may feel like it is never going to get better, but the fact is that morning sickness will eventually subside. Let us take a look at how long does morning sickness last in pregnancy and what you can do to feel better during this phase.

Time Period Of Experiencing Morning Sickness in Pregnancy

Time Period Of Experiencing Morning Sickness in Pregnancy

It is common for most pregnant women to experience morning sickness from weeks 6 to week 12 of their pregnancy. Morning sickness typically tends to be at its peak between 8 and 10 weeks.

According to a study done in 2000, nearly 50 percent of all women are able to finish off the phase of morning sickness completely by the time they hit 14 weeks into their pregnancy.(1) Or roughly around the time when the second trimester begins. The same study also found that around 90 percent of all women tend to completely get over morning sickness by the time the 22nd week of pregnancy begins.

Even though these couple of weeks may seem to be dragging on, experiencing morning sickness is also an indication that everything is going as it should be, and the hormones are doing their work, meaning that the baby is thriving. A study carried out in 2016 found that women who have earlier experienced a pregnancy loss and in the current pregnancy are experiencing morning sickness during week 8, have a 50 percent lesser chance of having another miscarriage.(2)

However, the 2016 study was a correlational study. Therefore it was not able to suggest what was the cause and effect between experiencing morning sickness in week 8 and a lower chance of miscarriage. However, this does not necessarily mean that the opposite is true. A lack of symptoms or a lack of morning sickness does not mean that a woman is at a higher risk of suffering a miscarriage.

How Long Will You Have Morning Sickness During The Day?

If you are already in the middle of feeling nausea and vomiting, then you would have understood by now that morning sickness in no way means that you will only experience it in the morning. In fact, quite the opposite. Some women tend to feel sick all day long, while others feel their symptoms worsen during the afternoon or evening.

The term morning sickness simply refers to the fact that you are likely to wake up feeling more queasier than other days if you have gone to bed without eating the night before.

However, according to a study done by the McGill University in Canada, just 1.8 percent of pregnant women actually feel morning sickness in the morning only.(3) Due to this timing discrepancy, many medical experts have now started referring to the symptoms of nausea and vomiting as nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, or NVP.

If you are pregnant and experiencing nausea and vomiting for the better part of the day, then also you are not alone as many women do experience these symptoms throughout the day. You should get relief from these symptoms by the time your first trimester is about to end.

Can Some Women Still Have Morning Sickness After 14 Weeks?

If you still have morning sickness well into the second trimester of your pregnancy, or even if you are having severe vomiting, then you should let your doctor know about this, as it can indicate that you are suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.(4)

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition that affects a small percentage of all pregnancies.(5) Hyperemesis gravidarum causes severe and persistent vomiting that can cause dehydration. Women are usually hospitalized to prevent the risk of dehydration and other complications. If the condition sounds familiar, then you may recall that Duchess Kate Middleton also suffered from this condition during all three of her pregnancies and had to be hospitalized for treatment.(6)

Women who have hyperemesis gravidarum may go on to lose more than five percent of their total body weight. Hyperemesis gravidarum is also the second most common condition that requires hospitalization for pregnant women. Most of the cases of hyperemesis gravidarum are resolved by the 20th week, but it has been observed that in about 22 percent of women, the condition can persist until the end of their pregnancy.(5)

If you have had hyperemesis gravidarum even once, then there is a high risk of having it in all your future pregnancies as well. Some of the other risk factors of hyperemesis gravidarum include:

  • Being very young during your first pregnancy
  • Having a family history of this condition
  • Being pregnant for the first time
  • Carrying twins or multiple babies
  • Being overweight or obese

What Are The Causes Of Morning Sickness in Pregnancy?

Even today, the exact cause of morning sickness is not clear, and doctors believe that morning sickness occurs as a side effect of the hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone, which is the most common pregnancy hormone in women.(7)

When this pregnancy hormone starts to increase in the body, which is to be expected during a healthy first trimester, it is believed to cause nausea and vomiting, the symptoms of morning sickness.

This belief is also supported by the fact that people who have twins or higher-order multiples usually experience more severe morning sickness.

It is also believed that morning sickness is the body’s way of protecting the baby from exposure to any potentially harmful bacteria in foods.

At the same time, the evidence also shows that the levels of the hCG hormones tend to peak by the end of the first trimester, and then they stabilize and sometimes even begin to decline. This is another indication that hCG levels in the body are responsible for causing morning sickness.

How To Deal With Morning Sickness in Pregnancy?

As much as you may feel nauseated at the very sight of food, but the irony is that eating is the best way to help deal with morning sickness. An empty stomach will make nausea worse, and even if you don’t feel like having anything, eating smaller meals and snacks spread out throughout the day will help alleviate nausea.

Many women find it useful to eat only bland food such as crackers and toast. Sipping beverages such as juice, teas, water, lemon water, or any other fluids throughout the day will also help prevent dehydration. However, you should eat right before you are going to sleep, but keep some type of small snack handy by your bedside so that you can eat something at the earliest after waking up.

Having an empty stomach tends to worsen morning sickness. So prevent staying hungry, even if it means you have to eat something small every hour.

Conclusion

When you are pregnant, you will get a good intuition whenever something doesn’t feel quite right. While that is there, if you think that nausea and vomiting are becoming severe, you must contact your doctor immediately to prevent any complications in your pregnancy. For example, if you are vomiting many times a day, it is better to discuss with your doctor about taking some nausea medication and other solutions to prevent so much vomiting.

If you are experiencing any signs of dehydration or if you have any flu-like symptoms, then you may require to visit the hospital at the earliest. You should seek immediate medical assistance if you notice any of the following:

  • You are not producing urine
  • You have morning sickness well into the fourth month of your pregnancy
  • Your vomit appears to be bloody or brown
  • You have lost more than two pounds of weight

Remember that morning sickness will eventually get better. There are many home remedies that you can apply in the meantime to get some relief from nausea and vomiting. However, do not take any steps or medications without first consulting your doctor.

References:

  1. Lacroix, R., Eason, E. and Melzack, R., 2000. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy: a prospective study of its frequency, intensity, and patterns of change. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 182(4), pp.931-937.
  2. Hinkle, S.N., Mumford, S.L., Grantz, K.L., Silver, R.M., Mitchell, E.M., Sjaarda, L.A., Radin, R.G., Perkins, N.J., Galai, N. and Schisterman, E.F., 2016. Association of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy with pregnancy loss: a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial. JAMA internal medicine, 176(11), pp.1621-1627.
  3. Lacroix, R., Eason, E. and Melzack, R., 2000. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy: a prospective study of its frequency, intensity, and patterns of change. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 182(4), pp.931-937.
  4. Abell, T.L. and Riely, C.A., 1992. Hyperemesis gravidarum. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, 21(4), pp.835-849.
  5. NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders). (2020). Hyperemesis Gravidarum – NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders). [online] Available at: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hyperemesis-gravidarum/ [Accessed 1 Mar. 2020].
  6. NBC News. (2020). Kate Middelton’s hyperemesis gravidarum: What is it?. [online] Available at: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/kate-middleton-s-hyperemesis-gravidarum-what-it-ncna799116 [Accessed 1 Mar. 2020].
  7. Stanfordchildrens.org. (2020). default – Stanford Children’s Health. [online] Available at: https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=morning-sickness-1-2080 [Accessed 1 Mar. 2020].

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