Morning Sickness: Causes and Coping

Morning sickness. Despite the name, morning sickness can strike anytime time of day. Usually most intrusive during the first trimester, morning sickness can be very difficult to live with. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help ease the symptoms.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness gets its name from the many instances where pregnancy-related nausea symptoms become present in the morning. Despite its name, morning sickness can strike at just about any time. Although it is mostly predominant during the first trimester, it is not uncommon to experience these symptoms all the way until delivery.


Statistically, about 75% of all pregnant women experience morning sickness to varying degrees. About 50% will experience nausea and vomiting together, and about 25% will experience only nausea. The other 25% of pregnant women, you ask? Well, you can hate them now, lol. About ¼ of all pregnancies will not cause any form of nausea or vomiting.

Morning sickness can begin as early as four weeks into pregnancy. About half of all women who experience morning sickness will find that it has passed around the 14th week. The other half will usually find relief from its passing about four weeks after. However, some women will find that the symptoms come and go throughout their pregnancy, even right up until delivery.


While no one knows for sure what causes morning sickness, some things are found to make it worse. Because of this, some believe that these cause and effect situations may be related. You should also keep in mind the many, many changes the body goes through during pregnancy. Some of these changes that could be possible causes include:

  • Estrogen, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), and other hormones – These rise very quickly during pregnancy, and may play a role in experiences nausea and vomiting.
  • Increased sensitivity to smell – This heightened sense of smell can lead to nausea due to being overwhelmed by the strength of many combined odors.
  • Certain sensitivities and stressors – The numerous changes the body goes through may lead to sensitivities in the gastrointestinal tract. This can also lead to nausea and vomiting.

Morning Sickness and Baby

Morning sickness does not usually affect the baby. It is very common to experience these symptoms, and they do not usually pose a threat to the health and wellbeing of the baby.

However, there are situations where severe and prolonged morning sickness could become a concern. If nausea and vomiting have become so severe that you are not able to keep any food down, or are vomiting severely throughout each and every day, it’s a good idea to alert your doctor. While morning sickness in and of itself is harmless to the baby, vomiting can lead to dehydration and malnutrition. This can affect baby.

Finding Relief

One thing to keep in mind is that a certain degree of nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity is absolutely normal. It is an indicator that your pregnancy is progressing just as it should. However, if the degree of morning sickness starts becoming problematic, there are some things you can do to find some relief.

While not medically proven, millions swear by making sure that your stomach is never empty. Keeping crackers or a light snack nearby is a great idea. Eating smaller, more frequent meals is also a fantastic idea. Eating slowly is also said to help. Avoid greasy foods and foods that affect your super sense of smell.

Drink plenty of water, especially between meals, about 10-11 8oz. glasses a day. If you have been vomiting a lot and frequently, try drinking something like Gatorade. This is good for replacing lost electrolytes.

Make sure you take your prenatal vitamins! If they are hard to keep down, your doctor may recommend taking Flintstones vitamins for kids. Stay rested, and never exert yourself.

If all else fails, consult your doctor. He or she may prescribe a medication that will help dissipate the worst of the symptoms. Just remember, morning sickness comes with the territory. It will be a memory before you know it, but your newborn will be a part of you for life.

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