Morning sickness is common during pregnancy. The symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, and aversion to certain foods. Despite its name, morning sickness can happen at any time of day.
If you’re pregnant, you may be wondering when you can expect to be done with the worst of your morning sickness. Different people will have different experiences, but there are some general time frames that you can expect morning sickness to peak.
Read on to learn more about morning sickness, when it peaks, and ways to help fight prenatal nausea.
Morning sickness is uncomfortable, but in general, it’s not dangerous. In most pregnant people, it goes away after the first trimester.
Some newer studies have been trying to assess when nausea and vomiting tends to generally start during a pregnancy. A 2021 study examined the anecdotal evidence of 256 women, and found that it may start earlier than was previously thought. This may align with specific developmental stages.
Nausea is the most common symptom of morning sickness. Some people also experience vomiting. You might notice that the nausea is worse when you encounter certain smells or when you eat certain types of foods. The particular nauseating food and odor is different for everyone.
At the peak of morning sickness, nausea and vomiting may be slightly worse and more frequent. However, it should still be mild. Many people find that they need to take it easy during the peak of morning sickness.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is an extreme form of morning sickness that results in severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It’s rare, occurring in about
HG is different from the mild symptoms typically seen with morning sickness. Instead, it’s characterized by:
- nausea that doesn’t subside
- nausea accompanied by severe vomiting
- vomiting that causes severe dehydration
- losing more than 10 pounds or 5 percent of your body weight due to vomiting
- feeling lightheaded and dizzy
If untreated, HG can lead to dehydration and poor weight gain during pregnancy. In addition to potentially affecting a person’s quality of life, these factors can cause a serious risk of harm, growth issues, or even death of the fetus.
HG usually extends beyond the first trimester. It may resolve by the fifth month of pregnancy. For some people, it continues for the entire pregnancy.
Talk with your doctor if you’re vomiting many times each day and unable to eat or drink anything without being sick.
There’s no known way to prevent morning sickness, but there are ways to manage its symptoms.
Your doctor might suggest that you take a vitamin B6 supplement, antihistamine, or anti-nausea medication. Always talk with your doctor before taking any type of vitamin, herb, or medicine. Certain substances can harm your baby.
The following steps and lifestyle changes are recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to help minimize nausea.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Take naps and rest often.
- Air out your home and workspace to eliminate nauseating scents.
- Eat small meals or just snacks throughout the day.
- Sip ginger ale or ginger tea.
- Take vitamins at night instead of during the day.
- Take care of your teeth, as vomiting can cause tooth issues.
- Don’t eat very spicy foods.
- Don’t eat very large meals.
- Don’t eat a lot of fatty or greasy foods.
- Don’t drink a lot of water or fluids with meals.
- Don’t lie down after eating.
- Don’t cook spicy or strong-smelling foods for yourself or other people.
Remembering that morning sickness usually goes away by the third or fourth month can help.
It might be difficult to eat nutrient-dense foods when you’re living with morning sickness, but try to have an eating plan with lots of vegetables and protein. Eat healthy fats like avocado and eggs, and be sure to drink lots of water.
Also try these 14 recipes to help ease morning sickness.