Morning sickness: an overview

For most women, the toughest part of their pregnancy is the first few months where you have to experience morning sickness. 

Morning sickness is a term used to describe the nausea and vomiting experienced by many women during pregnancy. The term is a misnomer as this doesn’t just happen in the morning but can happen any time in the day. However, it varies from individual to individual.

Usually, the first bouts of morning sickness develop after the first month of pregnancy i.e. when you miss your menstrual cycle and realize you are pregnant. Your hormonal levels rise during this period.

It still hasn’t been estimated how long a woman’s morning sickness lasts. In most of the cases, this gets better or goes away by 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy but sometimes it can last throughout the entire pregnancy. This, of course, means the mother would need extra care from family members.

However, if you experience severe and persistent bouts of nausea and vomiting that doesn’t allow intake of fluids, you are advised to get yourself checked immediately by a doctor. Severe morning sickness is a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. This is a serious problem because it can lead to dehydration and malnutrition which is not good for the foetus as well as the mother. 

What are the causes of morning sickness?

To be honest, nobody exactly knows what causes morning sickness as it is because of many physical & hormonal changes in our body. Here is a list of some possible causes –

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) is a hormone that increases rapidly during pregnancy. It is still hasn’t been confirmed whether it is this that contributes to nausea and vomiting. During the time when hCG levels are high, even nausea becomes frequent and more prolonged. 

  • Estrogen too is a hormone that shoots up in early stages of pregnancy and is considered a possible cause.

  • Even the enhanced sense of smell and sharp levels of odor sensitivity during pregnancy can trigger vomiting and nausea.

  • Sometimes, the stomach becomes extra sensitive during pregnancy and results in this feeling.

  • In few cases, it was observed that due to high stress rates, women tend to feel nauseated during pregnancy. ​

Here are some tips that can help in dealing with your morning sickness –

  • Instead of having three large meals, it is advised to have small meals. Too much food can also cause nausea but it is also advised not to keep your stomach empty, as empty stomach can make nausea worse.

  • Drink lots of fluids and keep your body hydrated, at all points of time.

  • Switch to a protein-rich diet and cut your intake of fatty foods.

  • Try avoiding smell and food that may make you feel nauseated.

  • Rest as much as you can, because fatigue too triggers vomiting and nausea.

About the Author

WHL Staff

The WHL staff comprises a group of ladies out to give you exhaustive, practical health tips and resources.