How Soon Does Morning Sickness Start?
One of the most common complaints made by pregnant women is morning sickness. Morning sickness has various symptoms including nausea, vomiting and dislike for certain foods. Though known as morning sickness, it is possible for women to experience the symptoms at any time of the day. How the symptoms affect pregnant women also varies. Because of the way some women are severely affected by morning sickness, a lot of mums to be are interested in knowing how soon does morning sickness start?
If you are experiencing morning sickness, you may feel queasy when you get out of bed. As stated earlier though it is called morning sickness you can feel sick during the day or night but you may feel sick more in the morning because your stomach is empty.
Although morning sickness can make you feel terrible, it is considered to be a good sign of pregnancy because it means you have high pregnancy hormones in your body. The feeling of sickness you have is believed to be linked to the human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and oestrogen hormones. The body produces these hormones in large quantities until the placenta is developed enough to start nourishing your body.
Morning sickness can be a great challenge not only for you but for your partner, family and friends and can make you depressed. At this stage talking to someone experiencing what you are going through and your doctor can help you a lot.
HOW SOON DOES MORNING SICKNESS START
Usually morning sickness starts around the 6th week of pregnancy but not all pregnancies are the same and can differ from woman to woman. It usually gets worse over the next few months and can peak around the 9th week and can go on till the 16th week of pregnancy and then stops. Although there are few women that have it throughout their pregnancy, there are other women that have mild symptoms that do not disturb the way they live. There are also some other women that have some symptoms that are so serious that they have to be placed in hospital.
Morning sickness causes a lot of discomfort for many women with common symptoms being nausea and vomiting. As pregnancy progresses, some women discover that their nausea becomes worse when they smell some types of foods. The type of food and smells that leads to nausea occuring varies among pregnant women.
When morning sickness gets to its peak, the nausea and vomiting could become a bit worse and happens frequently but will not be really terrible. Several women may need to take things a bit easy when morning sickness is at its peak.
Even though morning sickness is common and may not last more than a few months, it does not mean it is not a great challenge for women. A little bit of nausea can bring you down as having bouts of nausea and vomiting can make you very tired as well as depressed. It can disrupt your normal and routine daily activities like doing your job, prevent you from doing your chores at home and can make pregnancy especially in the early stages a not to enjoyable process.
DIFFERENT INTENSITY LEVELS OF MORNING SICKNESS
The symptoms of morning sickness such as nausea and vomiting have various levels of intensity and include any of the following:
- Morning sickness can have minor symptoms because they do not happen every day and do not affect daily activities. These minor symptoms include being ill due to certain food smells and most times having nausea daily in the morning
- Morning sickness also involves having standard symptoms which feel worse in the morning but as the day continues they become better but you may still vomit but it will not be much
- There is also morning sickness that is mild and moderate that happens every day and affects the way you eat and the symptoms can go on till early afternoon.
- There are morning sickness symptoms that are awful and involve nausea that occurs all the time along with vomiting that happens twice daily. You can lose your appetite and even start vomiting because of the odor you perceive from certain foods.
- Morning sickness that is so severe that the symptoms can lead to you being hospitalized, make you need regular bed rest and leave you dehydrated. If you feel weak all the time, do not urinate much and have a fever try to see your doctor who may suggest that you be hospitalized and inject you with some IV fluids so will not be dehydrated and will get some relief.
ARE BABIES AFFECTED BY MORNING SICKNESS
Even if your morning sickness is bad it is likely that your fetus will not be harmed by the symptoms, especially if you are treated by a doctor for symptoms that are very serious.
In addition to this morning sickness is believed to be an indication of a healthy pregnancy because higher HCG levels means that many pregnancy hormones are been produced by the placenta which means you are not likely to experience a miscarriage.
This doesn’t mean that if you are not feeling sick that your pregnancy will be unhealthy, it just means that your body system is strong and you may not be affected by nausea and vomiting like other women so instead of being worried you should actually count yourself among the fortunate few who go through pregnancy without experiencing morning sickness.
WHY DOES MORNING SICKNESS OCCUR
Why morning sickness occurs is not exactly known but there are some factors that are considered to cause it, they include the following:
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG): Believed to be one of the major reasons why morning sickness involving nausea and vomiting occurs. Women with good levels of HCG have their pregnancy go on well and grow to the level when the placenta can maintain it. HCG levels reduce after some months and this is the point morning sickness usually stops.
- Estrogen level: When pregnant, estrogen levels become higher and this can contribute to nausea and vomiting happening.
- Sense of smell increases: During pregnancy there are certain smells that can make you feel nauseous. This is believed to be the protective aspect of pregnancy. Something and allows you to know which foods to eat and foods to avoid so that you and your baby will not be harmed.
- Progesterone levels: When progesterone levels become higher during pregnancy it helps to make the muscles of your digestive system relaxed and this leads to food moving slower through your system and this can make nausea and vomiting increase
- Reduced glucose levels: If your baby takes plenty of sugar which reduces your blood sugar levels greatly you can become nauseous and start vomiting.
While it seems unclear why some women have morning sickness and other do not, there are some factors that can make you experience it and they include the following:
- This is your first baby
- You are having a girl
- Having higher pregnancy hormones could mean you are having twins or triplets
- You have had nausea in the past when taking oestrogen based hormonal contraceptives
- You are susceptible to migraines or travel sickness
- At the beginning of your pregnancy you were overweight
- You got pregnant young
- You suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) in your former pregnancy. HG is a severe form of morning sickness.
- During their pregnancies, your mum or sister had HG
CAN MORNING SICKNESS BE PREVENTED?
There is no clear way to prevent morning sickness, but it is possible to manage the symptoms. There are studies that show that taking prenatal vitamins before becoming pregnant can decrease your chances of getting morning sickness. Also taking these vitamins when you are pregnant can reduce your chances of getting morning sickness. Before you decide and choose any of these medications to use make sure you talk to your doctor as some substances could be dangerous for your baby.
It is worth noting that while not all remedies may work for you, there are various options available that you can try out to get some relief. Below are some steps and changes to your lifestyle that can reduce the intensity of morning sickness.
- The first thing that you have to do is accept your condition. Though morning sickness is a physical condition, your mind also matters as the way you feel and think of morning sickness can go a long way in minimizing its effect on you and your lifestyle. Once you accept that morning sickness is a major part of being pregnant then you can go on and try various things that can help you.
- When you wake up do not get out of bed immediately, take your time. You can have some dry cereal or crackers by your bed to eat so you can have something in your stomach.
- Throughout the day you can eat some meals or snacks to avoid being too full or getting hungry
- Drink a lot of water and fluids throughout the day so you will not get dehydrated
- Take out time for yourself and get plenty of rest. This may be hard to do especially if you have lots of activities to do but all your body needs is a period to unwind and get back in shape. You can seek help from your family or friends to help you with various activities. Rest is particularly important if you have to wake up early in the morning. You should try not to sleep immediately after eating because this can increase nausea
- Try to avoid food smells that can make your nausea become worse
- Clear out your office area or home surroundings to eradicate nauseating odors
- Avoid eating spicy, fatty and greasy foods. You can prepare and have meals that are bland and do not have a strong aroma
- While having your meal avoid lying down
- To ensure that your stomach does not get too full or too empty, drink water or fluids 30 minutes before you eat or 30 minutes after you eat but do not drink water or any other fluid while eating.
- You can take some ginger or peppermint tea as it believed to be a good remedy for morning sickness
MEALS AND SNACKS YOU COULD EAT
For meals the following can help you
- Bland meals like broth, plain baked potato and chicken soup
- Cold meals such as raw vegetables, properly prepared salad as well as sandwiches
- Fruits or natural vegetables
For snacks the following could help you
- Ginger including ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger toast or jam
- Lemons which you could eat, sniff them or suck on them
- Peppermint tea
CAN MORNING SICKNESS BECOME A SERIOUS PROBLEM?
There are some situations that arise that you need to be concerned about morning sickness especially when it becomes very serious. An extreme form of morning sickness is Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). This involves having severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. This extreme form of morning sickness is not common and what causes it is not known yet.
HG is quite different from the mild symptoms normally noticed with morning sickness instead it has the following symptoms:
- Nausea that does not reduce
- Nausea continues along with severe vomiting
- Dehydration that is caused by severe vomiting
- Losing weight like around 5% of your body weight because of vomiting
- You feel dizzy and lightheaded
If HG is not properly treated it can lead to reduced weight gain and dehydration during pregnancy. It can have a major effect on a woman’s lifestyle and quality of life and can make someone depressed.
HG usually continues after the first trimester and can subside around the fifth month but for some women it can continue throughout their pregnancy.
You need to see your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above especially if you are vomiting a lot every day.
Though it may not be possible to completely get rid of morning sickness, a lot of women are able to cope with it without having any problem.
Just try to have a positive approach and have it at the back of your mind that morning sickness stops by the third or fourth month as this can help you to cope and deal with it.