When Does Nausea Start In Pregnancy?
Most women feel nauseated during pregnancy. Almost three quarters of expectant women experience nausea in the first three months of pregnancy, which is one of the early signs of pregnancy.
When does nausea start after conception? Although it depends on the individual, nausea or morning sickness starts at about six to eight weeks although some women may experience it from four weeks.
For some, it can go on until fourteen weeks when it starts to ease off while others endure it for up to another one month though it may recur in the course of pregnancy. However, though few, some women experience nausea throughout the pregnancy. When nausea ends in pregnancy also depends on a person.
The intensity of nausea varies between individuals. Some women get worse symptoms in the morning that ease up during the day while others feel queasy for the whole day. The symptoms do not necessarily occur in the morning and they can be felt at any time.
For some, the nausea is usually accompanied by vomiting while others just feel queasy without vomiting.
What Causes Nausea in Pregnancy?
When a woman is pregnant, there are many changes in the body, which may be the cause for the nausea although nobody really knows why it occurs. Some of these causes are:
Hormones. Various hormones come into play to sustain a pregnancy. The level of these hormones is usually high at this time and it is suspected they contribute in causing the feeling of nausea. One such hormone is estrogen whose level rises quickly during early pregnancy. Another hormone whose level rises is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which is responsible for the development of the placenta. Women with higher levels of hCG such as those with twins tend to experience more nausea and vomiting.
- A change in blood pressure is also believed to contribute to nausea especially if the woman has low blood pressure.
Sensitivity in the stomach. Some women have gastrointestinal tracts that are more sensitive in early pregnancy.
Sensitivity to smells. During pregnancy, a woman’s sense of smell heightens and coming across some odors may trigger the queasy feeling.
Some women are more predisposed to feel more nauseous than others. Some of the reasons contributing to this include:
- Being pregnant with more than one baby, which means more production of estrogen and hCG hormones.
- If you experienced nausea with birth control pills then you are likely to feel nauseated or vomit during pregnancy.
- If you are genetically inclined by having sisters or mother who experienced it, then chances are high you will too.
- If you experience motion sickness.
- If you were nauseous or vomited during past pregnancies then you are likely to experience it again.
Nausea and the Health of the Baby
Feeling nauseous or vomiting means that you may not be eating much and the food you eat may be coming out right away. Provided it is moderate and you can keep down some food, it may not harm the health of the baby. However, you should try to eat a balanced diet.
Sometimes the doctor may recommend prenatal vitamins to ensure that you get all the nutrients in case you cannot take a balanced meal.
If the nausea is severe and you are vomiting too much so that you cannot retain anything including vitamins, food or water, then you may require treatment with medication and intravenous fluids. Usually this happens in extreme cases where the woman is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.
The measures are taken to ensure the baby gets enough nutrients. Severe vomiting deprives the body and the baby nutrients and is associated with high risks of babies with low birth weight, preterm birth and small babies.
How Do You Deal With Nausea During Pregnancy?
Almost every woman will experience nausea or even vomiting during pregnancy. For some, this can be for the whole nine months. Therefore, it is important to know how to manage the morning sickness so you can have a not-so-rough time and enjoy your pregnancy.
If the nausea or vomiting is not severe, then it can be managed by taking some simple measures.
- Avoid smells and foods that trigger nausea. Eat the foods whose smell you can stand even if they do not count as a balanced diet. It is better to forcing yourself to eat foods whose smell you cannot stand and then throwing up everything. If preparing and cooking food causes you to feel nauseous, then avoid it.
- Avoid nausea triggers that are not related to food such as smells that make you feel nauseous like those of heavy perfume or a stuffy room. Do not change position too fast or look at flickering lights if it makes you nauseous.
- If you are in a stuffy room, open the windows to get fresh air or take a walk. This can help to ease the nausea.
- Eat small meals but frequently and slowly to ensure your stomach always has something. An empty stomach triggers nausea.
- Nausea may hit most when you wake up. To reduce the impact, you can have some crackers near your bed, which you can nibble on and then take a few minutes before getting up. This can reduce the nauseating feeling.
- Do not lie down immediately after eating because it may slow digestion and cause you to feel nauseated. Instead, you should walk to help with the digestion.
- When you wake up, get up slowly from the bed by sitting for a few minutes instead of standing up immediately.
- Avoid foods that can irritate your gastrointestinal tract and cause you to feel nauseated such as fatty, fried, acidic and spicy foods. These foods take longer to digest so it is better to eat bland foods instead such as vegetable and fruit juices, dairy and roast chicken.
- Drink herbal teas such as ginger or peppermint tea. Ginger is known to help in relieving nausea. You can grate fresh ginger and put it in hot water to obtain ginger tea. Alternatively, you can drink ginger ale, which contains real ginger. If you choose to take ginger supplements, the best thing is to discuss it with your doctor first. You can sip peppermint tea or suck peppermint candies especially after meals when you may be likely to feel nauseous.
- Drink fluids between meals. Do not drink a lot at once so that you do not feel full and avoid eating food. You can take sips all through the day. If you are vomiting a lot, a sports drink is more suitable to replace the electrolytes you have lost.
- Relax. You may feel nauseated if you are tired or stressed. Take some time off and slow down. For instance, you can take a nap or watch a relaxing movie.
- Consider aromatherapy. Some scents can help to ease the feeling of nausea such as those of mint, orange or lemon. You can also put a drop of essential oil on a piece of cloth and smell it when you feel nauseous.
- Try acupressure. This involves wearing a wristband with a plastic button that, when strapped, applies pressure on an acupressure point on the wrist. The band helps to ward off nausea.
- Use acustimulation. This device stimulates the wrists underside using a mild electric current. Although it may help, it is not guaranteed it will work in your case.
Some of these measures may work on you while others may not. You should find out what works and use it to relieve the feeling of nausea. If they don’t seem to work, you can use medication under the guidance of your doctor. Various nausea medications and vitamins are safe to take during pregnancy.
Nausea is common in pregnancy and only a few women do not experience it. It usually starts at about four weeks and can ease at 14 weeks although for some, it continues until the end of pregnancy. It is not clear what causes nausea, but it is suspected it is related to raised levels of hormones such as estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Stomach sensitivity during this time and a heightened sense of smell are thought to contribute. Unless it is severe and is accompanied by vomiting, in which case you should get medical attention, nausea can be easily managed for a happy pregnancy.
Some of the measures you can take include avoiding nausea triggers such as the smell of certain foods, eating small meals, snacking before waking up, relaxing, drinking fluids, drinking herbal tea and aromatherapy, among others. Focus on what works for you.
In case it is difficult for you to manage, you can talk to your doctor about suitable medication. Some women experience severe nausea and vomiting and suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, which may even require hospitalization.
Severe vomiting can result in low birth weight, preterm birth and small babies because the baby does not have the nutrients they require for growth. To deal with hyperemesis gravidarum, a pregnant woman is given medication and intravenous fluids.