On the issue of pregnancy, one of the frequently asked questions is, "When does morning sickness start?" Well, morning sickness comes hand in hand with vomiting and nausea and affects about 70%-80% of pregnant women. As it is one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy, a woman can tell that she is with child within the early weeks of this new stage.
Before or during pregnancy, women are curious to know when does morning sickness begin and how soon does morning sickness start. Despite the term ‘morning sickness’, it does not necessarily occur in the morning hours only. The uncomfortable feelings associated with this condition happen at any time, depending on one’s body. However, the good news is that there are certain measures that you can take to minimize morning sickness.
When does morning sickness start?
You are probably wondering how early does morning sickness start or how soon do you get morning sickness. Characterized by vomiting and nausea, morning sickness begins typically around week 5 or 6 after conception. In most cases, it ceases by around week 12 to week 14. For around 10% of women, this condition may last until the 20th week. Additionally, 10% of women experience morning sickness throughout their pregnancy. On the other hand, around 20-30% of women having healthy pregnancies do not experience morning sickness at all.
When does nausea start in pregnancy?
It is almost unheard-of for a woman to experience nausea before the sixth week of pregnancy. Therefore, it mostly starts at around week 6 to week 8. You could also experience late-pregnancy nausea, which occurs as a result of the baby pushing down to the stomach and intestines. However, feeling nauseated or not does not determine how healthy your pregnancy is.
When does morning sickness peak?
It is not possible to determine when it will peak as it depends on the individual's body. There are those who begin feeling worse at around week 8, and others after about 11 or 12 weeks. The theory behind this is that progesterone is usually circulating in your body, and it tends to increase as the baby grows in size. At around week 12, the placenta takes charge of the production of progesterone. This allows it to made and utilized in the uterus, thus does not enter the bloodstream anymore. At this point, the sickness gradually fades away.
Why and when does morning sickness happen?
Most women experience a missed period before feeling sick. They may also notice changes in their bust size as they could be more tender or swollen. Some women also develop mood swings, food cravings, a constant need to urinate and feel overly tired. This is followed by nausea and vomiting at around week 6 of pregnancy. These symptoms get progressively worse but may eventually subside once the sickness gets to its peak.
There is no precise reason for the cause of this condition, but there are common explanations given by doctors that seek to explain morning sickness:
- Rising hCG levels: A highly possible reason for experiencing nausea or vomiting, or both during pregnancy, is due to the rising levels of human chorionic gonadotropin, which is a pregnancy hormone. The body starts to produce this hormone once the fertilized egg is attached to the uterine lining.
- Progesterone hormone: This hormone relaxes the smooth muscle which is responsible for digestion. Thus, gastric emptying and slow metabolism lead to vomiting and nausea.
- Estrogen hormone: When one is pregnant, estrogen levels increase by 100-fold. It is believed to be another contributing factor to morning sickness.
- Hypoglycemia: During pregnancy, women are encouraged to eat food regularly but in small portions to maintain stable blood sugar. This is because when one’s blood sugar is low, it causes lightheadedness, nausea, shakiness, and vomiting.
- Enhanced sense of smell: Pregnant women tend to be more sensitive to smell, thus can get easily irritated by an unpleasant smell, causing them to feel sick.
- Stress: High-stress levels increase the possibility of sickness and irritation as the body is not at ease. It is the reason why expectant women are advised to take breaks whenever they begin feeling exhausted.
- Sensitive stomach: There are women whose gastrointestinal tracks become very sensitive during gestation. This causes them to easily vomit or feel nauseous after tasting or eating certain foods.
Therefore, as the body tries to adjust to the changing hormones, one begins feeling uncomfortable as the body feels different.
Is morning sickness inevitable?
If you are among the 70%-80% of women that experience this condition, there is not much you can do about it as it is your body adapting to the new changes. However, you can take various measures to minimize and manage the symptoms. As we are living in the 21st century, many innovations have been created to help deal with certain conditions and even cure others.
To minimize the severity of this condition, pregnant women are advised to take vitamin B6. However, it is vital that you consult your doctor to ensure that your body will react well with the vitamins.
How severe can morning sickness get?
The severity of morning sickness varies from mild to extreme for each woman. There are those who experience mild stomach discomfort and nausea, while around 1% experience extreme symptoms, which is a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. The symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum are weight loss, frequent vomiting, nausea, and electrolyte imbalance. Other rare symptoms are fainting, anxiety, confusion, rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, low blood pressure, and urinating less frequently. When symptoms persist, some women need to be hospitalized as some need intravenous fluids and a feeding tube for the body to continue receiving the necessary nutrients to stay healthy.
Will you miscarry if you do not experience morning sickness?
Research shows that women that experience vomiting and nausea during pregnancy have a less likelihood of miscarrying their child. However, this does not mean that those that fail to feel sick will miscarry. It means that you are less likely to miscarry if you experience morning sickness. Additionally, many women have given birth to healthy babies, having not felt sick while pregnant.
Tips to minimize morning sickness
Since you are now informed on most, if not all areas regarding this condition such as how soon can morning sickness start, it is vital to be aware of measures you can take to help you feel better. There are a couple of home remedies and self-care tips that can help reduce the intensity of this condition:
- Ginger is known and consumed for its numerous health benefits. In this case, it reduces nausea in pregnant women thus should be incorporated in different beverages and foods for maximum results.
- Water. As vomiting causes dehydration, you need to drink lots of water, preferably in small portions, to ensure that you keep your body hydrated. Set a target every day, for example, 3 litres, and ensure that after a given duration of time, you drink a certain amount of water so that you can have reached your target before the day ends.
- Vitamins. Vitamin B6 is the most recommended type of vitamin to consume during pregnancy as it minimized the severity of nausea and vomiting. However, as stated earlier, do not purchase these vitamins or any other prior to consultation from your doctor as they are in the best position to determine what your body needs and does not.
- Avoid sugary and spicy foods. During pregnancy, the body tends to be choosier with its preferred foods and beverages. For most women, spicy and sugary foods lead to nausea, thus should be completely avoided. If a taste or smell of something makes you feel sick, ensure that you stay away from it. It is advisable that you consume simple and highly nutritious foods that are easily digestible.
- Consume meals in small portions. To avoid overloading the digestive system, take several small meals each day instead of a few, heavy meals. This way, you will feel comfortable, strong and nourished throughout the entire day.
- Emotional support. It is necessary that you have loved ones around you who can provide both physical assistance and emotional support as this is a delicate stage for women. Have someone you can talk to about everything, could be a therapist if you cannot reach your close friends or family. This is because when you openly address an issue, there is some relief that follows and you instantly feel much better.
- Acupressure. It is believed that acupressure on the wrist minimizes the symptoms of morning sickness. Therefore, when you feel sick, try this method and see if it will work on you.
- Limit the use of electronic devices. Devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets have a strobe effect that triggers nausea. Therefore, try to minimize the use of these devices and take short breaks between usage.
- Get enough rest. Ensure that you get a reasonable amount of sleep every night. Whenever you feel tired during the day, you can take a short nap. This is because feeling tired increases the feelings of nausea, thus avoid straining yourself too much.
If someone asked you "When does morning sickness start?", about its causes and how to reduce its severity, aren’t you well equipped to answer them now? I believe you are. If you are pregnant or making plans for it, follow these tips to ensure that you are able to handle this condition to the best of your capability. You are a woman with the power to handle and overcome all!
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!