Although pregnancy is a celebrated phase in most women’s lives, it doesn’t come with the most pleasant symptoms. Out of all, nausea or morning sickness is possibly the most debilitating symptom that creates food aversions and often affects the quality of life.
Up to 80% of pregnant women experience nausea in their first trimester, which gradually stops as the pregnancy progresses. However, it would help if you remembered that pregnancy is a very subjective experience, meaning that some women have a shorter period dealing with morning sickness, some deal with it for a longer period, and some don’t experience it at all.
This article will explore one of the early pregnancy symptoms, morning sickness, and its prevalence during pregnancy.
In this Article
- 1 What is Morning Sickness?
- 2 When does Morning Sickness Start?
- 3 When does Morning Sickness End in Pregnancy?
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is a type of nausea and vomiting experience that occurs during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester).
One unique factor about morning sickness is that it’s not limited to happening only during the morning. Instead, it can happen any time throughout the day.
Despite being one of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy, there are no particular causes that indicate why it happens. Doctors believe that hypoglycemia brought on by hormonal changes during pregnancy could be a potential contributor.
Besides that, excessive stress, fatigue, food aversions, motion sickness, etc., can also contribute to morning sickness in pregnancy.
When does Morning Sickness Start?
Morning sickness brings along a bout of nausea and vomiting that most pregnant women struggle with throughout the day. The issue is typically recurring, meaning that it comes and goes in short spurts all day, especially during the morning and sometimes late at night.
The onset of morning sickness is typically considered one of the early pregnancy symptoms. Some mothers report experiencing morning sickness as early as 4 weeks into their pregnancy.
But, on average, most mothers experience morning sickness by week 6-8. But, the symptoms of morning sickness typically start as normal but get worse as the pregnancy progresses. Week 9-10 is when the symptoms are the worse.
However, if you are one of those lucky pregnant women who don’t experience morning sickness after week 14, chances are that it won’t hit you later. Week 13-14 is when the morning sickness starts to settle down. But, some women also report experiencing morning sickness up to 16-18 weeks.
The combination of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen triggers a cascade of responses in the body during pregnancy, leading to symptoms of nausea and vomiting in the mother. Some studies also indicate that morning sickness is a protective mechanism to expel anything toxic out of the body to ensure it doesn’t reach the developing fetus.
The composition of the prenatal vitamin could also trigger a response of nausea and vomiting, especially because a high iron dose can lead to improper digestive functions in certain women. So, discuss the dosage of these vitamins with your doctor.
Even studies have found that reducing or eliminating iron in the prenatal vitamins significantly reduced the onset of morning sickness in certain women whose symptoms are unmanageable or affecting their quality of life.
Instead of supplements, your doctor will suggest getting your prenatal iron and folic acid from dietary sources like dark leafy greens, fish, red meat, tofu, certain nuts and seeds, brown rice, etc.
When does Morning Sickness End in Pregnancy?
While morning sickness is one of the early pregnancy symptoms before a missed period, it is also one of those symptoms that don’t typically last throughout the pregnancy. So, although it might trigger you to consider the possibility that you might be pregnant, it will also eventually fizzle down as you progress through your gestation.
But when does it stop?
As we mentioned earlier, morning sickness typically stops by week 14-16. In a very small percentage of women (10%), the symptom might extend up to week 18 and longer. Such cases require immediate medical intervention to assess any possible complications plaguing the pregnancy.
Since morning sickness creates a drastic food version, most pregnant women often prefer eating just salty crackers, water, ginger tea, etc., to combat the symptom. However, constant nausea and vomiting can lead to dehydration and weakness due to electrolyte imbalance in the body.
Hence, hydration and taking certain supplements like Vitamin B6 are reportedly good for maintaining optimal health. If the pregnant woman is rapidly losing weight due to morning sickness and a poor appetite, that requires an immediate medical intervention too.
In some cases, nausea might recur during the third trimester in short bursts as the baby nears its due date. But, it’s not common for every pregnant woman.
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)?
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe and often quite damaging form of morning sickness that kickstarts during the first trimester but can last throughout the pregnancy.
The degree of nausea and vomiting in HG is exponentially higher than standard morning sickness. Some cases even require hospitalization to restore the body’s fluids intravenously. It isn’t a very common situation and generally affects 2% of women undergoing pregnancy.
Some of the most potent symptoms include:
- Extreme nausea
- Extreme vomiting
- Rapid weight loss
- Food aversions
- Loss of appetite
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Inability to eat and retain the food
If your morning sickness progressively worsens throughout the pregnancy instead of easing, it very well could be a sign of HG. In that case, you need to discuss your options with your OBGYN to navigate through this period safely.
How early do pregnancy symptoms start?
Pregnancy symptoms, especially morning sickness, typically starts during week 4-6 in most women. This is when you’d likely miss your period and have your pregnancy confirmed.
How soon can morning sickness end?
Typical morning sickness during pregnancy might last up to weeks 13-14. However, some women report not experiencing the symptoms as early as week 10.
Can morning sickness go away at 8 weeks?
In most pregnant women, morning sickness peaks during week 8-10, so the chances of it going away during week 8 is considerably low.
Dealing with morning sickness during pregnancy is a tough experience. It is debilitating and drastically affects the would-be mother’s quality of life. But, there are methods to cope with the symptom. You can sip on ginger tea and suck on ginger candies to mellow down the bout of nausea that hits throughout the day. We hope this article gives you a comprehensive idea about morning sickness and its duration throughout a standard pregnancy.