Morning sickness is a common sign and minor complication in pregnancy. Usually, morning sickness starts very early for some women, and there are cases that involved the beginning of this symptom at a much later date.
The case of morning sickness is not simply about feeling nauseous in the early stages of pregnancy, rather, it is a sign that your body is changing and adapting to the growing fetus inside your body.
What Is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is a symptom during the early stages in pregnancy that makes the woman feel nauseous and a strong urge to vomit. Morning sickness is also known as nausea gravidarum, nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, emesis gravidarum, and pregnancy sickness. It is a common symptom of pregnancy that affects almost all pregnant women worldwide.
Symptoms of morning sickness usually vary from mild to severe, and if ever the manifestations nausea gravidarum became worse, it can lead to hyperemesis gravidarum which can be harmful to the baby if not treated correctly.
When Does Morning Sickness Starts?
Morning sickness normally occurs as soon as you enter your sixth week in pregnancy. However, this symptom varies from one woman to another depending on how you are coping with pregnancy and how your bodies are adjusting.
Morning sickness is one of the first symptoms to be felt by a woman in pregnancy. When morning sickness starts, your sense of smell also becomes extra sensitive. Despite being called “morning sickness”, symptoms can actually be felt at any time of the day.
When Does Morning Sickness Stop?
Morning sickness typically does not last over the 14th week in pregnancy and symptoms can disappear as early as the 12th week into gestation.
What Causes Morning Sickness?
As your body adjusts to the pregnancy, the levels of your pregnancy hormones increase as well. The primary hormone responsible for your morning sickness is the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is responsible for nourishing your fertilized ovum and they are especially high during the morning. Combined with the increase in estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy that relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, symptoms and feeling of nausea is triggered which leads to morning sickness.
What Are the Other Causes of Morning Sickness?
Aside from your hormones, there are also various factors that contribute to the developing symptom of morning sickness such as skipping meals due to the fear of vomiting, psychological disposition, and your own body’s adaptation to the changes brought by pregnancy.
Other causes of morning sickness are:
Sensitivity. There are some women who are very sensitive and are likely to react first if their nausea command post in their brain is triggered.
Stress. It is already a known fact that stress triggers the activity in the gastrointestinal tract. If you have been feeling stressed lately, it may prompt your response to nausea and the symptoms may appear frequently than expected.
First Time Pregnancy. First time pregnancies are also culprits in making you feel even worse than usual when you are already experiencing morning sickness. As your body adjusts for the first time from all these changes, symptoms of morning sickness can get worse than usual.
Can Morning Sickness Affect My Baby?
Normally, morning sickness only happen in the early weeks of pregnancy and they do not affect the baby as long as you keep tab of your health and nutrition. By the time your baby demands more nutrients from you, the symptoms of morning sickness have already disappeared.
However, that is not always the case since morning sickness can become its more severe type when the body cannot handle the changes it is undergoing. The severe type of morning sickness is termed as hypermesis gravidarum.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a more serious condition that affects up to 5 percent of pregnant women experiencing morning sickness. Typical symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum includes not being able to tolerate anything including liquids. If you have been experiencing such symptom, which is continuous, severe, and happens several times a day, it is best to consult your obstetrician immediately for appropriate medical management.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent Nausea and Vomiting?
To prevent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, some doctors would prescribe you to take pre-natal multivitamins a few months before conception and especially if you are planning to get pregnant. Some cases are successful wherein the woman taking pre-natal multivitamins has reduced signs and symptoms of morning sickness.
What If I Don’t Experience Any Morning Sickness?
Although this is a rare occurrence, if you do not experience any morning sickness, well then, congratulations! However, morning sickness appears to affect almost three-quarters of pregnant women worldwide and only small cases do not get to experience such pregnancy complication. If you are not experiencing any morning sickness and worried about such circumstances, it is best to consult your obstetrician, as he or she can guide you about such incident.
Author: Patricia Magno RN