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What is Considered Normal Morning Sickness?

By Angela Dalecki
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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Morning sickness is a condition that affects between 50 and 75 percent of pregnant women. Despite the name, morning sickness can occur any time. Some women can experience morning sickness all day. Symptoms of normal morning sickness usually include nausea and possible vomiting. Pregnant women typically experience morning sickness between the sixth and 12th weeks of pregnancy.

Blood-sugar levels and hormones play a part in normal morning sickness. Pregnant women experience a surge in hormones such as progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin that many scientists believe affect the digestive system. Since blood-sugar levels are typically at their lowest in the morning, that's when many women experience their most severe nausea symptoms.

The good news about morning sickness is that it doesn't last forever. Normal morning sickness typically clears up on its own by the second trimester. If it doesn't, a doctor should be consulted because second trimester morning sickness may indicate a more serious problem.

In the meantime, pregnant women can take steps to relieve morning sickness. Rather than eating three large meals per day, pregnant women may wish to eat smaller meals more often. Drinking small amounts of water, lemonade or other fluids during the day may help prevent dehydration. Nausea may be relieved by eating soda crackers, potato chips or watermelon. Sniffing lemons or ginger may also help.

Light exercise may help relieve the symptoms of normal morning sickness. Some people suggest taking vitamin B6 for morning sickness, but women should first check with a doctor for the recommended dose. Wearing an acupressure band intended for motion sickness may also help ease nausea.

Pregnant women who experience morning sickness should not eat large, heavy meals or spicy foods. They also should not lie down immediately after eating. If food odors contribute to the nausea, they should ask someone else to handle the cooking until the morning-sickness phase passes.

Normal morning sickness is not harmful to the expectant mother or the baby. In some cases, however, a more serious condition called hyperemesis gravidarum may develop. Symptoms of this condition include excessive nausea and vomiting, fever, and pain.

Women who have trouble keeping food down, have morning sickness after the 13th week of pregnancy, or experience any of the symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum should call a doctor immediately. In many cases, hyperemeisis gravidarium is mild and may be treated with antacids and dietary restrictions. Occasionally, the illness is more severe and may require a hospital stay to ensure the mother is receiving enough fluids.

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Discussion Comments
By Wisedly33 — On Feb 11, 2014

I don't know if there's any real rhyme or reason to morning sickness and why some women have it in the extreme, while others hardly seem to suffer at all.

One thing that may help reduce triggering nausea episodes is to reduce the odors in a home. Often, cooking odors will make a woman nauseated, along with other strong perfumes. Going to unscented detergent and not using any deodorizers may also help.

Ginger ale, crackers and chicken soup are also good remedies for morning sickness, or nausea in general. These are easy on the stomach and don't have a strong odor.

I have a friend who had hyperemesis gravidarum. She was pregnant during the summer and survived on green salads and fruit, especially watermelon. Not much else would stay down.

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