For many women, the toughest part of early pregnancy is
morning sickness. Morning sickness can range from
mild, occasional nausea to severe, ongoing, disabling nausea with bouts of
vomiting. Symptoms may be worse in the morning, but they can strike at any time
of the day or night.
The first signs of morning sickness usually
develop during the month following the first missed menstrual period, when
pregnancy hormone levels rise. Women carrying twins or more have greater
hormone increases, which tends to cause more severe morning sickness.
There is no way to predict how long your morning sickness will last, even
if you have suffered through it before. Nausea and vomiting usually go away by
12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. But in some cases, it can last well into a
If you have severe, persistent nausea and vomiting or
are unable to take in fluids, see your doctor or nurse-midwife right away. This
pregnancy problem can lead to
dehydration and malnutrition. For this, you need
intravenous (IV) fluids and/or prescribed medicine. In
some cases, you may need to stay in the hospital.
Lifestyle guidelines for curbing morning sickness
Keep food in your stomach but not too much. An
empty stomach can make nausea worse. Eat several small meals every day instead
of three large meals.
For morning nausea, eat a small snack (like
crackers) before rising. Allow a few minutes for the snack to digest, then get
out of bed slowly.
Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of fluids. Try a
sports hydration drink as well as water, broth, or juice.
protein, and cut your fatty food intake.
Avoid smells and foods
that make you feel nauseated. Citrus juice, milk, coffee, and caffeinated tea
commonly make nausea worse.
Get lots of rest. Stress and fatigue can make morning
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.