When do You get Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness typically starts anywhere between four weeks to eight weeks pregnant and lasts anywhere from 11 to 40 weeks. Most people notice their morning sickness gets better after 13 weeks. Although it’s called “morning” sickness, you don’t only get it in the morning. Some women notice it in the morning, some in the afternoon or evening, and some women have morning sickness all day.
What Causes Morning Sickness?
The hormonal changes your body goes through during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, are the biggest culprit in causing your nausea. Low blood sugar also plays a role in the discomfort. It can be a vicious cycle; feeling too sick to eat and then feeling sick because you didn’t eat.
Natural Morning Sickness Remedies
If you’re lucky and you have a milder case of morning sickness, natural remedies are the way to go. Here are some tried and true home remedies:
- Smaller, more frequent meals: Getting overly full doesn’t help your tummy feel any better, and small meals keep your blood sugar more regulated.
- Ginger, mint, or citrus: Eating, drinking, or even smelling these three things can help your nausea. Try slicing a lemon, chewing a ginger candy, or sipping some mint tea to help settle your stomach. Essential oils are also a great way to surround yourself with soothing smells.
- Starches: Getting too hungry always made me feel even more sick, so try and get some calories into yourself, even if it’s just a few crackers or a piece of toast.
- Avoid strong smells: Strong smells are the worst when you’re pregnant. The smell of meat made my stomach churn when I was pregnant with my daughter. Avoid eating foods or going places with strong smells to prevent your nausea from getting worse.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture has shown to be effective in treating pregnancy-related nausea. I never tried it during my pregnancy, but I’ve heard so many good things about it that I wish I’d used it. To name an example, a study in Adelaide, Australia, showed that acupuncture is an effective treatment for morning sickness in pregnant women.
- Motion Sickness Wristbands: Sea Bands are wristbands that use acupressure points on the wrist to combat nausea. These clinically tested motion sickness wrist bands are easy to use and have no side effects. I lived in my wrist bands for about six months of pregnancy.
- Moving Around: Go for a walk, or do some mild exercise. Gentle physical activity helps reduce morning sickness symptoms. If the weather is nice, go outside to move around; the fresh air always helped clear my head when I was pregnant.
Here are some remedies that you can get from your drugstore without a doctor’s prescription. Make sure to check with your doctor before taking any of these over-the-counter remedies so that you can get the correct dosage.
- Vitamin B6 and Unisom Sleep Tablets (not the gel): This helped me a lot during my first trimester. If just taking B6 doesn’t help, try taking Unisom with your B6 in the morning and before bed.
- Emetrol: Emetrol is a safe antiemetic that helps control nausea and vomiting. It has similar ingredients to coke syrup but without the caffeine.
- Reflux Medications: If acid reflux makes your nausea worse, try taking tums or a similar antacid to help alleviate your symptoms.
When to go to a Doctor
You want to watch out for dehydration and losing a lot of weight when you have morning sickness. Contact your doctor immediately if you:
- Lose more than two pounds
- Vomit blood (can be red or black)
- Can’t keep liquids down for over 12 hours
- Vomit more than four times in a day
This is a severe and rare form of morning sickness that some women get during pregnancy. It leads to dehydration, weight loss, and electrolyte imbalances if it’s not treated. Here are some of the symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
- Severe and persistent nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
- Inability to keep liquids or food down
- More salivating than normal
- Signs of dehydration (such as dry skin, dark urine, weakness, fainting, and lightheadedness)
If your doctor suspects you have HG, she’ll run some tests on you to check things such as your electrolytes and urine ketones. HG is usually treatable by a combination of avoiding trigger foods, drinking as many fluids as you can keep down, and medication. In extreme cases, you may have to get liquids and nutrients through an IV or stomach tube.
Morning Sickness Remedies and Medications
Here are some prescriptions your doctor might suggest if over-the-counter remedies don’t work for you.
- Diclegis: This is an FDA-approved prescription medication specifically for pregnant women. The most common side effect of Diclegis is drowsiness, so you need to check with your doctor if you can drive or operate machinery while on Diclegis.
- Zofran: Taking Zofran for morning sickness is low-risk and a common practice. It’s used to treat nausea for chemotherapy and surgery but not specifically FDA-approved for pregnancy-related nausea. There is a minimally increased risk (about 0.03%) for heart defects and cleft palate.
- Phenergan: This is a category C pregnancy drug, meaning there have been some adverse effects in animal studies, but there haven’t been enough human studies to come to a conclusion. I took Phenergan when I was pregnant, and neither my daughter nor I had any negative reactions, but you should talk to your doctor to see if this is the right choice for you.
- Reglan (metoclopramide): A study in Denmark was done to see if Reglan increased the risk of stillbirth and birth defects, and the study showed that there was no increased risk.
What Worked for You?
Deciding how to treat morning sickness is a decision that should only involve you and your doctor, but I hope my article helped inform you about your options! Morning sickness is no joke, and I know you want safe relief as fast as possible. Let me know in the comments how you treated your morning sickness!
Or if you want to get your mind off of your nausea, check out my list of Uplifting Baby Names for 2021.