Throwing up from pregnancy

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Severe Morning Sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum)

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During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience the bouts of nausea and vomiting known as morning sickness.

Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time, day or night. It usually begins around the 6th week of pregnancy, peaks around week 9, and disappears by weeks 16 to 18. Although unpleasant, morning sickness is considered a normal part of a healthy pregnancy.

But what’s not normal is when morning sickness becomes so severe that a woman persistently vomits several times a day, loses weight, and becomes dehydrated or at risk for dehydration.

When this rare pregnancy-related condition is left untreated, it can interfere with a woman’s health and her baby’s ability to thrive.

About Severe Morning Sickness

The medical term for severe morning sickness is “hyperemesis gravidarum” (which means “excessive vomiting during pregnancy”). It usually follows a timeline that is similar to morning sickness; however, it often begins earlier in the pregnancy, between weeks 4 and 5, and lasts longer.

Although some women with severe morning sickness feel better about halfway through their pregnancy (around week 20), some continue to experience it throughout the entire pregnancy. Often, the symptoms become less severe as the pregnancy progresses.

Most of the time, hyperemesis gravidarum occurs during a woman’s first pregnancy. Unfortunately, women who experience it in one pregnancy are more likely to experience it again in later pregnancies.


The cause of severe morning sickness is unknown. Research suggests that it might be related to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Specifically, a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, might be to blame because the condition primarily occurs when HCG is at its highest levels in a pregnant woman’s body.

Severe morning sickness also might be hereditary because it is more common in women whose close family members (such as mothers and sisters) have had it.

Risk Factors

Certain factors can increase a woman’s chances of having severe morning sickness during pregnancy. In addition to having a personal or family history of the condition, the following can put a woman at risk:

  • carrying multiples (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • history of motion sickness
  • migraine headaches with nausea or vomiting


The nausea and vomiting that happens in a case of severe morning sickness are so extreme that they can have harmful effects on both the mother and baby. The inability to keep down food makes it difficult for a woman to meet her nutritional needs. As a result, she might lose weight. And a loss of fluids, combined with the loss of stomach acid that occurs during vomiting, also can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

If a woman does not receive treatment, it can cause many complications, including organ failure and the premature birth of her baby.

When to Call the Doctor

It’s important to call the doctor right away if a pregnant woman has any of the following symptoms:

  • nausea that persists throughout the day, making it impossible to eat or drink
  • vomiting that occurs three to four times per day or an inability to keep anything in the stomach
  • vomit that is a brownish color or has blood or streaks of blood in it
  • weight loss
  • fainting or dizziness
  • decreased urination
  • a rapid heart rate
  • recurrent headaches
  • unpleasant, fruity mouth or body odor
  • extreme fatigue
  • confusion


Although treatments that are commonly used for morning sickness, such as eating dry crackers in the morning or consuming a bland diet, may be recommended for women with extreme morning sickness, they may not be effective on their own because of the severity of the condition.

Medical treatment may include:

  • a short period of not eating by mouth to rest the gastrointestinal system
  • intravenous (IV) fluids
  • vitamin and nutritional supplements

If necessary, the woman might also receive medicine to stop the vomiting, either by mouth or through an IV. The doctor might recommend eating foods with ginger or taking vitamin B6 supplements to help alleviate nausea. The following can also help:

  • consuming a bland diet
  • eating frequent small meals
  • drinking plenty of fluids when not feeling nauseated
  • avoiding spicy and fatty foods
  • eating high-protein snacks
  • avoiding sensory stimuli that can act as triggers

Additionally, if a woman is feeling anxious or depressed as a result of her condition, talking to a therapist or counselor might help her cope with her feelings.


With treatment, a woman with a case of severe morning sickness can feel better and receive the nourishment she needs to help her and her baby thrive. And lifestyle changes can help to minimize nausea and vomiting and make the pregnancy more enjoyable.

With time, symptoms usually do improve, and — of course — resolve completely by the beginning of a woman’s next miraculous journey: parenthood./p>

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD Date reviewed: April 2014

Morning Sickness (Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy)

What is morning sickness?

Morning sickness, also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, is a common condition. It occurs in about 70% of pregnancies and usually starts around 6 weeks of pregnancy and lasts for weeks or months. Symptoms usually improve during the second trimester (weeks 13 to 27; the middle 3 months of pregnancy). In a few women, however, morning sickness occurs throughout their pregnancy.

Despite its name, “morning” sickness can happen at any time of the day.

Can morning sickness become severe?

Yes. Most women who experience morning sickness usually feel nauseous for a short time each day and may vomit once or twice. In more severe cases of morning sickness, nausea can last several hours each day and vomiting occurs more frequently. This most severe type of nausea and vomiting, which occurs in up to 3% of pregnant women, is called hyperemesis gravidarum.

What causes morning sickness?

The cause of morning sickness is not totally known. It may be caused by low blood sugar or the rise in pregnancy hormones, such as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) or estrogen. Morning sickness may be worsened by stress, being overtired, eating certain foods, or having sensitivity to motion (motion sickness).

What are the symptoms of severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum)?

Symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum include:

  • Vomiting more than 3 times a day.
  • Becoming severely dehydrated (signs of which include little-to-no urine production, dark-colored urine, dizziness with standing).
  • Losing 5 or more pounds.

Women with severe morning sickness may need to be admitted to the hospital to receive IV fluids to restore hydration and medications to relieve nausea.

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Cheryl Harrison, 34, was nine weeks into a planned second pregnancy when she decided she couldn’t continue any more, and had a termination. The reason? Morning sickness so severe it made her vomit more than 25 times a day, and left her unable to care for her toddler.

Harrison said the abortion was “the most horrendous decision I have ever made”. But she simply couldn’t cope, she told a newspaper last week. “I was vomiting morning, noon and night . . . I had one day where I could not move from the bathroom. I couldn’t get Scarlett anything to eat even though she was starving. I dragged myself across the floor, managed to get her some chocolate from the fridge and thought, ‘I can’t do this again.’ “

For women like Harrison the term “morning sickness” is an ironic misnomer, as delegates to Britain’s first-ever conference on the subject will hear this week at Warwick University. Dr Brian Swallow, one of the organisers, became interested in pregnancy sickness after his wife Valerie suffered from it severely during both her pregnancies. “She couldn’t get out of bed, she was in and out of hospital, she was nauseous and vomiting all day,” he says. “At one stage, in her second pregnancy, my little boy even asked me whether his mummy was going to die.

“It’s a really serious, debilitating condition – but many people don’t understand that. You even get employers who think women are exaggerating its severity so they can have time off work,” says Swallow.

Dr Tony Barnie-Adshead, a retired GP who has been researching the condition for 40 years, agrees. “It’s not just a morning problem – for a lot of women it’s a morning, noon and night problem,” he says. “Calling it morning sickness has totally trivialised what can be a very serious health risk.”

Around seven in 10 pregnant women have episodes of nausea during pregnancy; but a smaller number, around one in 50, suffers the kind of extreme sickness, or “hyperemesis gravidarum”, experienced by Harrison. And for one in 100, the symptoms are bad enough to require hospital treatment, usually because they’ve become so dehydrated that they need intravenous fluids.

Before the arrival of drips, in the 1950s, women even died of it,” says Barnie-Adshead. Charlotte Brontë, who died in 1855 in the early stages of pregnancy, is believed to be one of its highest-profile victims – in the weeks before her death, she complained that all food made her feel sick, and couldn’t keep anything down.

Yet despite its potential seriousness, many women feel their symptoms aren’t taken seriously enough by the medical establishment. The problem, says Swallow, is that there is no clearly defined way of dealing with it medically. “In this country, unlike for example in Canada, where it’s taken seriously and treated properly, there’s no treatment protocol, which means there’s no uniformity of how you’ll be treated if you go to your GP with pregnancy sickness. Some doctors may be very good at knowing how to help – but for too many women, the response of their GP will be that it’s just something you have to put up with.”

The cause of pregnancy sickness isn’t clear. “It’s not psychological,” says Swallow. “It’s biological. We know it’s hormonally-linked, but we’re unsure whether the sickness affects the hormones, or whether the hormones cause the sickness. One theory is that evolution has preprogrammed pregnant women to reject food because it could contain substances that are harmful to the embryo. In early pregnancy, when sickness is more common, you don’t need a lot of extra calories, so going off food because you’re feeling sick could be a protective mechanism.” And there’s a new theory, which will be discussed at the conference, that pregnancy sickness is linked to protein deficiency.

In the UK there is no drug licensed for use. But in fact, says Dr Barnie-Adhead, there are treatments around that could help deal with it – if only the medical will was there to licence them. Also, he says that if more women with pregnancy sickness were treated early on, sometimes with drugs, they would not have to spend such an important time in their lives in hospital.

How to survive morning sickness

▶ Keep a diary of when you feel sick, when you actually are sick, when you’re fine etc. “A pattern will emerge, and you’ll realise there are times in the day when you don’t feel as bad,” says Dr Barnie-Adshead. “And the important thing is to be ready for those windows, so you can eat and drink when you are able to. Keeping your fluid levels up is extremely important – dehydration is the main reason for hospital admission.”

▶ Eat cold foods. “Odours are the hardest thing to deal with for women with pregnancy sickness, and they often trigger nausea,” says Barnie-Adshead. “Cold food tends to be much less odorous than hot food, and that can make all the difference when it comes to whether you can manage to eat it and keep it down or not.”

▶ Talk to your doctor about being prescribed an antihistamine and Vitamin B6. Both have been shown to reduce pregnancy nausea. GPs are often resistant to this because they fear antihistamines could be harmful to foetuses; however, the support group Pregnancy Sickness Support maintains that H1 receptor antagonist antihistamines are not dangerous, and recommend Promethazine (Avomine) and Cyclizine (Valoid). However, it is not recommended that you take these drugs without prescription.

▶ Try eating ginger, which has proved useful for some women, and buy a “sea band” – pressure on the P6 point, three fingers breadth above the wrist, has been used to combat other sorts of nausea, eg travel sickness, and trials have found it useful for pregnancy sickness too.

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I guess you could say that I was sick for 30 (very long) weeks in a row.

It all started with a routine eight-week pregnancy check-up, but in reality, nothing about my pregnancy was routine. Not the in-vitro procedure that had finally gotten me pregnant after four long years of infertility that had preceded it. Not the first ultrasound, which confirmed that I would be having twins.

“I see two heartbeats. One, right there” my doctor pointed, “and here’s number two. “

It was incredibly happy news and the start of a very long journey to the birth of our sons. I was finally pregnant, and determined to carry, deliver and bring the twins home.

Easier said than done? Perhaps. History has a nasty way of repeating itself, and let’s just say I was doomed to experience serious nausea. Even my mother experienced it; she used my father’s army helmet to catch her vomit at a red light when she was pregnant with me. She also vomited the morning my baby brother was born. Suffice it to say that morning sickness (which lasted all day long) was the stuff of legends in our family.

So back to that eight week appointment. My numbers looked good, heartbeats were strong and I wasn’t any worse for the wear. Sure I looked tired and bloated but that was expected.

It wasn’t until we were leaving that my doctor took one last look at my file and his eyes met mine, “how are you feeling?”

I smiled, “Good. Tired and extremely nervous, but good.”

He checked the file again. “Just in case,” he winked as he hastily wrote a much-needed prescription for nausea medication and handed it to me.

True to his prediction, my nausea and vomiting started the very next morning. In addition to the prescription he had offered, I tried every other home remedy suggested. Sea bands, Pedialyte, hypnosis, ginger ale and crackers, heartburn medication — everything.

I’d brush my teeth and gag.

I’d sip water or ginger ale and run to the bathroom.

I’d sit still but the room and my tummy would spin.

And it didn’t stop at twelve weeks like the books promised, either. If anything, it got worse.

Instead, at any given moment I could swear I was coming off a bender from my twenties. The feeling of the world tilting at an uncomfortable angle and a constant feeling of fatigue prevented me from forming a coherent idea. And unlike my pregnant friends, I didn’t crave anything because nothing smelled right, nothing tasted right and even foods like cheeseburgers and salted crackers made me turn green.

I threw up in every conceivable place a woman in my condition could get away with. My husband would drive us to work and I would make use of the small (but very useful doggy poop bags) we used at home. Once there, I’d excuse myself from meetings or phone calls by holding up one finger and running for the door. I had a 96 percent record for making it to the bathroom on time. (Let’s not discuss that other four percent or the rug in the left hallway.)

At 24 weeks, I was placed on bedrest and so I finally had the luxury of throwing up in my own home or in my doctors’ offices – who got to see me at least three times a week. I took full advantage of it. When the nurses who were overseeing my care would call, their first question wasn’t about my blood pressures or even my contractions. They always asked, “how many times did you vomit yesterday?”

I was so proud of those “only five times” days.

Things got even more interesting when the nutritionist called and said things to me like, “you should be filling up on protein with a twin pregnancy.” It was normal for me to ask questions like, “If I eat an egg at 9 and don’t throw it up until 11, have I gotten the protein I need?” They eventually stopped trying to encourage me.

It should come as no surprise that I didn’t gain one pound during my pregnancy. I was also never hospitalized. Despite all of my sickness, the ultrasound would tell us that the boys were growing and healthy. It didn’t seem to make any difference that I wasn’t really consuming anything.

When we made it to 35 weeks, my water broke. In between contractions, as we waited for an OR room to vacate for my C-section, I smiled at my mom.

“It will stop soon?” I asked.

“It will,” she promised. “As soon as each of you were born the nausea went away almost immediately.”

I almost wept with relief.

However, no one had counted on the spinal I’d needed or my very adverse reaction to it. So while my newborn sons were cleaned and placed in their incubators, I spent the evening filling a bedpan thinking I’d never feel human again.

Strangely enough, by the next morning I did feel human again. I ate eggs and didn’t throw up. I nibbled on cake and kept it down. I brushed my teeth and there was no heaving involved. For the first time in more than nine months my stomach wasn’t revolting against anything that entered my mouth.

And when I finally I held my sons for the first time, the only thing I felt was relief, joy and yes — an overwhelming craving for cheeseburgers.

Kirsten Piccini Her writing has been featured on BlogHer, BonBonBreak, Brain, Child, The Mid and Scary Mommy.

While movies and TV might have trained everyone to believe that projectile-vomiting-in-the-middle-of-a-work-meeting is a universal first sign of pregnancy, pregnancy in real life is not always what you’d think it’s like. During your first trimester, you may experience morning sickness, nausea caused by hormones that can kick in as early as two weeks after conception, according to The Mayo Clinic. And despite the name, morning sickness isn’t just limited to the morning. It can hit some women at night or throughout the day, too. While morning sickness usually dissipates by the 12th week of your pregnancy, for some women it lasts longer. Here, 10 women with very different experiences explain what morning sickness felt like for them.

1. “I only felt my morning sickness around food and immediately after eating. I taught fifth grade at the time. After lunch, I would have to stop my instruction mid-sentence, swallow and continue. If I kept talking, everything would have come up. Totally mild and under my control but definitely noticeable. My desire to eat just disappeared. Because of my food aversion, I didn’t gain any weight during my first trimester. Heavy foods triggered my nausea. All I wanted to eat was mushy food… all the time. Guacamole, mashed potatoes, ramen soup… that’s what I found appetizing. I never vomited from nausea, it was just general. My nausea gave me the same feeling as if I had walked past a dumpster. The smell just turns your stomach and you can’t even fathom the possibility of eating. Morning sickness is like having a dumpster follow you around all day but without the smell.” —JoAnn, 36

2. “Before pregnancy, I used rotisserie chicken on just about everything. It was my favorite go-to protein. During pregnancy, if I would open the refrigerator door to get even a whiff of chicken, it was a sprint to the bathroom. As my pregnancy progressed, the poultry aversion grew. Even seeing it on someone’s plate would make my stomach churn and mouth fill with the pre-vomit saliva. I would compare the feeling to the body’s response to a bad tequila shot. As soon as the thought of the view of the food or smell was in my mind, my body wanted to get rid of it as quickly as possible. The other scent that made me physically ill was vanilla. I worked with a woman with a vanilla scented candle at her desk. It was an open office environment, so there was no escaping the smell. She would light it every day after lunch (presumably to get rid of the food smells in the office). There was something about that sweet and musky scent that would give me sweaty mouth and a major gag reflex.” —Gretchen, 36

3. “I struggled with morning sickness from about 12 to 24 weeks. From weeks 12 to 16, the nausea was debilitating. I couldn’t ride the bus to work or sit through a meeting without experiencing the need to throw up. I ended up walking a mile and a half to work instead, literally up hill both ways. I only ever vomited a few times because of the morning sickness, but kept sleeves of saltine crackers and morning sickness candies in my purse at all times. After 16 weeks, the nausea was subdued but still crept up at the most inopportune times (i.e. meetings, luncheons, hiking, etc). As for foods, morning sickness didn’t ruin anything for me long-term, but I did put my love for curry on hold while pregnant. The thought of eating anything with curry in it, or even smelling it, made me queasy. I’m happy to report that I can now enjoy Tandoori chicken whenever I like!” —Hilary, 28

4. “My morning sickness felt like a three-month hangover. I constantly felt nausea. No vomiting, but there was dry heaving. I had headaches that felt like someone had a drill to my brain. I was painfully tired and felt like I wanted to crawl under my desk at work and hibernate. I put on the most weight during the first trimester every time because food was the only thing that made me feel better. I lived on bagels, cereal, and pizza. I’m an extreme coffee lover and always knew when I was pregnant because the smell of it made me gag. I still love these foods but I eat them more in moderation now that I’m not pregnant. As soon as I hit 13 weeks, all of these symptoms dissipated so I knew every time it was temporary but 3 months of these symptoms everyday felt like 3 years.” —Kelley, 39

5. “The best way I can describe it is that I felt carsick constantly, and oddly enough at first it started out in the evenings, then as the days went on it lasted long and longer until it was all day and all evening. There was just no food that sounded appealing to me. I knew I needed to eat because if I didn’t, I felt worse, so it was a vicious cycle. I never actually threw up but there were times I wished I could to make the awful nausea go away. I survived on baked potatoes, bagels, popcorn, saltines, and ginger ale for about a month. Also because I wasn’t eating much, I was constantly exhausted and had a hard time functioning during that day. I couldn’t stomach coffee, vegetables, or any kind of meat or chicken in particular. I wanted starchy, bland things and carbonation. My morning sickness lasted until week 12 and then totally went away.” —Heather, 32

6. “Before getting pregnant, morning sickness always sounded like a mildly inconvenient bout of nausea that would pass by lunchtime with the help of a few saltines. ‘Did you try ginger or peppermint?’ I’ve never eye-rolled so hard. I spent my first 15 weeks crouched over a toilet or waste basket at least 10-12 times a day thinking this was perfectly normal. If I could get French fries or macaroni or any other not-remotely-smelling-of-meat dish into my tummy it usually bought me an hour or so before I could quite literally feel it coming up again. It wasn’t until I started resisting food altogether that my husband insisted — er — forced me to go to the emergency room to be pumped full of IV fluids (you should have seen how fast my veins downed those puppies!). It quickly became apparent that I was one of the lucky few who had landed a case of hyperemesis gravidarum a la Kate Middleton, only without the media coverage and global sympathy. I was given a prescription that helped substantially ease me into just an episode or two a day until my third trimester when my body seemed to finally adjust to the new baby inside. Needless to say, what I was experiencing was not normal. I felt like I’d somehow failed by not having a picture-perfect pregnancy filled with prenatal yoga and kale smoothies. Worse, I had to take medication just to eat. Guilt can become a powerful emotion for us mothers — but only if we let it. I’m now the mom of three beautiful, healthy children, all of who got here with a little help from the pharmacy, and that’s OK with me. Someday I may even forgive them for torturing me in utero.” —Lauren, 31

7. “Morning sickness feels like the loops on a rollercoaster taking you to the edge of throwing up. With different pregnancies I’ve felt various degrees of morning sickness. With my son, I was sick for seven months. It was non-stop nausea where I’d experiment with what would help make me less nauseous — certain fruits, chewing gum, mints, proteins — I couldn’t even look at my old routine breakfast of oatmeal without getting so sick I’d have to lie down. With my daughter, thinking about certain foods like scallops, eggs or soupy textures would make me nauseous.” —Linsey, 35

8. “My first pregnancy was my worst. I vomited several times a day for 20 weeks straight and cursed the people who coined the term ‘morning sickness’ when it actually lasted all day. Living my daily life was difficult, and I spent as much time as I could laying down on the couch. I was thankful when my second pregnancy was less severe. I still vomited regularly but would sometimes go a whole day feeling decent. Fast forward three more kids, and for me, my girl pregnancies were easier than my boy pregnancies. The best advice I can give a newly pregnant mom is to remember the sickness will end. Keeping perspective is as helpful as keeping crackers and water by your bedside.” —Sarah, 35

9. “From the moment I woke up to the moment I fell asleep, I felt sick. I would dry heave about five times a day, and occasionally throw up. Not only that, I had terrible diarrhea. I felt like it was the morning after a crazy New Year’s Eve, every single day for 13 weeks. Even if I napped or relaxed, it made no difference. It was so weird too, because I would be starving, but everything grossed me out. The only foods that would sit well were really plain foods like chicken fingers and fries, or something super spicy like Thai food. I would also wake up in the middle of the night starving and eat Cheerios. On top of everything, I had insane migraines, but you can’t take any medicine while pregnant — so the migraines would cause me to throw up too. What was also tough was my family was so happy, and it was really really hard to be happy since I felt so awful. Work was really tough — the commute was the worst, since in the mornings, would be the worst. I would be on the subway thinking ‘I’m literally going to either throw up or go to the bathroom in front of everyone right now.’ I remember thinking I wish someone would give up their seat for me because I felt like passing out, but since I wasn’t showing, that wasn’t happening. I was like a zombie in meetings, just trying to get through the day. The one benefit is that if something ‘stressful’ happened at work, it didn’t effect me like it normally did, because I was just trying to make it through to lunch. My only advice is to just power through, it will eventually come to an end. And I know it is so cliche, but it is all worth it — I would do again in a heart beat.” —Lindsay, 33

10. “From months two through four of pregnancy, I felt like I had ‘morning sickness’ all day long EXCEPT the morning. Before bedtime was the worst. Having food in my stomach or not didn’t seem to make a difference, except that chocolate and nuts were especially nauseating. The only relief came from acidic foods. I would suck on limes straight. It wasn’t a craving so much as a relief. Either way, it wasn’t an easy fix in front of people at the office or at a restaurant. Black coffee helped a lot (in moderation). Maybe that’s why the mornings were bearable!” —Erica, 36

Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.

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  • Morning sickness and medication

    By Kat82 (not verified) on 30 Aug 2019 – 16:21

    I’m 7 weeks and really suffering from morning sickness. I take levothyrine for my thyroid and folic acid and vit D but I’m sick about an hour afterwards is this long enough for the medication to be doing what it needs to do? I’m concerned but even feel sick at night so not sure if taking at a different time would work. Thanks in advance.

    • reply
  • Pregnancy symptoms

    By Doris (not verified) on 30 Jul 2019 – 09:26

    I have a 35 day cycle, I had an implantation bleeding for two days just 12 days after my period ended. Since then I’ve checked twice but the urine test kept showing negative. I’ve started feeling headache, dizziness, and faint cramping. Did I take the test too early or should I wait till after a missed period before I retest again.

    • reply
  • I have a 35 day cycle, I had

    By Doris (not verified) on 29 Jul 2019 – 23:39

    I have a 35 day cycle, I had an implantation bleeding for two days just 12 days after my period ended. Since then I’ve checked twice but the urine test kept showing negative. I’ve started feeling headache, dizziness, and faint cramping. Did I take the test too early or should I wait till after a missed period before I retest again.

    • reply
  • First pregnancy

    By Ganiyyah (not verified) on 9 Jul 2019 – 15:54

    Am 9 weeks gone, I easily get tired and can’t eat some foods I enjoy eating before, the annoying one is the excessive salivation. What can I do I can’t swallow my saliva?

    • reply
  • Unsure

    By Misty (not verified) on 5 Jul 2019 – 17:20

    Lately I have had lots of Symptoms lately , heartburn, swelling in my feet and legs, bloating in my stomach, constipation , some breast tenderness but not much.. but my issue is I took two preg. Test and they read negative!! WhAt could it be!! Am I losing my mind or am I pregnant?

    • reply
  • I had a really different case

    By Andrea (not verified) on 21 Dec 2018 – 17:32

    I had a really different case of morning sickness this time! I didn’t get it until after the 12 week mark. And, even now, at 28 weeks, it happens occassionally in the mornings 🙁 No nausea either, just like really bad acid reflux.

    • reply
  • Still sick at 22 weeks

    By Elise (not verified) on 10 Nov 2018 – 19:01

    I’m 22 weeks exactly and I’m still being sick up to 5 times a day. At my worst (8-15 weeks) I was being sick 15-20 times a day and vomiting blood. I know the amount of times I’ve been sick has gone down dramatically, but is it normal to still be vomiting at this stage in my pregnancy? I have been diagnosed as not having HG by the GP and have anti sickness tablets to take if/when I vomit blood. I’m really worried as I’m still struggling to eat and I’ve lost approx. 8lbs since the start of my pregnancy which can’t be good for baby!

    • reply
  • Nausea and vomiting in

    By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Nov 2018 – 14:52

    Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is a common condition affecting approximately 70% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser extent. About 45% of pregnant women suffer from vomiting with nausea, while an additional 25% have nausea alone.
    For most women the nausea and sickness usually settles by 12 to 14 weeks however, some women will continue to have symptoms beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. It sounds as though you are really struggling with nausea and vomiting – please contact your GP and discuss if there are other treatments/options available to you.

    • reply
  • HG

    By Zoe (not verified) on 3 Jan 2020 – 23:03

    I would definitely have asked for a second opinion. I had GV with all 3 of my pregnancies. The last was twins and ended up being hospitalised with it.

    • reply
  • Sickness

    By Susan (not verified) on 1 Jun 2018 – 13:21

    Hi I am 7 weeks and up until now only thing I’ve had is tiredness however this week I’ve started to feel sick although havnt actually been sick and have diarrhea is this common?

    • reply
  • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Jun 2018 – 16:08

    Hi Susan,
    It is possible that you may have a stomach bug as you are having diarrhoea too, this is not normally a pregnancy symptom. We would advise you to keep hydrated and snack on foods when you can. If it goes on longer than a few days or you are struggling to keep down water then do see your GP.
    Best wishes
    Tommy’s midwife

    • reply
  • Newly pregnant and sick

    By Victoria (not verified) on 1 Mar 2018 – 06:05

    I found out I am pregnant recently and since I got a cold. Is that normal? Is it me or my body adjusting to the baby? This is my first and I young. (21) I have my vitamins but they only help a little bit.

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  • Newly pregnant and sick

    By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Mar 2018 – 15:53

    Congratulations on your pregnancy. Yes when you are pregnant your immune system is weaker and it is very common to have colds and feeling unwell, especially as it is the winter at the moment and this is more common anyways. You are limited in what you can take in pregnancy so try to rest, and drink plenty of water with lots of fruits and vegetables and you should feel better soon. If you have high temperature and paracetamol does not bring it down or you feel flu like symptoms then do see your midwife or GP for advice.
    Best wishes, Tommy’s midwives x

    • reply
  • My frist baby

    By Macey (not verified) on 30 Dec 2017 – 21:44

    This is my first baby it was a complete surprise I didn’t notice intill a week ago I was already 7 weeks. My 1st symptoms were nausea and feeling sick almost every morning I also didn’t have a period but this was normal for me because my cycle has always been off scent I stop receiving Brith control shot called Depo this is definitely the hardest part for me and I hope it will be over soon

    • reply
  • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Jan 2018 – 12:03

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.
    Pregnancy sickness can be really debilitating for some women and they can suffer really badly. This normally settles done around 12 weeks, as you enter the second trimester, but for some it can last a bit longer. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and eating well. If this continues then you can always speak to your GP or midwife and see if you can be prescribed something to help. Take Care, Tommy’s Midwives x

    • reply
  • Sickness gone at 9 weeks

    By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Jun 2017 – 15:46

    Hi there
    It can be normal for sickness to come and go. For some lucky ladies, they never once experience nausea or vomiting. For others, they experience a lot more of it. Unfortunately it’s pot luck where you will fall.
    Just because in a previous pregnancy you experienced one thing, doesn’t mean that you will experience it the same way again. Every pregnancy is different.
    If you experience any abdo pain, or bleeding/discharge from the vagina, or have any other concerns, you can get your GP to refer you to your local early pregnancy assessment unit. They will be able to perform an early scan and review you to make sure all is ok.
    I really do hope that you can stop worrying too much and try to relax a little. I know it is so tough when you have lost a baby in the way that you did, and at the gestation that you did. But to be sure, i would get checked over to put your mind at ease if nothing else. Please do feel free to call us too if you need to talk anything through on our helpline! Take care of yourself

    • reply
  • Sickness gone at 9 weeks

    By Cal (not verified) on 27 Jun 2017 – 14:02

    It is normal for sickness to go or be significantly less by 9 weeks? Last time I had bad nausea until at least 13 weeks and this has worried me. I just associate sickness/nausea with a good progressing pregnancy. I had a stillbirth at 29+6 weeks and anxious about this one.

    • reply

(More) Nausea and Vomiting

A morning sickness-like nausea and vomiting sometimes make an appearance during the 3rd trimester. Nausea can result when the uterus compresses the stomach or when the normal contractions of the stomach slow down. Eating a few crackers or limiting yourself to tiny portions at each meal usually helps. If it doesn’t, you may have a stomach bug, which will make you feel crummy but won’t hurt the baby.

Several rare liver problems cause nausea, vomiting, and a kind of general, overall ill feeling. If your nausea is constant and nothing you do offers relief, talk with your doctor. Liver problems are rare, but they’re serious, so it is wise to investigate whether your nausea is related to a liver condition.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

  • By Dr. Laura Riley

Parents Magazine

6 Reasons to Always Call the Doctor During Pregnancy

Extreme vomiting

Most cases of morning sickness are annoying — but not harmful. But if you’re throwing up so much that you can’t keep liquids down or if you’re not urinating, you need to let the doctor know right away. “This can lead to severe dehydration, which isn’t good for you or your baby,” says Isabel Blumberg, MD, an ob-gyn in New York City. It can also be a sign that you’re suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum — a type of extreme morning sickness that can last throughout your entire pregnancy. Also call if you haven’t been able to keep food down for two days straight, if you think you have food poisoning, or if the vomiting is accompanied by a high fever. In these cases, you may need to go to the hospital for IV fluids.

Intense abdominal pain

If you’re less than 12 weeks pregnant, you’re doubled over with sharp cramps on one side of your stomach, and you’ve yet to have an ultrasound, your doctor will want to rule out an ectopic pregnancy (one in which the egg has implanted itself in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus). Later on in your pregnancy, call if the pain is intense or recurrent, since it could be anything from contractions to appendicitis.

Contractions or lots of watery discharge

If you’re near the end of your pregnancy, a discharge probably means your water has broken, so head to the hospital right away. But if you suddenly experience a gush of fluids anytime before 37 weeks, call your doctor pronto. It might be a sign that your amniotic sac has ruptured and you’re going into preterm labor. Still, don’t assume the worst. “Women immediately think that their water has broken too early, when in reality the baby may have just kicked them hard in the bladder and they lost some urine,” says Bruce Flamm, MD, an ob-gyn in Riverside, California.

Contractions are another potential sign of preterm labor. So if you suddenly feel them when you’re 24 to 36 weeks pregnant, pick up the phone. While they could just be harmless Braxton Hicks contractions, talk to your doctor to make sure.

Vaginal Bleeding

Any time you have vaginal bleeding, you should talk to your doctor. “In your second or third trimester, it could mean that you have a tear in your placenta or another problem that should be diagnosed by ultrasound,” says Dr. Flamm. “But don’t panic — most bleeding during pregnancy doesn’t necessarily lead to long-term problems.” If you’re in your first 12 weeks, keep in mind that many women spot during the first trimester and bleeding doesn’t mean you’re having a miscarriage,” he says.

Severe headache or swelling all over

If you get a bad headache in your first trimester or regularly suffer from migraines, it’s probably no big deal. Ditto if you have some swelling of your ankles as your pregnancy progresses — that just means you’re retaining fluid. But if you suddenly get a splitting headache in your second or third trimester, or if your hands and face swell like crazy and won’t go down, you could be suffering from preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure) and need to see your doctor immediately. Another possible sign of preeclampsia that your doctor should know about: Your vision suddenly becomes blurry.

Lack of fetal movement

If you haven’t felt much in the way of kicking for about an hour, no need to call right away. Instead, drink a glass of fruit juice (the natural sugars in juice will make your baby’s blood-sugar levels jump, thus increasing the chances that he’ll start kicking), then lie on your left side in a quiet room for half an hour. “If you don’t count three to four movements within that time frame, give your doctor a call,” says Dr. Blumberg. “Usually it’s nothing — the baby was just being especially still — but he’ll probably want you to have a stress test or an ultrasound to make sure there aren’t any problems.”

No woman should sit at home and worry needlessly. If something’s really got you anxious, it’s worth a call.

3 symptoms not to worry about

These symptoms should be checked out as well, but they don’t require a phone call at 2 a.m. Do your doc a favor and wait until the next day.

Vaginal itching, burning, or redness, and excessive discharge that’s creamy or white

What it probably is: A yeast infection

Why your doc needs to know: She’ll likely prescribe a cream or suppository that works better than the over-the-counter antifungal treatments during pregnancy.

Itching all over your body, especially your hands and feet

What it probably is: Cholestasis of pregnancy, a common liver ailment that occurs during pregnancy

Why your doc needs to know: Your doctor will want to see you to monitor the condition. While it is often harmless and treated with topical anti-itch meds, it can lead to preterm birth in extreme cases.

Pain or burning when you pee, frequent urination, urine that’s cloudy or has blood in it

What it probably is: A urinary tract infection

Why your doc needs to know: Left untreated over several days or weeks, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection, which has been linked to preterm labor. (If you have a high fever in addition to the symptoms above, call immediately.)

Originally published in the June 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

  • By Museum of Ice Cream Pint Shop

Parents Magazine

When Morning Sickness Gets Out of Control

Last night was typical of my struggles with hyperemesis gravidarum, aka the morning sickness from hell. At 3 a.m., I dutifully trod into the kitchen to make the baby’s bottle, but by the time we were settled into the rocking chair and she was happily drinking, I had to hurl.

I eyed the garbage can in the corner—could I toss my cookies in there with minimal interruption to my daughter’s meal? Should I take her with me to the bathroom and try to hold her in a gentle, comforting manner while puking up my guts? Or should I just ditch her in the crib with a pacifier and make a break for it? I chose option C.

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While 50% to 90% of women experience some nausea and vomiting during their pregnancies, a scant 1% to 2% have bouts so severe that they can’t drink water without barfing. During my last pregnancy, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum when I ended up in the hospital on an IV because I was severely dehydrated.

Judging by my increasing queasiness and sprints to the bathroom during this current pregnancy, I’m going down the same nauseating road again. For others in the same predicament, here are seven tips for minimizing morning sickness:

Next Page: Tip #1: Never eat something that doesn’t sound appealing Never eat something that doesn’t sound appealing. No matter how much I wanted something yesterday, how nutritious it is, or how eager the face of the person offering it to me—I will throw up anything that I am not specifically craving at that moment.

Find the one liquid that won’t come back up. One gulp of juice sends me to bed for hours, and water on its own makes me puke. Last time the only beverage I could stomach was orange Gatorade. This pregnancy it’s what I appetizingly call “old tea”—decaffeinated tea that I’ve steeped for a long time and then let cool. It’s bitter and strong, and it’s kept me out of the hospital so far.

Steer clear of any conversations about food. And stay out of the grocery store. Standing for an extended period of time while gazing at a thousand nauseating food choices will fell me for the remainder of the day.

Medicine can be your friend. Suspicious of potential side effects, I took no drugs during my first pregnancy, but I wasn’t taking care of two children back then. I could stay horizontal and watch Monk for days on end. Last pregnancy, with a 2-year-old running around, I had no choice but to try the antinausea drug Zofran, and it helped. Although the evidence that Zofran is safe for pregnant women is mixed, it takes the edge off the nausea long enough for me to feed my family and get my oldest off to school. There are other remedies for excessive morning sickness, such as Unisom and vitamin B6. Unisom conked me out for 48 hours, and I’ve found that the vitamin has little effect, although Trader Joe’s makes a smart version that dissolves under the tongue (no swallowing), just for gals like me.

Sometimes moving helps. For some reason, certain activities temporarily stop my nausea. Playing the piano, for example. Another is working on challenging math problems, such as our family budget. Driving the car or getting in a swimming pool also seem to make the nausea dissipate temporarily.

Don’t freak out about nutrition. Forcing myself to eat something, even a prenatal vitamin, will guarantee it comes back up, making it permanently unappetizing. My cravings have led me on a tour through spinach, beans, sunflower seeds, chicken mole, peanut butter, and similarly nutritious foods. The medical evidence shows that babies born to HG mothers are fine, despite all of the vomiting and aversions.

Give birth. For the next 30 weeks, I will be horrendously uncomfortable and I must be careful to suck down enough liquid to keep me out of the hospital. I can live with that fate, knowing there is a cure.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something I have to do.

What to know about nausea after eating

Causes of how nausea develops after eating include:


Hormonal changes often occur during pregnancy, which induce feelings of nausea at any time of day, frequently in the morning.

Some pregnant women will experience nausea before eating a meal. Others will feel nauseated immediately after eating. Sometimes this continues throughout the day.

Feelings of nausea will typically start during the second month of pregnancy. Nausea during pregnancy is not harmful to either the baby or mother and will usually resolve by the fourth month of pregnancy.

Elevated hormone levels in pregnancy can cause changes to the digestive system and the body, which means food spends longer in the stomach and small intestine. It is possible that this may also contribute to nausea after eating in pregnancy.

The hormones of pregnancy can relax the connection between the esophagus and stomach, causing an increase in acid reflux, which can contribute to nausea. A heightened sense of smell during pregnancy can also make nausea worse.


Food can become contaminated through not being cooked thoroughly or stored incorrectly. Consuming contaminated food can cause food poisoning.

Bacteria (or in some cases, viruses) are usually the cause of contamination. Either can induce feelings of nausea within hours of eating.

Viral infections of the digestive tract, such as “stomach flu,” can also cause nausea after eating.

People can get these viruses from:

  • close contact with another person infected with the virus
  • eating contaminated food and drinking water

These viruses are highly contagious and cause inflammation to the stomach and intestines. They can lead to:

  • fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain and cramps

Food intolerances or allergies

Some people have an intolerance to certain foods, which means that the body has difficulty digesting them.

Share on PinterestSome food intolerances can cause a person to feel nauseated after eating.

Food intolerances do not involve the immune system but can cause nausea hours after the food is eaten. Common sources of food intolerances include:

  • foods that contain lactose, such as dairy products
  • gluten, such as most grains
  • foods that cause intestinal gas, such as beans or cabbage

Food allergies occur when the body mistakenly identifies proteins found in certain foods to be a threat, triggering an immune system response.

Nausea caused by a food allergy can occur seconds or minutes after eating. It is often accompanied by a host of other symptoms, such as swelling to the face or lip and difficulties breathing or swallowing. These types of reactions are emergencies and require immediate medical attention.

Gastrointestinal problems

Nausea after eating and other gastrointestinal problems may occur when an organ within the digestive system stops functioning properly.

For example, gastroesophageal disease (GERD) occurs when the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach malfunctions, causing stomach acid to enter the esophagus.

GERD causes a burning sensation throughout the esophagus known as heartburn and may be a cause of nausea after eating.

The gallbladder is responsible for releasing bile to aid in digesting fats. Gallbladder diseases impair the proper digestion of fats and can cause nausea after eating meals high in fat.

The pancreas releases proteins and hormones necessary for digestion. If this organ becomes inflamed or injured, known as pancreatitis, nausea often occurs along with other intestinal symptoms and pain.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that can cause bloating and increased gas. In some people, this can also lead to nausea after eating.


Nausea after eating could also be a sign of arteries in the intestines narrowing. This narrowing of blood vessels restricts blood flow. Nausea after eating can be accompanied by intense stomach pains and may indicate a condition known as chronic mesenteric ischemia. This condition can suddenly worsen and become life-threatening.

Headache syndromes

Migraines can also cause nausea after eating, which can be accompanied by intense stomach pain, vomiting, and dizziness.


In some cases, nausea after eating can be a warning sign of a heart attack.

Psychiatric or psychological

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most common eating disorders characterized by abnormal eating habits.

Anorexia nervosa can cause nausea due to excess stomach acid or starvation. Bulimia nervosa can cause nausea after eating from a compulsion to vomit any food consumed.

Anxiety, depression, or intense stress can also result in a loss of appetite and nausea after eating.

Motion sickness

Some people are highly sensitive to particular movements or motion, which can make them feel nauseated. Eating food before or after experiencing motion can intensify nausea in individuals with motion sickness.


Nausea is a common side effect of several medications including antibiotics, pain relief drugs, or chemotherapy drugs. Nausea should subside once the treatment is completed or stopped.

Coping With Common Discomforts of Pregnancy


  • To help avoid hemorrhoids, prevent constipation by maintaining a diet that is high in fluids and fiber.
  • Witch hazel or Tucks pads can be applied to the hemorrhoid area to relieve symptoms.
  • Avoid over-the-counter laxatives. If hard stools are aggravating hemorrhoids, stool softeners can be used, but first consult your practitioner for specific suggestions.


This is very common during the first trimester. Get as much sleep or rest as you can — even short naps will help. Your energy level will pick up after the first three months. However, fatigue and insomnia tend to recur in the last months of pregnancy. A warm bath, massage or hot drink before bed often helps you relax and get ready to sleep.

Breast Tenderness

Breast tenderness is most pronounced during the first three months. The breasts enlarge in size and can be quite tender. Wearing a good support bra may help you feel more comfortable.

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination is another pregnancy symptom that is most pronounced during the first trimester as well as the end of pregnancy. Do not restrict fluid intake in an effort to decrease the frequency of urination. As long as you do not experience burning or pain with urination, increased frequency is normal and will go away with time.

Leg Cramps

Cramps in your calf or thigh occur most frequently at night. One remedy may be to increase your intake of calcium. Ask your provider about a calcium supplement. While in bed, stretch with your heels pointed, not your toes. This will help relieve a cramp.


  • Try eating smaller but more frequent meals.
  • Avoid highly seasoned, rich and fatty foods.
  • Do not lie down flat after eating. If you must lie down, elevate your head and shoulders with pillows.
  • Carbonated beverages and milk often can help alleviate heartburn.
  • Certain antacids are not recommended during pregnancy. Check with your health care provider before using over-the-counter antacid preparations.


Lower back pain is common during pregnancy. It is caused by the shift in posture necessitated by carrying extra weight in front.

  • Try not to stand in one position for too long.
  • An exercise called the pelvic rock will help alleviate back pain and strengthen the lower back muscles that experience the most stress.
  • Elevating the feet onto a stool while sitting will help.


Dizziness or lightheadedness can be caused by low blood sugar or a sudden change of position. To help avoid this feeling:

  • Move slowly when getting up from a sitting or lying position.
  • Eat well and frequently. Women who are prone to low blood sugar should carry snacks at all times. Juices and fruit are particularly good choices.

Swelling of the Hands and Feet

Slight swelling of the hands and feet are common in the later stages of pregnancy. Adequate fluid intake is always important. Improve the circulation in your legs and feet by elevating them as often as possible. Lie on a bed or floor and raise your legs up on the wall keeping your knees bent. If you are wearing elastic hose, drain your legs this way before putting them on.

Nausea After Eating in Early Pregnancy

It’s quite common to feel nauseated relatively frequently in the early months of pregnancy. While many women feel queasiness when they get hungry, others may feel most nauseated shortly after eating. There are a few things you can do to try to reduce and prevent food-related nausea in your early pregnancy.

Pregnancy Nausea

Pregnancy-related nausea, often called morning sickness, is quite common, explain Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel in their book “What To Expect When You’re Expecting.” In fact, over half of all pregnant women feel some degree of nausea or queasiness at one time or another during pregnancy. This is due to a combination of factors, including increasing hormone levels. For many women, symptoms are most troublesome in the first three months of pregnancy, and progressively decrease in severity.

Digestive Changes

In addition to increasing hormones in early pregnancy, your digestive tract also changes significantly in its rate and efficiency of function, explains Dr. Raymond Poliakin in his book “What You Didn’t Think To Ask Your Obstetrician.” This helps you extract all the nutrient value from your food, but it also contributes to nausea after eating, because food stays in your stomach much longer than normal, and spends a considerably longer portion of time in the small intestine as well.

Food Solutions

There are a few things you can do with regard to the food you eat to reduce or eliminate your post-meal nausea. First, avoid very heavy or greasy foods. These cause the already slow digestive tract to function even more slowly, which increases the likelihood that you’ll feel ill after eating. You may also find you have trouble with spicy or strongly flavored foods—if this is the case, avoid them. Finally, try eating ginger-flavored foods or drinking ginger ale. Murkoff and Mazel note that the spice helps reduce nausea.

Other Solutions

If moderating what you’re eating doesn’t reduce your post-meal nausea, talk to your doctor about your prenatal vitamin, if you’re taking one. Many women find that the iron in prenatal supplements contributes to nausea, and changing brands may reduce your symptoms. You can also try eating many small meals each day instead of a few larger meals; this will reduce the load on your digestive tract and may help decrease the likelihood of nausea.

Nausea During Pregnancy

Nausea During Pregnancy: Causes, Management, and Concerns

Nausea during pregnancy is typically one of the most experienced and complained about symptoms that women report. Up to 70 percent of expectant mothers experience nausea at some point during early pregnancy. Not only is it known to be one of the early signs of pregnancy, but it is a symptom that is common throughout the first trimester, and sometimes even longer.

While nausea is definitely an uncomfortable feeling, the good news is that it is not harmful to you or your baby, and it is often perceived as an indication of a healthy pregnancy. Nausea is a key part of the common concern referred to as morning sickness.

Causes of nausea during pregnancy

The cause of nausea during pregnancy is not completely understood. However, it does appear to be linked to the production of the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone. Commonly referred to as the pregnancy hormone, this is the hormone that the body begins to produce once the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. Again, how it contributes to nausea is unknown, but because of they both peak around the same time, they’re assumed to have a clear connection.

There are other theories as to what causes nausea during pregnancy as well. Some other contributing factors might be:

  • Estrogen is another hormone that rises during early pregnancy and could contribute to queasiness.
  • A sensitive stomach could be made worse while trying to adapt to the changes of pregnancy.
  • Stress or fatigue is suggested to cause a physical reaction within the body, leading to nausea and vomiting.

When to expect nausea during pregnancy

Nausea typically starts within four to eight weeks of gestation and is expected to subside between 13 and 14 weeks. However, it can start earlier and can last longer. Also, not every woman will experience nausea the entire duration of the first trimester. It could last only a couple of weeks or come and go throughout the first few months.

Many refer to nausea during pregnancy as morning sickness, leading women to believe they will only experience nausea in the mornings. In fact, research shows that “morning sickness” actually occurs more often throughout the entire day, rather than just in the early hours.

Managing nausea during pregnancy

Treatment for and prevention of nausea during pregnancy is truly synonymous in regards to everyday self-care and home remedies. The following suggestions are beneficial to try as soon as you find out you are pregnant or if you are already pregnant and just looking for some relief.

Look at the steps below, and explore our guide to managing morning sickness.

To help prevent and treat nausea during pregnancy, try:

Home or natural remedies

  • Avoiding foods and smells that trigger your nausea.
  • Keeping soda crackers by your bed and eating a couple before getting up. Allow some time for digestion, and rise slowly once you are ready.
  • Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of three big meals.
  • Drinking less water/fluids with your meals, and instead, drink them between meals.
  • Eating drier, plain foods such as white rice, dry toast, or a plain baked potato instead of richer, creamier foods.
  • Sucking on hard candy.
  • Keeping rooms well ventilated or having a fan close by for easier breathing. If neither of these is possible, take time to go outside to get some fresh air.
  • Getting plenty of rest; Listen to your body when you are feeling fatigued, and try lying down.
  • Sniffing ginger or lemons, or drinking ginger ale or lemonade, which can help ease the feeling of nausea.
  • Talking with your healthcare provider about the prenatal vitamins you are taking; having too much iron may cause nausea, and switching to a different vitamin could help.
  • Asking your healthcare provider about taking a vitamin B-6 supplement, which has proven to help reduce nausea and vomiting.

Prescription Care for Nausea

Many women find that natural or home remedies do not help. It could be that some relief is experienced, but it may not be as much relief as you would like. The good news is that you can talk to your doctor to get a prescription that is specifically designed to treat nausea.

Concerns with nausea during pregnancy

If you are experiencing severe nausea and vomiting, and the above treatments do not appear to be helping, contact your doctor for further suggestions. While nausea during pregnancy can be normal, it can also point to a problem that needs to be addressed.

Examples of potential conditions seen with severe nausea are:

  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is a medical condition that causes you to lose essential nutrients needed during pregnancy.
  • Molar Pregnancy, which occurs when an abnormal growth of tissue develops within the uterus.

More helpful articles:

  • Morning Sickness Relief
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Compiled using information from the following sources:

2. Mayo Clinic, Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Morning sickness is one of the most miserable aspects of pregnancy. But there’s an upside.

Researchers have found that pregnant women who suffer from morning sickness (which should really be called all-day sickness) are less likely to miscarry or have a premature birth, and their babies have fewer birth defects and may even score higher on IQ tests.

Tyler Olson /

That doesn’t mean women who don’t have morning sickness should worry; odds are their babies will turn out to be healthy little smarties too. But for those who spent much of their pregnancy retching or queasily scarfing down saltines, the new research is a welcome message.

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“Life can be miserable when you have severe morning sickness,” said lead author Dr. Gideon Koren, a pediatrician at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the founder of its Motherisk Program.

“Some of the women have such severe morning sickness that they even consider termination of a wanted pregnancy, so the ability to tell them there is light at the end of the tunnel, if scientifically correct, is a big tool for us.”

The findings, based on a systematic review of 10 different studies involving hundreds of thousands of pregnancies, were published in the August issue of the journal Reproductive Toxicology.

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Up to 85 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness. Doctors believe rapidly rising levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, which is released by the placenta, cause the symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health.

It appears that morning sickness is essentially the “price” of growing a healthy baby, Koren told TODAY Parents. The higher levels of hormones mean a better outcome for the fetus and decrease some of the risks during pregnancy, Koren said.

Morning sickness usually hits hardest in the first trimester and can range from mild all the way to extreme. Some women, including Britain’s Duchess Kate, suffer hyperemesis gravidarum, or such severe, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that it often causes weight loss. Koren’s research didn’t look at hyperemesis gravidarum, just “normal” morning sickness.

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Shell Roush, a mom of three boys under 10 who lives in Jacksonville, North Carolina, still remembers the morning sickness from her first pregnancy.

“While I didn’t throw up a lot, a feeling of queasiness could render me really weak. I had a comfortable reading chair that I ended up having to sit in some mornings, instead of walking around,” Roush, who writes The Soccer Moms blog, said.

“Smells could especially set me off… with my second (pregnancy), I’d throw up almost as soon as I woke up in the morning and then I’d be fine for the rest of the day.”

Koren’s review included a study that found a three-to-ten-fold increase in risk of miscarriage in women not experiencing morning sickness. Another found 6.4 percent of women with pregnancy nausea had preterm births, compared to 9.5 percent of women without any symptoms. In a smaller study, 45 children whose mothers suffered from morning sickness scored higher on IQ tests than those whose mothers had a nausea-free pregnancy.

The protective effects of morning sickness seemed to be more prominent in women with moderate to severe symptoms, the analysis found.

That doesn’t necessarily mean women who don’t have morning sickness should worry, Koren said, or that morning sickness guarantees a healthy pregnancy.

“I don’t think it should go as a routine reassurance: You have morning sickness (so) your baby will be healthier,” Koren said.

“We use it more when a woman is really suffering… to empower women who are struggling.”

He noted there are safe medications to treat morning sickness, such as Diclegis, which was approvedby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year.

Follow A. Pawlowski on Google+ and Twitter.

FDA: Kim Kardashian endorsement of morning sickness drug misleading

Aug. 12, 201501:31

The latest NIH study, which was a secondary analysis of data from a separate clinical trial, involved tracking symptoms logged daily by nearly 800 pregnant women. All of the women in the study had at least one previous pregnancy loss, with about one-third of the participants having experienced two losses.

About 84 percent of the women reported nausea, with or without vomiting, by the time they were eight weeks pregnant. (Smaller percentages of women had morning sickness earlier in pregnancy—with about 20 percent of them reporting illness at two weeks pregnant, and more than 50 percent of them reporting nausea or vomiting by five weeks.) Nearly one-quarter of the pregnancies resulted in miscarriage, many of which occurred before the eight-week mark.

Overall, the women who reported nausea by itself or nausea with vomiting were between 50 percent and 75 percent less likely to miscarry than those who didn’t feel sick.(Earlier research, including a 2014 meta-analysis of 10 separate studies conducted between 1992 and 2012, has also found that women who had morning sickness experienced fewer miscarriages and gave birth to larger, healthier babies with fewer birth defects.)

But even though earlier studies have found similar associations, few researchers have taken into account the other potential indicators for miscarriage among study participants—like the number of previous pregnancy losses a woman has experienced, alcohol intake during pregnancy, and fetal characteristics such as chromosomal abnormalities. Such factors might increase the likelihood of miscarriage, even among women who experience morning sickness. The NIH researchers controlled for these and other circumstances in their assessment, giving them a clearer picture that the association between morning sickness and reduced pregnancy loss is strong—without confounding factors getting in the way.

The NIH study was unusual, too, in that it began with women who were still trying to conceive—rather than first enrolling participants who were already pregnant. “This is important because it allowed us to get detailed data from diaries that women were keeping about their symptoms in the earliest weeks of pregnancy—even before most women knew they were pregnant,” said Stefanie Hinkle, a staff scientist at the NIH, and the lead author of the study. “We found that in the week after conception, one in five women were already experiencing some nausea symptoms.”

The protective benefit of morning sickness was stronger among women who were throwing up compared with those who just felt crummy—up to a point, anyway. Researchers didn’t include findings from women who experienced hyperemesis, a severe form of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that can lead to hospitalization—meaning the study’s findings do not apply to women with the very worst symptoms. The study had some other limitations, too. The vast majority of participants were married, highly educated, white women—so the extent to which the findings would apply to women in other demographics is unclear.