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 pregnancy.
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.
The following are safe, proven treatments for morning sickness. You may not gain complete relief from morning sickness treatment. Taking ginger or doxylamine is most likely to effectively curb nausea and vomiting.
- Niebyl JR, Goodwin TM (2002). Overview of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy with an emphasis on vitamins and ginger. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 186(5, Suppl): S253–S255.
- Festin M (2007). Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy, search date May 2008. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
Last Revised: November 10, 2010
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.