Morning Sickness

What is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is a term used to identify nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Calling it morning sickness seems unfair because the symptoms can last for well beyond the morning.

A large percentage of expectant mothers experience the problem. Morning sickness can start around the four week mark of pregnancy with symptoms worsening over the course of an additional four weeks.

It is still unclear what exactly causes morning sickness to occur. However, most clinicians agree on the fact that this might be a natural reaction to hormonal changes and, particularly, a response to increased levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG or ‘pregnancy hormone’.)

What are the Symptoms of Morning Sickness?

Vomiting and nausea are the most common symptoms of morning sickness. Mothers-to-be can develop further symptoms given that bouts of morning sickness can leave them tired and depleted of energy.

Stress may factor in to the symptoms of morning sickness given the physical and mental changes to the body taking place over the course of a pregnancy.

How is Morning Sickness Treated?

Treatment may only be necessary if the conditions associated with morning sickness are a result of possible further medical problems. Healthcare providers recommend taking the following steps to alleviate and possibly avoid morning sickness symptoms:

  • Continually drink small amounts fluid over the course of the day to ward off dehydration.
  • Consume fluids at least 30 minutes before or after a meal and only a minimal amount with your meal.
  • Instead of large portions with meals, stick to several small meals during the day.
  • If you can, snack on crackers at least 15 minutes before you get up to start your day.
  • Rest as often as possible.
  • Avoid rooms and places that may be very warm. The heat may add to the symptoms
Last Reviewed:
October 07, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017