Morning Sickness

If you have morning sickness, you've got lots of company. About 80% of pregnant women go through some nausea or upset stomach. It most often begins between the fourth and eighth weeks you are pregnant and lasts until the 16th to 20th week.

Most times, things get better during the second trimester, weeks 14 to 28.

Not just for mornings

  • Morning sickness can really happen at any time of the day.
  • Many women are queasiest when they wake up, while others find themselves feeling some nausea in the late afternoon or just after dinner.
  • As many women have found, morning sickness can happen any time you don't have food in your stomach.

The causes

  • Some experts think that morning sickness results from higher hormone levels.
  • Other causes may include:
    • A stronger sense of smell
    • Changes in the stomach and other organs that come from being pregnant
  • Many women also find that not getting the right amount of rest or feeling stressed can cause morning sickness or make it worse.

What will happen if it doesn't go away?

  • Most women with morning sickness find they can get by if they can just eat a few small snacks and drink fluids throughout the day.
  • If you have morning sickness and haven't been able to keep food down for a while, you should talk to your doctor.

Will my morning sickness hurt my baby?

  • Unless it is so bad that you can't keep any food down or don't have the right amount of water in your body from throwing up, there's no need to worry.
  • Focus on drinking plenty of fluids and eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day to keep your energy up.

What are the best ways to stop morning sickness?

  • Specific causes vary from person to person. Once you figure out what brings on your morning sickness, do what you can to avoid them.
    • If a certain smell makes you sick, try to avoid that scent.
    • If a certain food or taste upsets your stomach, don't eat that food and avoid that taste while pregnant.
    • If not getting the right amount of sleep makes it worse, try to get more rest.
    • If rushing or moving quickly seems to make you sick, leave extra time to walk slowly, or ask for a lift to the bus in the morning.

Helpful tips

Eat early and often

  • Keep extra snacks with you so you won't have to go too long between meals.
  • Store some almonds in your desk drawer at work.
  • Drop some carrot sticks in a bag and carry them with you for the day.
  • You can even keep a bag of snacks on your bedside table, so you can eat something before getting out of bed.

Stock up on carbohydrates

  • High-carb, low-fat foods don't tend to make pregnant women feel sick.
  • For many women, rice crackers or animal crackers are good at soothing a fretful stomach.

Find help in bubbles

  • Many pregnant women say carbonated drinks such as ginger ale, seltzer water and bitter lemon help.
  • Stay away from drinks with caffeine, though, such as colas and coffee.

Stay hydrated

  • If water doesn't agree with you, try chewing ice chips or sucking on popsicles made from fruit juice.

Snack on citrus

  • Many women find that anything lemon- or citrus-flavored helps to keep them from feeling sick.
  • Try lemonade, lemon or orange hard candies or a slice of orange or grapefruit.

Easy on the iron

  • Iron can be hard on your stomach. Many pregnant women blame iron supplements for making their upset stomachs worse.
  • Unless your doctor says you aren't getting the right amount iron, you may be able to skip your iron supplements, or at least take less, and get what you need from your diet.
  • Talk to your doctor if you're having trouble with iron supplements. He or she may suggest you switch to one without iron until you're further along and your upset stomach lets up.


Try taking your prenatal vitamins with food, and do this at night instead of in the morning.


  • Ginger has long been thought to help with an upset stomach.
  • Be sure to only use it under a doctor's supervision because it hasn't been proven safe for pregnant women.

Acupressure bands

These bands go on your wrists and were developed to help with motion sickness, but some women use them to help ease the upset stomach of morning sickness.

Prescription medicines

  • There are also a number of drugs for women when over-the-counter (OTC) remedies don't work.
  • Some are considered safe to use while pregnant, and the chance of good results can often outweigh the risks of fluid loss.
  • Talk with your doctor before you take any medicine.

[references] Copyright © 2010 LimeHealth

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