When Does Morning Sickness Start?

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At the beginning of your pregnancy, you’ll have many questions for your doctor, your friends with kids, and Google. Morning sickness is probably on your list. Dr. Karla Maguire, obstetrics and gynecology expert at the University of Miami Health System, is here with straight forward answers — and nausea remedies — to put your mind at ease.

Pregnant women know all too well: morning sickness symptoms (nausea or vomiting associated typically in the first trimester of pregnancy) can hit you at any time of day. Still it typically starts around the sixth week of pregnancy as your hormone levels are affected. To determine your date of conception, begin counting from the day your last menstrual period started. Then confirm the date with an ultrasound at your OBGYN’s office. Morning sickness doesn’t begin earlier than six weeks, says Dr. Maguire, because pregnancy hormones usually aren’t high enough at that stage. While it can be distressing and bothersome, morning sickness isn’t bad for your body nor dangerous for your baby. “It can actually be a reassuring sign that your pregnancy hormones are still elevated,” Dr. Maguire says. “But if you don’t experience morning sickness at all, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your pregnancy.”

How do I reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy?

If vomiting is affecting your quality of life, “there’s no need to suffer," she says. "There are a lot of safe prescription medications you can try to alleviate the symptom of morning sickness, and you can speak to your physician about them.”

Pregnant women can also try these medication-free remedies for morning sickness:
  • Eat ginger or drink ginger tea.
  • Wear wrist bands designed to apply gentle pressure.
  • Eat small meals often as an empty stomach can cause nausea.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink a before or after a meal, but not with meals.
  • Drink small amounts of fluids during the day.
  • Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning.
  • Eat whenever you feel like you can stomach it.
  • Avoid cooking your own food.
  • Get fresh air or rest near a fan.
  • Avoid warm places.
  • Sniff lemons or ginger.
  • Drink lemonade or eat watermelon.
  • Eat salty potato chips.
  • Engage in light to moderate exercise.
  • Avoid skipping meals.
  • Don’t eat spicy food.

“Talk to your doctor,” says Dr. Maguire. “We have ways to help.” Keep in mind that morning sickness generally lasts through 12 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. Then, most pregnant women say they tend to feel much better.


Dana Kantrowitz is a contributing writer for UMiami Health News.


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