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Nausea & Vomiting in Pregnancy: Understanding Morning Sickness


Nausea and vomiting are among the most common and often the earliest signs of pregnancy. Known as "morning sickness," this term might be a slight misnomer. Nausea can strike at any time of day and sometimes persists well beyond the early morning hours. Fortunately, for most women, this uncomfortable aspect of pregnancy is resolved without medical intervention. Here's a closer look at how to cope with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Book an online appointment with Dr. Meenakshi Gupta for Pregnancy & Gynecology related issues.

Why Does Morning Sickness Happen?

While experts haven't pinpointed the exact cause of morning sickness, it's likely tied to the following:

Hormonal changes: The surge of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen during early pregnancy might play a role.

Sensitivity to smell: Pregnant women often experience a heightened sense of smell, which can trigger nausea.

Stomach sensitivity: Pregnancy hormones can slow down digestion, further contributing to nausea.

When Does Morning Sickness Start and End?

Morning sickness often arises around the 6th week of pregnancy and generally peaks around the 9th week. For most women, symptoms subside by the 14th to 16th week when they enter the second trimester. However, a small percentage may experience some degree of nausea throughout their pregnancy.

Tips for Managing Nausea & Vomiting

Here are some strategies to lessen those pregnancy-induced queasy woes:

Small, frequent meals: Stay away from large meals and an empty stomach. Eat snacks like crackers, dry toast or fruit throughout the day.

Bland foods: Stick to the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) or easily digestible, low-fat options when nausea is intese.

Cold foods: Cold or room-temperature meals may be less likely to trigger nausea than hot foods with strong smells.

Hydration: Sip on water, ginger ale, clear broths or electrolyte drinks often to prevent dehydration.

Ginger: Ginger tea, ginger candies or natural ginger supplements can soothe nausea (check with your doctor before taking supplements).

Rest: Listen to your body – try taking frequent naps when nausea is severe.

Prenatal vitamins: If your prenatal triggers nausea, ask your doctor about switching brands or taking it at night.

Acupressure: Some women find relief through acupressure wristbands designed to reduce nausea.

When to Be Concerned: Hyperemesis Gravidarum

While morning sickness is a common part of pregnancy, a small percentage of women develop a severe condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). HG involves relentless nausea and vomiting that can cause:

  • Severe dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Difficulty in daily activities

If you can't keep fluids or food down and are experiencing signs of dehydration, contact your doctor immediately. HG may require treatment through intravenous (IV) fluids, medications and, in some cases, hospitalization.

Also Read : Vomiting Blood During Pregnancy – What is Normal?

Additional Tips for Pregnant Women

Avoid Triggers: Pay attention to foods, smells or activities that make nausea worse and try to avoid them.

Fresh air: Open a window or step outside for a few minutes for fresh air.

Distraction: Engage in relaxing activities like reading a book or listening to music.

Talk to your doctor: Get guidance on managing symptoms and learn safe medication options.


Though morning sickness can be disruptive, remember it's often a temporary phase. Most women find relief using natural remedies and dietary adjustments. However, if your nausea and vomiting are severe or interfere with daily life, don't wait to see your doctor. You can manage these symptoms and move forward with a healthy pregnancy with proper care and support.

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