Sept 14, 2021
Dealing with Morning Sickness
Written By: Lexi Coerver
No matter how many books I read, no matter how many stories I heard, I knew I wouldn’t truly understand what pregnancy was like until I embarked on the journey myself. I assumed I was prepared, but I was not prepared for morning sickness.
Waking up each morning to a looming feeling of nausea that sometimes didn’t let up for days was agonizing! So, down the Google rabbit hole I went. Here’s what I learned, and what brought me some relief...
What causes morning sickness?
While no one knows exactly what causes morning sickness, it is for the most part due to the heavy influx of hormones. Your hCG (pregnancy hormone) levels increase steadily by the day until the end of your second trimester. That timeline aligns – both medically and anecdotally – with morning sickness’ usual wane. Elevated amounts of progesterone may play a role, too, because they can cause heartburn and indigestion. Pregnancy can also make you more prone to developing GERD, or gastrointestinal reflux disease. Other contenders include a newly hypersensitive sense of smell, fatigue, and excess saliva production. Who even knew that was a thing?
How soon can you get morning sickness?
Morning sickness typically begins around week 6 of pregnancy and exits around week 14 for most women, but of course that’s not everyone’s story. Morning sickness has been known to make an appearance at random, rearing its nasty head even in the third, and fourth trimesters. Whatever your experience is with this, or the other pregnancy body changes you’re going through, don’t be discouraged. This is your journey, have faith in the fact that you’re doing the absolute best you can to care for yourself and your baby.
“Every woman's pregnancy is a unique alchemy that unfolds in its own natural way. The good, the bad, and the ugly all show up to play at some point.”
What can I do to prevent morning sickness?
You can’t prevent morning sickness, but you can help stave it off. Believe me, you’ll quickly figure out what foods and scents send you reeling; try to avoid them. Other things that can help are sipping water throughout the day, eating very small meals, trying to engage the body in some type of movement such as walking or light stretching, and avoiding fattening, fried, salty, and spicy foods.
How do you deal with morning sickness?
Even when you do everything you can to minimize your morning sickness, that’s really all you can do. When you inevitably sense a wall of nausea swelling up like a monster tidal wave, try to take deep breaths, and remember it’s only temporary. Other remedies that are safe for pregnant women and are known to help fight nausea are ginger tea, peppermint oil, fennel seed tea, or simply rubbing clockwise on the belly can ease symptoms. My personal favorite was ginger chews, they got me through a lot of rough and tumble days. I also carried a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a small bottle of mouthwash in my bag, in case I did get sick.
Is it morning sickness or something else?
The silver lining to morning sickness is that many medical professionals see it as a good thing, because it indicates a healthy pregnancy. Morning sickness in the extreme, like nausea and/or vomiting for longer than 24 hours that prevents you from keeping down any food or fluids, calls for a visit to your doctor. About 3% of pregnant women experience what’s known as hyperemesis gravidarum, a serious form of morning sickness marked by regular vomiting (3x or more a day), severe dehydration, little or very dark urine production is an indicator, as well as weight loss of 5 or more pounds.
Will I make it through this?
Yes, absolutely! Every woman's pregnancy is a unique alchemy that unfolds in its own natural way. Morning sickness can be a hard thing to go through, especially while other pregnancy trials and tribulations test your patience simultaneously, remember at the end of the road the only thing that matters is a healthy mama, and healthy baby! You got this!