Morning sickness is when you have nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Even though it’s called morning sickness, it can happen any time of day.
Morning sickness usually starts at about 6 weeks of pregnancy and goes away in the second trimester.
Lots of pregnant women have morning sickness. It usually doesn’t cause harm to you or your baby.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is severe nausea and vomiting that needs treatment (sometimes in a hospital) to help you get better.
If your morning sickness is severe or if it goes into your fourth month of pregnancy, tell your health care provider right away.
What is morning sickness?
Morning sickness (also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy) is nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) and vomiting that happens in the first few months of pregnancy. Even though it's called morning sickness, it can last all day and happen any time of day.
At least 7 in 10 pregnant women have morning sickness in the first trimester (first 3 months) of pregnancy. It usually starts at about 6 weeks of pregnancy and is at its worst at about 9 weeks. Most women feel better in their second trimester, but some have morning sickness throughout pregnancy. If you have morning sickness, tell your health care provider.
Mild morning sickness doesn’t harm you or your baby. But if nausea and vomiting becomes severe (called hyperemesis gravidarum), it can cause serious problems during pregnancy. You may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.
What is hyperemesis gravidarum?
About 3 in 100 women may have hyperemesis gravidarum. This is extreme, excessive nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It can cause you to lose weight and become dehydrated (not have enough water in your body). It can start early in pregnancy and last the entire pregnancy. If you have hyperemesis gravidarum, you need treatment to help keep you and your baby safe.
You may be at risk for hyperemesis gravidarum if you:
Are pregnant for the first time.
Are pregnant with a girl.
Are pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets or more). Being pregnant with more than one baby may increase your risk for severe morning sickness because you may have a large placenta and increased pregnancy hormones. The placenta grows in your uterus (womb) and supplies your babies with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord.
Had mild or severe morning sickness in a previous pregnancy, or your mother or sister had severe morning sickness during pregnancy. Take your family health history to help you find out about health conditions that run in your family.
Have motion sickness or migraines. A migraine is a severe headache that may make you sensitive to bright lights and sound.
Have trophoblastic disease, a condition that leads to abnormal cell growth in the uterus (womb).
Signs and symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum include:
Vomiting more than 3 to 4 times a day
Vomiting that makes you dizzy or lightheaded
Vomiting that makes you dehydrated. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include feeling thirsty, dry mouth, a fast heartbeat or making little to no urine.
Losing more than 10 pounds in pregnancy
If you have hyperemesis gravidarum, your provider may treat you with medicine to help relieve your nausea and vomiting. You may need treatment in a hospital with intravenous (also called IV) fluids. IV fluids go through a needle into your vein. They help you stay hydrated and can give you nutrients that you usually get from food. If you continue to lose weight, you may need a feeding tube to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients for you and your baby.
What causes morning sickness?
We don’t know for sure what causes morning sickness. It may be caused by low blood sugar or increased pregnancy hormones. Morning sickness may be worse if you’re stressed or overly tired, if you eat certain foods or if you’re traveling (if you often have motion sickness).
Can you prevent or relieve morning sickness?
Yes. Here’s what you can do to help you feel better and even prevent morning sickness:
Take a prenatal vitamin before you get pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about which one to take. Sometimes vitamins can upset your stomach, so take it with a snack.
Keep snacks by your bed. Eat a few crackers before you get up in the morning to help settle your stomach.
Eat 5 or 6 small meals each day instead of 3 larger meals.
Eat foods that are low in fat and easy to digest, like cereal, rice and bananas. Don’t eat spicy or fatty foods.
Eat healthy snacks between meals. This can help keep your stomach from being empty and helps prevent nausea. Try snacks that are high in protein, like milk or yogurt.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
Avoid smells that upset your stomach.
You may have heard about these ways to prevent or relieve morning sickness. Talk to your provider before trying any of these:
Acupressure and acustimulation (also called electrical nerve stimulation) wristbands. These involve putting pressure on or stimulating certain points of the body (called pressure points) to help prevent nausea.
Acupuncture. This is a kind of treatment in which thin needles are put into your skin. If you’re thinking about acupuncture to help with morning sickness, tell your provider and find an acupuncturist who is trained to work with pregnant women.
Ginger. Ginger is the root of a plant that is used in cooking and medicine. Ginger ale, tea or candies may help relieve morning sickness.
Even if it’s legal where you live for either personal or medical use, it’s not safe to use marijuana to treat morning sickness. No amount of marijuana has been proven safe to use during pregnancy. If you’re thinking of using marijuana to help with morning sickness, talk with your provider about other treatments that are safer for your baby.
Is there medical treatment for morning sickness?
Yes. If you can’t relieve morning sickness on your own or if you have severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, your provider may treat you with these medicines:
Vitamin B6 and doxylamine. Your provider may treat you with these medicines separately or together. You can get vitamin B6 and doxylamine over-the-counter (OTC), which means you don’t need a prescription for them from your provider. Doxylamine is found in some OTC medicines that help you sleep. Or your provider may prescribe you a medicine that combines them.
Antiemetic drugs. These are drugs that help prevent vomiting. If Vitamin B6 and doxylamine don’t work, your provider may prescribe an antiemetic drug for you. Not all are safe to use during pregnancy, so talk to your provider to make sure the medicine is a good choice for you.
Talk with your provider before you take any medicine during pregnancy, even medicine to help treat morning sickness.
When should you call your health care provider about morning sickness?
For most women, morning sickness is mild and goes away over time. But call your provider if:
Your morning sickness continues into your 4th month of pregnancy.
You lose more than 2 pounds.
Your vomit is brown in color or has blood in it. If so, call your provider right away.
You vomit more than 3 times a day and can’t keep food or fluids down.
Your heart beats faster than usual.
You’re tired or confused.
You’re making much less urine than usual or no urine at all.
Last reviewed: September, 2020
Nutrition, weight & fitness
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Vomiting and morning sickness - NHS
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, often known as morning sickness, is very common in early pregnancy.
It can affect you at any time of the day or night or you may feel sick all day long.
Morning sickness is unpleasant, and can significantly affect your day-to-day life. But it usually clears up by weeks 16 to 20 of your pregnancy and does not put your baby at any increased risk.
There is a chance of developing a severe form of pregnancy sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. This can be serious, and there's a chance you may not get enough fluids in your body (dehydration) or not get enough nutrients from your diet (malnourishment). You may need specialist treatment, sometimes in hospital.
Sometimes urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also cause nausea and vomiting. A UTI usually affects the bladder, but can spread to the kidneys.
Non-urgent advice: Call your midwife, GP or 111 if:
you're vomiting and:
have very dark-coloured urine or have not had a pee in more than 8 hours
are unable to keep food or fluids down for 24 hours
feel severely weak, dizzy or faint when standing up
have tummy (abdominal) pain
have a high temperature
have lost weight
Treatments for morning sickness
Unfortunately, there's no hard and fast treatment that will work for everyone’s morning sickness. Every pregnancy will be different.
But there are some changes you can make to your diet and daily life to try to ease the symptoms.
If these do not work for you or you're having more severe symptoms, your doctor or midwife might recommend medicine.
Things you can try yourself
If your morning sickness is not too bad, your GP or midwife will initially recommend you try some lifestyle changes:
get plenty of rest (tiredness can make nausea worse)
avoid foods or smells that make you feel sick
eat something like dry toast or a plain biscuit before you get out of bed
eat small, frequent meals of plain foods that are high in carbohydrate and low in fat (such as bread, rice, crackers and pasta)
eat cold foods rather than hot ones if the smell of hot meals makes you feel sick
drink plenty of fluids, such as water (sipping them little and often may help prevent vomiting)
eat foods or drinks containing ginger – there's some evidence ginger may help reduce nausea and vomiting (check with your pharmacist before taking ginger supplements during pregnancy)
try acupressure – there's some evidence that putting pressure on your wrist, using a special band or bracelet on your forearm, may help relieve the symptoms
Find out more about vitamins and supplements in pregnancy
If your nausea and vomiting is severe and does not improve after trying the above lifestyle changes, your GP may recommend a short-term course of an anti-sickness medicine, called an antiemetic, that's safe to use in pregnancy.
Often this will be a type of antihistamine, which are usually used to treat allergies but also work as medicines to stop sickness (antiemetic).
Antiemetics will usually be given as tablets for you to swallow.
But if you cannot keep these down, your doctor may suggest an injection or a type of medicine that's inserted into your bottom (suppository).
See your GP if you'd like to talk about getting anti-sickness medication.
Risk factors for morning sickness
It's thought hormonal changes in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are probably one of the causes of morning sickness.
But you may be more at risk of it if:
you're having twins or more
you had severe sickness and vomiting in a previous pregnancy
you tend to get motion sickness (for example, car sick)
you have a history of migraine headaches
morning sickness runs in the family
you used to feel sick when taking contraceptives containing oestrogen
it's your first pregnancy
you're obese (your BMI is 30 or more)
you're experiencing stress
Visit the pregnancy sickness support site for tips for you and your partner on dealing with morning sickness.
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Video: how can I cope with morning sickness?
In this video, a midwife gives advice on how to deal with morning sickness during your pregnancy.
Media last reviewed: 27 February 2017 Media review due: 27 March 2020
Community content from HealthUnlocked
Page last reviewed: 13 April 2021 Next review due: 13 April 2024
We fight against toxicosis - articles from the specialists of the clinic "Mother and Child"
Alexandrova Anna Evgenievna
Clinic "Mother and Child" South-West
Very often in the first trimester, the expectant mother feels weak, drowsy, she wants to lie down to rest, and sometimes she simply does not even have the strength to move. This, of course, is not toxicosis, but if such sensations arise, then they must be indulged so as not to inadvertently provoke another attack of nausea. Get plenty of rest and do not make any sudden movements, because even if you just fail to get up from a chair, you can provoke an attack of nausea.
Sleep with the windows open: the air in the bedroom should be fresh and cool. Go to bed on time, do not sit at midnight in front of the TV or at the computer, eliminate all irritating factors: an uncomfortable mattress, blanket, pillow, hard bedding - lack of sleep can respond with morning sickness.
Eat small meals, 5-6 times a day, or even more often. When you wake up, don't get out of bed right away. One of the most effective methods against toxicosis is breakfast in bed. In the evening, put crackers, yogurt, or any product that you can tolerate well next to your bed. Eat it before you get up, and then lie down for a while. Most likely, morning sickness will either not appear at all, or will be very weak.
Usually, in case of toxicosis, it is not recommended to eat fatty, smoked, salty, pickled, drink soda (the usual set of food hazards). But it is likely that some not very healthy product will now be well tolerated, and something from healthy food, on the contrary, will cause nausea. "Pregnant whims" - a cake with herring or pineapples at night - these are the requests of the body that it needs one or another component in food. For example, the desire to chew chalk is a sign of calcium deficiency. So eat what you like and what you want, within reason, of course. And if you don’t feel like something, even if this product is extremely useful and necessary, don’t eat it. If you feel sick from some dish, it means that the body signals you: I don’t need this now!
drink more often
Toxicosis may not be limited to nausea, some may also vomit. This means fluid is lost. Therefore, between meals, drink more often: a sip or two of mineral water or tea with lemon will help to cope with nausea and replenish lost fluids. But drink in small sips. Also, you should not drink food and you should give up soups for a while - a large amount of food drunk and eaten, on the contrary, only provokes nausea and vomiting.
breathe fresh air
Outdoor walks are good for everyone, but especially for toxicosis. Firstly, when walking, the blood of the expectant mother and baby is saturated with oxygen, which is very important for health, and secondly, walking calms the nervous system. Together, this helps to reduce the unpleasant symptoms of toxicosis. You need to walk at least two hours a day - but not just along the street, but in the place where the air is really fresh: in the forest, park, square, and best of all outside the city. Before you go out, think over the route: go away from gas-polluted highways, street cafes, food stalls and other "fragrant" places.
Taste and smell preferences change during the first trimester. Now even your favorite perfumes can cause nausea, headaches and allergic reactions. Therefore, put away all fragrant cosmetics that irritate you: perfumes, deodorants, creams, and so on. You will have to stop using your favorite perfume for both your husband and loved ones. Explain to others that this is not a whim, but a temporary measure, very soon everything will return to normal.
And do not worry that now you will be left without your usual beauty products. Both the cosmetic store and the pharmacy are full of different creams, tonics, shampoos without fragrance or with a minimal smell.
work with yourself
Psychologists believe that the cause of toxicosis is not only in hormonal changes, but also in the psychological state of a woman. The more a woman experiences, the more anxieties and fears she has, the more pronounced toxicosis can be. Ideally, it is better to limit yourself during pregnancy from any stress. Of course, it’s not always possible to eliminate nervous work or crowding in public transport, but watch less TV, don’t read negative news and various pregnant “horror stories” on the Internet, and don’t react to minor or even major everyday troubles everyone can do. Therefore, if you are worried about toxicosis, create your own comfortable world during pregnancy. If you can’t cope on your own, contact a specialist (psychologist). Toxicosis is really well treated with psychotherapy. The main thing is that the expectant mother should want to get rid of her own anxiety.
No matter how unpleasant toxicosis is, it does not last forever. It is necessary to suffer until the beginning or (less often) the middle of the II trimester. And very soon all the unpleasant symptoms of toxicosis will remain in the past!
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only with nausea in the morning on an empty stomach, pregnant women face, due to intoxication, but it is not uncommon for this problem to occur in males or even children
Do not worry too much if you have encountered such a problem once, it is likely that this is a banal poisoning. But, if nausea in the morning on an empty stomach does not go away, you should immediately consult a doctor. Some people are used to dealing with this problem with folk remedies and medicines and they really get better, but it is worth considering that most likely the disease or pathology itself continues to develop. And as a result, it will turn into a more serious form. That is why it is so important to consult a doctor who will find out the cause of morning sickness and prescribe the most effective treatment.
Most often, morning sickness on an empty stomach may indicate the presence of the following diseases:
unpleasant symptoms. This is due to inflammatory processes in the duodenum 12. The patient can also be tormented by: burning, bloating during and after eating, heartburn.
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) - also characterized by nausea in the morning, as well as after eating fatty or fried foods. This disease is easily confused with gastritis due to the similarity of symptoms, but with pancreatitis, the patient begins to have problems with stools and an unpleasant, bitter taste in the mouth.
Appendicitis - nausea is likely to fade into the background after unbearable pain in the right side begins to appear.
Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) - this disease can also be accompanied by morning nausea. Accompanying symptoms are pain in the right hypochondrium and excessive gas formation.
Other causes of nausea in the morning
After excluding the above diseases from the list of causes, the following causes can be considered:
Pregnancy. Intoxication and nausea in the morning is often found in pregnant women, especially in the early stages. This is a normal reaction of the body to significant changes and hormonal changes. It is very important to completely exclude drugs for the treatment of the digestive tract during pregnancy. These funds can have an extremely negative impact on the health of the patient, the unborn child and the course of pregnancy. Therefore, you will have to endure this ailment and get by with folk remedies, but be sure to consult your doctor.
Migraine. Morning sickness on an empty stomach may precede a severe headache. You will most likely still feel a lot of noise and increased sensitivity to smells.
High blood pressure (hypertension). The problem of morning sickness can be accompanied by headache and dizziness. If you do not pay attention to these symptoms in a timely manner, you risk starting this disease, which in turn can lead to a stroke.
Cardiovascular disease - rarely, nausea on an empty stomach occurs with heart failure or developing myocardial infarction. If nausea is accompanied by pain, a feeling of heaviness and tightness behind the sternum, numbness or tingling in one half of the body, it is necessary to seek medical help as soon as possible, as this may be an incipient myocardial infarction.
Increased intracranial pressure - Nausea and regurgitation in infants can occur when pressure increases inside the ventricles of the brain.
What to do if you feel sick in the morning
It is important to understand that regular morning sickness is a signal of the presence of a pathology or disease and it is highly undesirable to self-medicate. Be sure to consult a doctor for an examination, but if you don’t have such an opportunity at the moment, there are several effective ways that will help reduce or temporarily get rid of this problem:
Medicines. You need to be very careful and you must be sure that morning sickness is not the cause of pregnancy or an intestinal disease.
Ginger root, mint and lemon drinks. You can make infusions of these products for maximum effect, simply by adding them to a glass and boiling water, after 15 minutes you will have a very effective and safe (in the absence of allergies) remedy for morning sickness. YOU can also just add them to hot tea.
Medicinal collection - if nausea relentlessly torments you in the morning, you can try a collection of mint, oak bark and celandine. To prepare the drink, take 1 tsp of mint leaves, dried oak bark and chopped celandine, pour 0.5 l of boiling water and boil in a water bath for 10 minutes. After the broth is cooled and filtered, take 1 tablespoon 3-5 times a day before meals.