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When You Should Be Concerned About Morning Sickness

In most cases, morning sickness is a perfectly normal part of pregnancy. Beginning about the sixth week and lasting throughout the first trimester, most pregnant women experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to particular foods and smells. Often, these are the first signs of pregnancy. Morning sickness in and of itself is not harmful to your baby, or to you. While it is unpleasant, it can be a sign that your pregnancy is progressing normally. However, there are some instances in which severe morning sickness symptoms may point to other problems which should be brought to your health care professional’s attention. Following are some signs that you should notify your physician:

  • Nausea or vomiting continues well into the second trimester. IF you are still experiencing morning sickness after the thirteenth week, make sure your doctor is aware. While this is not necessarily a problem, as many women experience morning sickness throughout pregnancy, it is something she will need to be aware of as she considers other factors regarding the overall healthiness of your pregnancy.
  • If you are experiencing severe nausea or vomiting to the point that you are unable to keep food down, contact your physician. Any time morning sickness prevents you from digesting more than one meal, you should make your doctor aware. Missing meals deprives you and your baby of much needed nourishment during this vital part of your pregnancy, and your doctor will want to take steps to ensure that you are not becoming malnourished.
  • If you are running a fever, or experience pain during vomiting, contact your health care provider, as this could be a sign of a more serious condition.
  • If you vomit blood, call your physician right away.
  • If you are feeling dizzy or faint when you stand up, consult your doctor.
  • If you are not urinating as much or more than you normally do, or if your urine is darker than normal, inform your health care professional. These may be signs of dehydration or infection.
  • If your heart races or you find yourself having heart palpitations, consult your doctor.
  • If you are having trouble keeping down liquids, call your doctor right away. Your body can quickly dehydrate if you are not taking in enough fluids, and your doctor may need to either prescribe anti-nausea medication or use an IV to ensure that you are taking in enough fluid for yourself and the baby.
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When Does Morning Sickness Begin?

For the vast majority of women, morning sickness doesn’t truly begin until around the sixth week of your pregnancy. Generally speaking, it will continue for several weeks, beginning to subside around the 12th week of pregnancy or so. To be sure, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Some women may have morning sickness begin sooner than the sixth week. There are some women who have said that they experience morning sickness as early as the second week of pregnancy, from the time that a fertilized egg implants. Other women may have their morning sickness continue beyond week 12, too. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy tends to be different, as well.

It is estimated that morning sickness is experienced by about 70 percent of women. This makes morning sickness one of the most common signs of pregnancy. Especially when you couple morning sickness with a missed period, it can be a compelling reason to think that you might be pregnant.

There is a very specific biological reason that morning sickness begins around week six of your pregnancy. There is some research that suggests morning sickness is caused, at least in part, by the various changes in hormone levels that take place during pregnancy. This is consistent with what we know about pregnancy. By about week six, your hCG levels are rising. They will continue to rise for several weeks. Generally speaking, they will stabilize at around week 12 of pregnancy. This connection between hCG and pregnancy isn’t necessarily a proven or established fact, but it’s most certainly a plausible theory.

The good news about morning sickness is that, regardless of when it begins, it’s going to end eventually. Most women won’t experience more than mild inconvenience due to morning sickness. If, however, your morning sickness is severe, persistent, or accompanied by prolonged vomiting, you need to make sure you talk to your doctor about the problem. If you can’t keep food down, it’s going to be hard for your body and for your baby to get the nutrition that you both need in order to have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

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When Will My Morning Sickness End?

The fact of the matter is that there’s no hard and fast rule about when morning sickness will end. It can be very different for every pregnancy. Notice that we said every “pregnancy,” and not every “woman.” You see, you might actually have very different morning sickness experiences from one pregnancy to the next. All of that being said, we can look at some overall trends and see that morning sickness, on average, will end by around week 12 of your pregnancy.

To be sure, there are women for whom morning sickness lasts longer than the 12th week of pregnancy. There are some women who suffer from morning sickness well into the second trimester. Those are fairly rare, however. Really, morning sickness after week 12 is considered to be rare overall.

Morning sickness tends to begin at about the sixth week of pregnancy. What this means is that, for most women, you can count on about six weeks of morning sickness. Some women might start sooner, of course, and some might start later. A surprising 30 percent of women never experience any morning sickness, as a matter of fact.

While researchers aren’t completely certain, morning sickness may be related to the levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in your body. This is the same hormone that a pregnancy test looks for. HCG rises in your system, at first enough so that a pregnancy test can detect it, and then moreso between weeks six and 12 of pregnancy. The rise and fall of hCG seems to correspond very well to the rise and fall of morning sickness, although again this isn’t necessarily a conclusive thing yet.

If your morning sickness doesn’t end by around the time you start your second trimester, you should probably talk to your doctor. It could actually be that your upset stomach or nausea has a different cause, quite apart from morning sickness. You should also talk to your doctor if your nausea is severe and you’re having trouble keeping food down, as this will dramatically affect the nutrition that both you and your growing baby are getting.

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