Nausea & Vomiting In Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know About Morning Sickness

morning sickness symptoms, vomiting during pregnancy

Just got pregnant? Congratulations! The first trimester of pregnancy is exciting, but one thing that you probably won’t be too ecstatic about is the symptoms of morning sickness. These include feeling queasy and nauseous in the first few months, along with the rounds of vomiting during pregnancy. While common, it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to identify the triggers and alleviate the discomfort. Here’s everything to know about morning sickness, from how early it begins to when you should see a doctor if symptoms get severe. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Morning Sickness

For starters, morning sickness is one of the early signs that a woman is pregnant. The common symptoms of morning sickness include nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. This is often triggered by certain scents, foods, or even temperatures. Although it is called morning sickness, the symptoms can actually occur at any time of the day. While more common in the morning, a pregnant woman can also feel nauseous at night. 

How Early In Pregnancy Does Morning Sickness Start & How Long Does It Last?

Morning sickness mostly takes place during the first trimester or first three months of pregnancy. It can begin as early as the second week of pregnancy and may last up to the fourth month. Generally, symptoms tend to improve by the middle or end of the second trimester (14th week onwards). That said, each pregnancy is different and the timeline of symptoms may vary. 

What Causes Morning Sickness In Pregnancy?

One of the most common causes of morning sickness is the sudden change and increase in hormones during the early weeks of pregnancy. In addition to that, there are other factors that may contribute to nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, such as: 

  • Lowered blood sugar levels 
  • Being pregnant with twins or triplets 
  • Feeling extremely fatigued  
  • Emotional stress 
  • Travelling regularly 

How To Alleviate Morning Sickness Symptoms 

Drink Lots Of Water 

water in glass
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If you’re vomiting a lot during pregnancy, your body will be dehydrated. Hence, be sure to drink lots of fluids, especially water, throughout the day. Non-caffeinated beverages, electrolyte drinks, and ginger ale are recommended to relieve morning sickness symptoms.  

Avoid Spicy, Greasy, And Fatty Foods 

Pregnant women should stay away from rich foods that are spicy, greasy, and fatty. Besides being difficult to digest, these foods could further aggravate morning sickness and make you feel more nauseous. 

Go For Bland Foods Instead 

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A better option would be to consume bland foods such as rice, bread, crackers, and bananas. They’re easier to digest and are less likely to cause nausea. Foods that are high in protein and low in fat are also great for your first trimester. 

Eat Smaller Meals And Snack Often

To prevent yourself from feeling extremely full, avoid having three large meals a day. Instead, break down your meals into smaller portions and snack frequently throughout the day. This way, you won’t leave your stomach empty for too long, which could make your symptoms worse. 

Ensure Your Home Is Well-Ventilated

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Even the air in your home (or office) can trigger nausea in pregnant women. Therefore, remember to draw the curtains and keep the windows open for better airflow. A well-ventilated space will allow you to breathe fresh air. Alternatively, you could take a walk outdoors or try aromatherapy as certain essential oils could help minimise morning sickness. 

Related: 10 Best Air Purifiers In Malaysia For Homes Of All Sizes 

Identify Your Morning Sickness Triggers 

If possible, pay close attention to the odours or foods that make you feel nauseated or queasy. Some common scent triggers include the smell of strong perfumes, cigarette smoke, alcohol, and petroleum-based products. As for food, anything spicy, acidic, or pungent (like kimchi or sambal petai) could be potential triggers. Once you’ve identified which sights or smells are your morning sickness triggers, you can take proactive steps to avoid them altogether. 

Rinse Your Mouth After Vomiting

Concerned about your oral health because you’re vomiting often during pregnancy? Then be sure to rinse your mouth each time after you’ve vomited. FYI, vomiting causes increased acid in your mouth and brushing right away can damage your teeth enamel. The solution? Rinse your mouth with diluted mouthwash or a cup of water mixed with one teaspoon of baking soda to neutralise the acid. After 30 minutes, you may brush your teeth as per usual.  

Try Acupressure Wristbands 

morning sickness symptoms treatment acupressure band
Credit: & iiMONO Living via Shopee 

Another alternative way to treat and relieve morning sickness symptoms is to wear an acupressure wristband. These bands are worn to prevent motion sickness at sea, and similarly, they could help prevent nausea in some pregnant women. 

Switch Up Your Bedtime Routine

If you’re dealing with morning sickness at night, avoid eating too close to your bedtime. Eat earlier in the evening and opt for complex carbs and proteins instead of foods that take longer to digest. To soothe your symptoms, you can also sip on ginger tea before sleeping or diffuse scents like lemon, orange, or mint in your bedroom. Opening the window slightly will help prevent stuffy air too. 

Consult Your Doctor Regarding Prenatal Vitamins

In some cases, the iron from prenatal vitamins or supplements could make pregnant women feel queasy. To overcome this, try taking them with a snack or at night, right before you head to bed. If those methods still don’t work, consult your doctor about changing your prenatal vitamins or other alternative ways to get the vitamins and minerals you need. 

Related: The 11 Most Important Vitamins, Minerals, And Nutrients Pregnant Women Need

Severe Morning Sickness Symptoms: When To See A Doctor

While mild cases of morning sickness would not harm the mother and her baby, severe symptoms could. In fact, the medical term for severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is known as hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition leads to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and extreme weight loss, which could eventually harm the baby. 

Below are some examples of severe morning sickness symptoms that would warrant a pregnant woman to seek medical help:

  • Not being able to keep foods and fluids down 
  • When you vomit more than 4 times a day 
  • If there’s blood in your vomit
  • Feeling light-headed, dizzy, or faint when standing up
  • Severe weight loss (1kg or more)
  • Fever 
  • Frequent headaches or migraines 
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Infrequent urination or passing small amounts of urine that are dark in colour
  • Abdominal pain
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Severe nausea in the second trimester or after the fourth month

Understanding Morning Sickness Symptoms & Triggers Will Ease Nausea & Vomiting In Pregnancy 

morning sickness symptoms, vomiting during pregnancy
Credit: gpointstudio via Freepik

There isn’t a guaranteed way to get rid of morning sickness in the first trimester. However, there are ways for you to minimise the symptoms and reduce the discomfort. For example, knowing what your triggers are—whether that’s strong odours, overly rich foods, or fatigue—is helpful so you can steer clear of them. Meanwhile, watch out for severe symptoms such as poor weight gain or frequent vomiting during pregnancy; and don’t hesitate to call your doctor.

Need help navigating your pregnancy in the next nine months? Consider downloading these best pregnancy-tracking apps that are chock-full of prenatal health tips! Plus, make sure you’re getting these routine vaccines for pregnant women to protect yourself and your newborn from serious illnesses.

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