A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Morning sickness and pregnancy facts

Pregnant woman with strong pain of stomach and nausea sitting in bathroom

Despite being one of the most common pregnancy problems under the sun, so-called “morning sickness” has been confusing pregnant women for generations because its name is deceiving.

It doesn’t only happen in the morning, and sickness is sometimes an understatement. Despite being one of the most common pregnancy problems under the sun, so-called “morning sickness” has been confusing pregnant women for generations because its name is deceiving. When a pregnant mom gets nauseated when she first rises and also when she drives home from work, sees a scrambled egg, looks at an ultrasound photo, crosses her legs at the ankles—you get the idea—she’s apt to wonder whether she’s got something more than morning sickness.

Here are the facts you need to know about morning sickness and pregnancy:

  • It can strike any time of the day or night

An unfortunate one-quarter of all pregnant moms even experience it nearly all day.

  • It completely skips some pregnant women

Not having it doesn’t mean anything about the viability of the pregnancy, though some folklore out there may insist otherwise.

  • It can happen during any trimester

Though it’s most common in the first twelve weeks, your pregnancy hormones—the likely culprit behind morning sickness—can leave you feeling green even into the third trimester.

  • It won’t keep your baby from getting necessary nutrition

As long as you’re able to keep some food and liquids down, your baby will get what she or he needs.

  • It does not indicate the sex of your baby

There is data to suggest that women with extremely severe hyperemesis are more likely to have girls, but we wouldn’t buy any baby clothes too early.

Even though morning sickness and pregnancy go hand-in-hand, the severity of the condition varies widely. For some women, it’s a matter of feeling a little woozy. For others, it results in retching so hard their muscles ache. Hyperemesis gravidarum is the severest form. You might call it morning sickness on steroids – with a vengeance. If you have this, you’re likely unable to keep foods and liquids down, and you may even require prescription anti-nausea medications and/or IV nutrition. Seek a trusted women’s health doctor to help you feel as comfortable as possible during your pregnancy.

How to Stave off Morning Sickness

If you have the more usual form morning sickness, you can do a few things to fight it on your own. Most important is rest, rest, rest. Some women swear by eating small meals every hour or two, sipping rather than gulping fluids, incorporating ginger into your diet (candy, gum, tea, ginger ale, etc.), or wearing acupressure bands designed to fight nausea (available at most drug stores). Try a combination of techniques to see what works best for your morning sickness.

Do you have a remedy that works for you? Share it with us in the comments.

If you’re pregnant and are experiencing morning sickness that is interfering with your normal life, request an appointment with our doctors and women’s health team today. We’ll help you find ways to send your nausea packing so you can enjoy your pregnancy.

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