When Does Morning Sickness Come Back? An Expert Explains

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Morning sickness is awful — I speak from experience. During both of my pregnancies, I was sick from day one until delivery. For most women, though, it goes away with the first trimester, but it can return. (It's like a really terrible horror movie sequel.) So when does morning sickness come back? Can you prepare yourself for it?

According to the National Health Services in the U.K., for most women, the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness diminish greatly with the end of the first trimester. At this point, most women get a boost of energy, increased appetite, and generally feel better. I've heard women talk of this magical second trimester energy — you get to feel the baby move, your maternity pants still mostly fit, and you're feeling fine. It would be a real shock to the system for that to fall back into the toilet-hugging horror that is morning sickness after that period of bliss.

If you're one of the unlucky few, when does morning sickness come back?

I spoke with Kathryn Wright, MD from the Facey Medical Group to get to the bottom of nausea's great return. She tells Romper, "Morning sickness, also known as nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, and in severe cases, hyperemesis gravidarum, is extremely variable within a group of people, within the different pregnancies of the same person, and within each pregnancy. Typical onset is six to eight weeks. It peaks at 12 weeks, and is typically gone around 16 weeks. However, within that time, it can get better or worse daily or within a given day. Often a mom may notice it almost disappear, only to feel sick again days later."

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Later in pregnancy, usually the third trimester, many women experience a recurrence of their nausea. This is not usually morning sickness (unless it is severe and never went away in the first place). It is usually caused by the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter (muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach), as well as increasing intrabdominal pressure from the growing pregnancy, according to Wright. "The relaxation is caused by hormones which help relax the uterus (also a smooth muscle, like the esophageal sphincter), to prevent preterm birth."

However, it's important to note that while this recurrence is most likely nothing, you still need to talk to your provider about it, according to The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. Third trimester nausea and vomiting, especially when paired with fever, swelling, or headaches, is one of the primary symptoms of preeclampsia. Your OB-GYN or midwife will likely have you come in for a blood and urine draw and blood pressure check, and if those are all OK, send you home with no more than a "best of luck, see you next week."