Morning sickness is the worst. I actually shudder a little bit when I think about how horrible it was for me. Seriously. The good news is that morning sickness, or nausea during pregnancy, is perfectly normal. Regardless of how "normal" it is, though, it's damn near impossible not to wonder when morning sickness starts and ends? I'm happy to report that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. No, really. I swear.
The Mayo Clinic's website describes morning sickness as nausea or vomiting experienced by most, but not all, people during pregnancy. Despite it's misleading name, The Mayor Clinic says morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night. It is most often experienced during the first trimester, sometimes beginning as early as two weeks after conception.
The American Pregnancy Association (APA) states that morning sickness is often one of the first signs of pregnancy, starting even before many women know they're pregnant. According to the APA website, it generally begins around the sixth week of pregnancy and as your body reacts to increased levels of hormones, then peaks around the ninth week of gestation. For most women, pregnancy-related nausea seems to stop after the 12th week of pregnancy, or when they start their second trimester.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most cases of morning sickness are not severe enough to require a doctor's visit and can be managed at home with remedies like frequent small meals, ginger ale, and avoiding nausea triggers. The site does, however, advise pregnant women to contact their health care provider if they can't keep food or liquids down, your urine is dark in color, you feel faint, or your heart is racing. These might be signs that you require medical assistance such as anti-nausea medication or I.V. fluids, or that you have a severe condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
According to the Hyperemesis Education and Research (HER) Foundation, HG is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that prevents suffers from eating and drinking an adequate amount. If left untreated, HG can result in dehydration, weight loss, and health complications for both pregnant women and their babies. Unfortunately, according to the HER foundation's website and unlike morning sickness, HG usually continues well beyond the first trimester. Many women experience relief by 21 weeks, but others (like me) can suffer their entire pregnancy.
All of the websites agree that whether you have morning sickness or HG, it's important that you consult your health care provider if your nausea or vomiting persists. In the meantime, you might like to know that morning sickness is generally considered a good sign that your pregnancy is progressing. Chances are relatively high that, in a few weeks, you will be back to feeling normal. Well, as normal as you feel during pregnancy, of course.