What Does Morning Sickness Feel Like?

Nausea and vomiting is a common symptom of early pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, you may be wondering "Does morning sickness only happen in the morning?" The truth is that this kind of upset stomach can happen at any time, although morning is most common because that's when your stomach is the most empty.

What Does Morning Sickness Feel Like?

Morning sickness is a common phenomenon of early pregnancy, with nausea affecting 80%-90% of women. It peaks around the 6th week of gestation and goes away around the 16th week of pregnancy, although some women have it throughout pregnancy. Most women have minor symptoms that don't interfere with the quality of their life, while a few have symptoms so serious that it requires hospitalization. Severe morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum.

1. Minor Morning Sickness

It doesn't happen every day and doesn't interfere with your daily activities. Some women have minor symptoms, including feeling ill by certain food smells and almost daily nausea in the morning.

2. Standard Morning Sickness

The symptoms are worse in the morning, but improve as the day progresses. You may have actual vomiting, but most often they are just dry-heaves.

3. Moderate Morning Sickness

It includes sickness that occurs almost every day and affects your eating. Sometimes it lasts until early in the afternoon.

4. Bad Morning Sickness

It involves nausea all the time and throwing up at least twice a day. Food smells can cause a loss of appetite, vomiting or just dry-heaving. But have some faith that it doesn't last forever.

5. Severe Morning Sickness

It can lead to bedrest and dehydration. If you experience low urine volume, weakness and fever, talk to your obstetrician about hospitalization and inject IV fluids to keep your hydrated.

If your morning sickness is really annoying that interferes with your daily normal life, try the 8 methods to get some relief: 

Why Do I Experience Morning Sickness?

The next thing after "What does morning sickness feel like?" is to find the cause. Although no one knows the real cause of morning sickness, but there are several theories.

  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is considered one of the major causes of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting because it is worse in women with higher HCG levels.
  • Estrogen is another possible cause of morning sickness. Estrogen levels are high in pregnancy and may contribute to your nausea and vomiting.
  • Some theorize that morning sickness is a protective part of pregnancy. It tells you to avoid those foods that might damage the fetus or yourself during pregnancy.
  • Another theory is that progesterone levels, increased in pregnancy, causes food to pass through the GI tract slower, and the delay can cause increased nausea and vomiting.
  • Some says that morning sickness is caused by low blood glucose levels. Your fetus may consume so much sugar that your blood sugar levels become too low. As a result, you may suffer from nausea and vomiting.
  • Low vitamin B levels are implicated in the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy; this is why B vitamins can sometimes reverse the symptoms.

Can Morning Sickness Affect My Pregnancy?

Now that you have known the answers to "What does morning sickness feel like?" you may be worrying whether or not morning sickness will affect the fetus. In fact, even when morning sickness is really bad, your fetus is not likely to be harmed by the symptoms, especially if the serious symptoms are treated by a doctor or soothed by IV fluids.

In fact, morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy. When the HCG levels are high, it means that the placenta is producing a lot of this pregnancy hormone so that you are less likely to suffer from a miscarriage. Of course, even if you are not sick at all, it doesn't mean you will have an unhealthy pregnancy. You might just have a strong constitution and nausea may not affect you the same as it does other women.

When Should You Worry About Your Morning Sickness?

Knowing "What does morning sickness feel like?" is not enough; you should know when to worry about morning sickness. If you discover that the vomiting is frequent and that you barely can keep foods or fluids down, see your doctor immediately. Evidence suggests that you need to seek medical advice under the following situations:

  • Having dark urine or an absence of urine
  • Vomiting up blood
  • Fever or abdominal pain
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Inability to keep anything down for at least a day
  • Having faint or weak feelings

These may be signs that you have hyperemesis gravidarum and need some extra attention which might include going to the hospital for a few days to receive IV fluids and electrolytes. This will regenerate your electrolyte stores and may relieve your symptoms for a time.

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