We know how frustrating it is when you’re looking for information and get vague answers like “It depends” or “Every pregnancy is different.” But the question, ‘when does morning sickness stop?’ really does warrant this answer. Of course, we can tell you when it’s most likely to stop for most women, but that doesn’t mean it will for you.
Everyone’s experience is different.
Some mums-to-be have it so mild that they barely notice it. Others are stuck in bed for months, unable to keep anything down except for ice chips and the occasional cracker.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what, even if you’re experiencing the worst morning sickness imaginable right now, it won’t last forever, and you’ll have a baby in your arms before you know it.
Read on to learn the answers to your most pressing questions regarding how long this pesky symptom will be sticking around:
When does morning sickness start?
Morning sickness may actually be the first sign of pregnancy that you notice. And, it’s not unusual for it to be the only thing you have going on for a few weeks.
Morning sickness is completely normal and something that almost all pregnant women experience at some point in their pregnancies. In fact, up to 80% of pregnant women experience some form of morning sickness during their first trimester.
It typically starts around the 6th week of pregnancy, but it can start earlier, later, or not at all.
Why exactly morning sickness starts is still a mystery to researchers, but it’s likely caused by hormonal changes in your body that trigger nausea and/or vomiting.
When does morning sickness peak?
We all know that morning sickness hits at different times for different women, but when does it peak? Why does it peak?
Let’s break it down.
HCG levels double every two days during the first four to six weeks of pregnancy. After this period, it may take three to four days for HCG levels to double until the sixth week. Then HCG levels tend to peak around week ten before levelling off and remaining constant for the remainder of the pregnancy.
If hormones are to blame for morning sickness, it makes sense that the symptoms peak during the weeks when hormone levels are at their highest.
When does morning sickness stop?
Now for the question, every pregnant woman with morning sickness wants to be answered:
When will it end?!
The good news is: it doesn’t tend to stick around beyond the first trimester. According to the NHS:
Morning sickness is unpleasant, and can significantly affect your day-to-day life. But it usually clears up by weeks 16 to 20 of your pregnancy and does not put your baby at any increased risk.
The bad news is: Not everyone gets relief that early. Some women will still be feeling the effects of morning sickness up to their due date, and in some cases even beyond that.
Does morning sickness end suddenly or gradually?
For most women morning sickness tends to gradually get better from around 11 weeks, when hormone levels have peaked and are starting to level out.
It is unlikely for your pregnancy symptoms to suddenly stop. So, if you do get a sudden change in your symptoms, it’s important to contact your doctor or midwife straight away as it could be a sign of something more serious.
What can make morning sickness worse?
Even if temporary, morning sickness can be pretty awful while it lasts. Here are some things that might make it even worse:
Stress: Stress can make morning sickness worse because when you’re stressed out, you produce more of the hormone cortisol, which can slow down digestion and increase nausea symptoms.
Dehydration: If you don’t drink enough water during pregnancy, you’re likely to feel dehydrated and that will make your nausea worse. Dehydration is especially common in the first trimester when your body has less blood volume as it prepares for pregnancy; this makes it harder to process fluids even when they’re in your system.
Lack of sleep: Skipping on sleep increases stress levels that contribute to morning sickness symptoms. You’ll also likely have difficulty waking up early or staying awake late because your circadian rhythm has been disrupted by pregnancy hormones; this leads to fatigue that makes nausea worse as well!
Smells: One of the most common triggers for morning sickness is smells, specifically, the smell of food! This can be a real problem if you’re trying to eat right when you’re feeling nauseous. If you find yourself constantly feeling sick after eating meals or snacks that contain strong smells like garlic or onions, try cutting back on these foods in favour of bland ones like crackers or toast. You might also want to avoid cooking with these ingredients as well, they can linger in the air for hours after being cooked. You may wish to consider combatting this by investing in a Midwife Developed Morning Sickness Kit which contains Ginger, Vitamins and Essential oils that are linked to a reduction in Morning Sickness Symptoms.
Motion: If motion makes your morning sickness worse, try limiting your time in cars, trains, buses, and airplanes while pregnant, or at least take frequent breaks from travel to keep yourself comfortable. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during these trips! Alternatively, you may wish to consider purchasing this High Tech Wristband which boasts an 85% Success rate in reducing or eliminating symptoms! It’s also great for those who suffer general motion and travel sickness.
How do you know when morning sickness is going away?
Sorry to break this to you, but, morning sickness can come and go in waves, or even disappear for weeks at a time before returning.
A sure sign of when it’s leaving is to keep track of your symptoms. Note down each time you feel sick or experience nausea, then once you’ve noticed the pattern of when your symptoms are most severe, you’ll be able to plan around them and notice when they are lessening.
What if I’m still sick after 14 weeks?
Morning sickness is common in early pregnancy, but sometimes symptoms last longer than usual. If you’re still feeling sick after 14 weeks, talk to your midwife or healthcare provider.
There is a chance of developing a severe form of pregnancy sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a serious condition that can lead to dehydration and malnutrition and you may need specialist treatment in the hospital.
It’s also possible that you might have developed a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can be dangerous if left untreated, so always make sure to call your healthcare provider if you experience these symptoms:
-You’re unable to urinate, urinate a very small amount, or urinate fewer than three times per day
-Your urine is dark in colour or has a strong odour
-You can’t keep any foods or liquids down for 24 hours or more
-You’ve stopped gaining weight or have lost five pounds or more within one to two weeks
-Your skin, mouth, and lips are very dry
-You get dizzy when you stand up
-You get tired and confused easily
-Your heart is racing or pounding.
Can Morning Sickness Last All Pregnancy?
The answer to this question is yes, it can. While morning sickness usually goes away by the end of the first trimester, it can continue for the rest of the pregnancy in some cases.
If you’re experiencing morning sickness for longer than normal or it’s starting to affect your day-to-day life, it may be worth talking to your doctor about treatment options.
While there’s no cure for morning sickness, there are treatments that can help relieve some of the symptoms. Your doctor will be able to discuss with you the different options available and what’s right for your body.
Who’s at risk for more severe morning sickness?
Research has shown that morning sickness may be more severe in some women than others.
Some of the factors that may put you at risk for more severe morning sickness include:
-Being pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets)
-Having a history of migraines or other headaches
-Experiencing severe morning sickness in previous pregnancies
-Being older than 35 years old
-Having food intolerances
Can morning sickness cause any complications?
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can be extremely unpleasant, but it’s not usually dangerous for the mother or baby. However, if you have severe nausea and vomiting, it could lead to problems such as dehydration, malnutrition, and electrolyte imbalances.
If you’re worried about any of your symptoms in pregnancy, get advice from a healthcare professional and check the NHS website for more information on what to be concerned about.
Dos and Don’ts to help
When morning sickness hits, here are some do’s and don’ts for relieving your symptoms:
DO: Eat small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
DON’T: Skip meals or fast while pregnant. This can lead to low blood sugar and dizziness, which makes you feel even more nauseous.
DO: Eat foods that are easy on your stomach, like crackers, plain rice, or toast with peanut butter, and avoid anything too strong or spicy
DON’T: Try to force yourself to eat if it doesn’t sound good or you’re unsure about how it will sit in your stomach. If you’re feeling queasy, stick with simple foods that won’t upset your stomach further.
DO: Drink plenty of water. Hydration is key when you’re feeling nauseous, and it will help keep your body running smoothly.
DON’T: Overdo it on caffeine! Caffeine can make symptoms worse, so if you’re trying to avoid coffee or other caffeinated beverages, try swapping them out for something more soothing—like a warm cup of tea or ginger ale.
DO: Take a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins are great for your overall health and can help to ease morning sickness.
DON’T: Forget to keep track of when your symptoms are at their worst so can work your day around them
DO: Get enough sleep. Morning sickness can be exhausting, especially if it lasts all day long! Make sure to get plenty of rest so that you have the energy to take care of yourself and your growing baby.
DON’T: Hesitate to get help if worried. If you’re concerned about how much weight you might be gaining during pregnancy or any other aspect of pregnancy health, don’t wait until later in the pregnancy before seeking out help from a doctor or midwife!
We understand that morning sickness can be a very challenging experience, and we hope that by addressing these common questions we have helped settle your mind.
We wish we could help settle your stomach, but for now, you’ll have to be content with our best wishes for a healthy pregnancy and a happy baby.
Thanks for reading!