What do you think is the most common pregnancy symptom?
It’s morning sickness.
Morning sickness occurs in approximately 80% to 90% of all pregnancies!
Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy begins between the 4th and 7th week after the last menstrual period in 80% of pregnant women and resolves by the 20th week of gestation in all but 10% of these women. Source
Still, there are a lot of myths about morning sickness during pregnancy that I think need to be dispelled.
These are a few things that I’ve learned about morning sickness firsthand — after 3 pregnancies.
MYTH #1: Morning sickness only happens in the morning.
The nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness doesn’t just strike in the morning.
It can occur at any time during the day or night.
In early pregnancy, the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is usually the highest in the morning — which causes some women to feel nauseated and queasy when they first get up. As the day goes on, they may start to feel a little better and not as queasy as before.
But many women experience the effects of morning sickness all day long. In those cases, it’s usually triggered by fatigue, smells, hunger, or a number of other factors.
MYTH #2: Morning sickness only happens when pregnant with your first child.
Whoever came up with the theory that morning sickness only occurs in first-time pregnancies probably didn’t have more than one child.
Take it from me, it can happen during any pregnancy at any time.
In fact, if you had morning sickness during a previous pregnancy, you are much more likely to experience it during a subsequent one.
I never experienced morning sickness until I was pregnant with my 3rd child — and let me tell you it sucked… big time! I never really appreciated how lucky I was not to have it until I did. And then I couldn’t get rid of it.
My morning sickness lasted all day long. I was nauseated all of the time. I also smelled things that I could never smell before — from 3 rooms away! For example, I couldn’t stand the scent of my husband’s beard or fried foods — how random is that?
MYTH #3: Morning sickness can be controlled.
Anyone who thinks that morning sickness can be controlled needs to think again.
It’s caused by an influx of pregnancy hormones — which no one has any control over. Because of this, it can occur in waves, randomly, or not at all.
There are many home remedies (such as eating ginger or crackers) and some medications (such as Zofran or Metoclopramide) that can be taken to help control it, but those aren’t always effective. In fact, many women — including me — have found very little, if any, relief after trying the morning sickness home remedies.
The only thing that helped to ease my discomfort was time… after my body had finally adjusted to the pregnancy hormones.
MYTH #4: Morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy.
When I went in for a routine prenatal visit, I asked my doctor why I was so sick and miserable. She said that it’s often considered a sign of a healthy pregnancy.
I assumed she said that to relieve my anxiety — because I had a million questions.
The hard cold truth is: morning sickness doesn’t necessarily indicate that the pregnancy is a healthy one. You can have morning sickness and go on to miscarry or have a child with abnormalities later on.
The only thing that morning sickness is a sign of is a high level of pregnancy hormones — which can even occur in ectopic and nonviable pregnancies, especially during the early months.
MYTH #5: Morning sickness goes away for good in the second trimester.
For most women, morning sickness usually disappears once you’re in the second trimester.
But, for others, it may persist or disappear only to come back several weeks later or at the start of the third trimester. There is no reason as to why this happens.
It’s also impossible to determine ahead of time if you will end up with nausea and vomiting throughout your pregnancy or not.
The best advice I can offer you if you’re suffering from morning sickness is to get lots of rest — even if you don’t feel tired — and keep some food on your stomach.
- Rest helps to keep your hormone levels from going so crazy, and it can alleviate the severity of morning sickness as well.
- Keeping a full stomach, as challenging as it may be, will keep you from feeling so nauseated. So you won’t feel like you’re ready to vomit quite as often.
Be brave and do your best to weather this storm — so you can enjoy the rainbow that’s at the end of it when you give birth to a beautiful healthy baby!
I’m a stay-at-home mom and writer. Having experienced the joys and discomforts of pregnancy 3 times, I have a lot of advice to offer expecting mothers. I’m committed to providing new moms with an in-depth and honest view on pregnancy, so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and a good feel for what pregnancy is really like.