Morning sickness (also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, or NVP) is feeling sick to your stomach (also called nausea) and vomiting that happens in the first few months of pregnancy. Even though it's called morning sickness, it can last all day and happen any time of day.
At least 7 in 10 women have morning sickness during the first trimester (first 3 months or about 12 weeks of pregnancy). It usually starts at about 6 weeks of pregnancy and is at its worst at about 9 weeks. Most women start to feel better in their second trimester. But some may have morning sickness throughout pregnancy. If you have morning sickness, tell your provider.
Mild morning sickness doesn’t harm you or your baby. But if morning sickness becomes severe (called hyperemesis gravidarum), it can lead to weight loss and dehydration (not having enough water in your body). These problems can be harmful during pregnancy. If you have severe morning sickness, you may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.
No one knows for sure what causes morning sickness. An increase in pregnancy hormones, like human chorionic gonadotropin (also called HCG), or low blood sugar early in pregnancy may cause morning sickness. Being stressed or overly tired, eating certain foods and traveling (if you’re likely to have motion sickness) may make the morning sickness worse.
Here are some things you can do to help you feel better and may even prevent morning sickness:
Talk to your health care provider before trying any of these methods to relieve or prevent morning sickness:
For most women, morning sickness is mild and goes away over time. But call your health care provider if:
Your provider may prescribe a medicine to help relieve your nausea. It comes as a tablet that you take every day as long as you have symptoms.
About 2 in 100 women may have a severe kind morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, which means severe vomiting during pregnancy. Women with this condition can’t keep any food or fluid in their stomach. They may lose weight or become dehydrated. This condition can begin early in pregnancy and last throughout pregnancy.
You may be more likely than other women to have severe morning sickness if you:
Signs of severe morning sickness include:
If you have severe morning sickness, you may need treatment in a hospital with intravenous fluids. These are fluids that are given through a needle into a vein.
Last reviewed July 2013
Knowing the signs of pregnancy can help you tell if you’re pregnant. Here are some signs that you might be pregnant:
If you have any of these pregnancy signs and think you may be pregnant, go to your health care provider. The sooner you know you're pregnant, the sooner you can begin prenatal checkups and start taking good care of yourself and your growing baby.
You'll start feeling your baby's kicks at around the 28th week of pregnancy. By this time, your baby's movements are usually well established and some health care providers recommend keeping track of these movements.
Keep counting until you've felt 10 movements from baby. If baby doesn't move 10 times within 1 hour, try again later that day. Call your health provider if your baby's movement seems unusual or you've tried more than once that day and can't feel baby move 10 times or more during 1 hour.
Popcorn popping. A little fish swimming. Bubbles. Butterflies. Tickles. These are common words used by women to describe their baby's first movements. Also known as "quickening," it's a reassuring sign that your baby is OK and growing. This milestone typically starts sometime between 18 to 25 weeks into pregnancy. For first-time moms, it may occur closer to 25 weeks, and for second- or third-time moms, it may happen much sooner.
At first it may be difficult to tell the difference between gas and your baby moving. You might not feel movement as early as you are expecting to feel it, but you'll notice a pattern soon. You'll start to learn when the baby is most active and what seems to get her moving.