Morning Sickness: What to Expect

Morning sickness is one of the not-so-pleasant aspects of pregnancy. Here's what you should know about what causes it and how you can reduce your nausea.

There's no doubt that pregnancy is one of the most amazing things we can experience as women. To feel another human being developing inside you is almost surreal, and it creates a very special bond between Mama and Baby.

But even the most amazing things in life aren't perfect, and there are some things about pregnancy that are incredibly unpleasant. From constant popping sounds coming from joints that never popped before (and even from joints we never realized we had!) to nausea and vomiting, we ladies have to learn to accept the bad along with all the good. Of course, the end result is so worth the discomfort, but it's still good to know what to expect.

Whether you've had a few babies or you're getting ready to grow your first little miracle, you should be aware that you will likely experience some degree of morning sickness. More than half of all pregnant women do. You might be one of the lucky mamas who only gets a tiny bit of pregnancy nausea, or you may be someone who feels like you're vomiting up your toes every day.

Though every woman is different, it's a good idea to learn what's "normal" regarding morning sickness symptoms. So here are some basic facts you should know about what to expect when morning sickness hits, how to reduce your nausea with help from products like HerBaby, and when to consult your doctor regarding your symptoms.

What Causes Morning Sickness?

For most women, some mild nausea during pregnancy is unavoidable. While more research needs to be done to determine the exact cause of morning sickness, we do have enough information to know it's likely caused by rapidly rising hormone levels in the body (especially the hormone hyperemesis gravidarum, or hCG). HCG is often referred to as the "pregnancy hormone," and its rise is one of the earliest detectable signs that you've got a bun in the oven.

Unfortunately, since hormones are primarily to blame for you feeling a little "green," there's not a lot you can do to stop your symptoms from occurring. But there is always light at the end of the tunnel! For most women, vomiting and nausea from morning sickness don't continue past the first trimester.

Also, keep in mind that the urge to puke up your last meal is one of the many signs of a healthy pregnancy (as weird as that may seem). When the scent of your husband's or co-worker's food sends you running for the bathroom, it means your body is producing the hormone your baby needs to grow properly. Some biologists even suggest that morning sickness is an evolutionary adaptation to protect the baby.

It's thought that the female body adapted to experience morning sickness because it helps the body expel foods that may still contain harmful toxins that could damage the fetus during its most vulnerable developmental period. So even though it's unpleasant, morning sickness is ultimately a positive thing.

When Does Morning Sickness Usually Peak in Pregnancy?

For many women, nausea and vomiting from morning sickness tend to peak around weeks 9 or 10. During these weeks, hCG levels are the highest. So if you're already at week ten and wondering when you will stop getting up close and personal with your toilet, the answer is probably "very soon!"

Most women no longer feel any morning sickness symptoms by the time they reach weeks 14 through 20. Some women, unfortunately, experience mild or severe morning sickness long after that. But those cases are a little unusual and may warrant calling the doctor. We'll go over severe symptoms of morning sickness and what they could mean later on in this guide.

What Are the Symptoms of Morning Sickness?

Nausea (ranging from mild to severe) is the primary symptom of morning sickness in early pregnancy. For some women, morning sickness is the first clue they may be pregnant. But, of course, if you follow your cycle closely, you'll probably realize you've missed your period before you begin to feel the first twinges of nausea.

Different women describe morning sickness symptoms in different ways. Some say it feels a lot like mild motion sickness, while others describe it as the most crippling kind of nausea they've ever experienced. Severe nausea and vomiting may be a symptom of something serious (such as hyperemesis gravidarum) and may require immediate treatment.

What Can I Eat or Drink To Reduce Nausea?

If you're experiencing persistent nausea before your second trimester, there are a few types of foods and drinks you may want to avoid, and there are some good dietary choices you could make to help minimize your symptoms, mainly eating bland foods. First, let's start with the bad.

Foods To Avoid

Any pregnant woman with nausea can probably minimize symptoms by avoiding the following trigger foods:

  • Spicy foods (say goodbye to your favorite Indian restaurant for a while)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Caffeine

You may find that your nausea triggers aren't on this list. If they aren't, just keep track of what causes you to feel sick to your stomach, then try to stay clear of those foods until your morning sickness symptoms subside.

Foods To Eat

Just as there are triggering foods you should avoid, there are also some helpful foods and vitamins you may want to consume as morning sickness remedies. They include:

  • Saltine crackers (they taste bland and contain sodium which can help correct electrolyte imbalances)
  • Ginger tea
  • Ginger ale
  • Lemon water (sipped throughout the day to avoid dehydration)
  • Soups and broths
  • Peppermint tea
  • Toast

Generally, your safest bet to avoid persistent vomiting and nausea is to eat bland foods that don't feel heavy in your stomach. Very flavorful foods are more likely to make you feel sick. Don't forget to also take a prenatal vitamin throughout pregnancy. Good nutrition (especially sufficient vitamin B6 supplementation) may help you avoid extreme morning sickness.

How Can I Protect My Teeth From Frequent Vomiting?

Occasional mild morning sickness probably won't impact your teeth too much. But when you experience persistent vomiting during pregnancy, your teeth are exposed to harsh acids that can erode your enamel. To protect your teeth and avoid cavity development due to vomiting, try the following:

  • Rinse your mouth out with water every time you vomit.
  • Switch from a highly flavored toothpaste to a bland toothpaste.
  • Minimize your intake of sugary foods and drinks, as these may contribute to more severe morning sickness symptoms and further weaken your teeth.

You may also want to brush your teeth at a different time of day if brushing first thing in the morning makes you sick to your stomach or induces vomiting. Try putting a smaller dollop of toothpaste on your brush to see if that helps you avoid feeling sick due to the toothpaste's flavor. If you frequently vomit, you should also choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride. This will further protect your teeth from the damaging effects of stomach acid.

Should I Be Worried About Severe Morning Sickness?

While some nausea and vomiting are normal during the first trimester, it's not normal to lose weight drastically or be unable to keep food down due to persistent vomiting. If your morning sickness symptoms are severe or last your entire pregnancy, you'll want to consult with your OBGYN to see if treatment is appropriate.

If you have hyperemesis gravidarum (a severe form of morning sickness marked by extreme nausea and vomiting), both your life and the life of your baby could be at risk. To avoid a pregnancy loss, you may be given a prescription medication such as doxylamine to relieve your nausea. Carefully follow the instructions from your doctor to minimize the risk of pregnancy complications due to hyperemesis.

When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Morning Sickness?

There is a difference between mild nausea and severe morning sickness. All pregnant women need to be able to recognize the signs of hyperemesis gravidarum, so they know when it's time to see their doctor. Approximately three out of every 100 pregnant women experience hyperemesis gravidarum, which can be a very scary and dangerous condition characterized by the following:

  • Vomiting accompanied by fever and/or pain
  • Severe vomiting and nausea that continue after the 12th week of pregnancy
  • Severe dehydration from vomiting
  • Notable weight loss due to the inability to keep food down
  • Vomiting blood (which can appear black or red in color)
  • Fainting

If you develop the above symptoms, contact your health care provider right away.

How Is Severe Morning Sickness Treated?

There are various ways severe morning sickness can be treated. Your healthcare provider will analyze your particular case to determine which method(s) will work best for you. Here are some of the treatment options:

  • Vitamin B6 supplementation
  • Doxylamine
  • Acupressure (the research on the effectiveness of this treatment for morning sickness is mixed)
  • Meditation and other techniques for avoiding stress
  • Metoclopramide
  • Intravenous fluids to correct dehydration and electrolyte imbalance
  • Acid-reducing medications
  • Ginger tea

Scopolamine (an anti-nausea patch placed behind the ear) should never be used to treat severe morning sickness, as it may cause congenital disabilities if used in the first trimester. Unfortunately, this isn't the only anti-nausea medication that comes with risks of side effects to Mom and Baby.

For this reason, most doctors recommend vitamin B6 supplementation before anything else. Vitamin B6 and many other vitamins known to support healthy pregnancies and fetal development are included in Herbaby.

Can Morning Sickness Be Prevented?

You may not be able to prevent morning sickness during your pregnancy completely, but there are some things you can do to try! Here are ten tips to relieve morning sickness before it even starts.

  1. Eat nutritious meals without too much flavor and reduce your portion sizes. You're more likely to keep food down if you don't eat large meals.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you have a hard time keeping plain water down, try flavoring it with a little bit of honey or a delicious HerHydration packet.
  3. Wear loose clothing that doesn't restrict your belly. Maternity pants with stretchy belly bands feel amazing when you're pregnant.
  4. Avoid spicy food and any smells that trigger your nausea.
  5. Stay away from monitors and lights that flicker rapidly. For some reason, rapidly flickering lights can cause some women to feel motion sickness.
  6. Make sure you take vitamins and supplements that are safe to take during pregnancy (such as HerBaby). Some nutrients found in pregnancy supplements (especially a vitamin B6 supplement) can reduce symptoms of morning sickness.
  7. Stay active. You may not feel like exercising when you're focused on keeping your food down, but regular exercise is essential for optimal health throughout your pregnancy. If vigorous exercise makes you feel sick, opt for simple strolls around the neighborhood.
  8. Get as much sleep as your body needs. You'll notice that you're much more tired during pregnancy, so don't fight the urge to take power naps during the day. If you're struggling to get adequate sleep, try doing yoga or meditating before bed. Never take sleeping pills unless they are prescribed by your OBGYN.
  9. Tell your doctor if you've developed acid reflux symptoms during your pregnancy. Acid reflux is a common contributor to severe morning sickness symptoms.
  10. Drink stomach-settling teas such as peppermint and ginger tea. You may also want to add slices of raw ginger to your water each day for quick nausea relief.

You may discover that some of these tips work better for you than others. Feel free to create your own customized list once you've determined what works best for your morning sickness. You may also find that cold foods, such as popsicles and Jell-O, help to quell your nausea before it gets too bad. Keep plenty of these treats in your house, so they're available when you need them!

What Is Herbaby?

Herbaby is a gentle product formulated to support the health needs of pregnant women and their developing babies. Mixhers developed the product based on the premise that pregnancies don't have to be hard when we give our bodies the ideal blend of nutrients. These nutrients are hand-picked to increase energy, alleviate nausea from morning sickness, ease physical discomfort, and help pregnancy go more smoothly. But the benefits don't end with Mom.

Herbaby is also designed with Baby's needs in mind. Unlike medication that may help reduce vomiting but could cause a certain birth defect, It contains vitamins and minerals that facilitate healthy brain and body development and may decrease the likelihood of congenital disabilities. A quick look at the nutrition facts panel shows that Herbaby has some seriously awesome ingredients for pregnant women, including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Chromium

It's also flavored with natural flavors and stevia leaf extract, so you don't need to worry about drinking loads of sugar or artificial ingredients that can further exacerbate your morning sickness symptoms. For best results, combine Herbaby with other Mixhers products, such as Hergreens or Herhydration.

Can Herbaby Help My Morning Sickness?

HerBaby is specifically designed to help with all the common complaints surrounding pregnancy, including morning sickness. It contains 2.805 mg of vitamin B6, which is 160% of the Daily Value. Doctors frequently recommend increasing vitamin B6 intake during pregnancy to help relieve morning sickness. Each Herbaby packet not only contains a good amount of this anti-nausea ingredient, but it also contains other nutrients that promote health and wellness throughout pregnancy.

One of the nicest things about Herbaby is that each flavor option is pleasant and refreshing. When mixed with eight ounces of water, you'll get a delicious taste that isn't overwhelming. But if you need to dilute the flavor even more, to avoid triggering your morning sickness, feel free to simply add more water to your packet of Herbaby. You should also consume this product with food to further avoid stomach upset (since all vitamins and minerals can potentially trigger nausea).

The primary mission of Mixhers is to help every woman feel her best throughout pregnancy and beyond. We accomplish this goal by formulating highly researched, quality products designed to promote health in the female body. But we don't stop there. We have also compiled and released valuable information about women's bodies, hormones, menstrual cycles, and sexual desires. Feel free to check out our Mixhers resources to learn about these topics and what you can do to maintain proper balance in these different areas of your life.