What is Morning Sickness?


Morning SicknessThe excitement and joy of pregnancy, undoubtedly calls for a huge celebration.  All the same, the agonising pangs of morning sickness may prove a deterrent, spoiling all the good fun.  Unfortunately, 50 to 80% of women on the threshold of motherhood undergo the sheer torment of throwing up and feeling sick throughout the day.  However, within 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy, this anguish is sure to end and the countdown begins for the new arrival.


What is Morning Sickness?

Referred to as ‘nausea, vomiting of pregnancy‘ or ‘NVP‘ Morning Sickness is also known as ’emesis gravidarum’ or ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’- indicates morning sickness at its worst.  The symptoms may however, vary from mild nausea to severe vomiting requiring hospitalisation due to dehydration.  Depending upon a number of factors, triggers of nausea, occurring almost the same time every day, may persist for a few hours or throughout the day, creating certain aversions to odours and taste.


How soon does morning sickness start? How long does morning sickness last? A very common phenomenon during pregnancy morning sickness affects 50-85% of women who are pregnant. Commencing approximately from the 5th week of pregnancy it prolongs up to the 10th week reaching a culmination with the escalating hormone levels.  Nevertheless, some of them might have no respite until the 16th week, when there is a considerable reduction in hormone levels and with the placenta becoming fully functional, nurturing the foetus.


Signs and Symptoms of Morning Sickness

As the name suggests, morning sickness raising its ugly head only during early hours of the day is a misconception, as it can strike any time of the day or night. So, what does morning sickness feel like? Listed are common symptoms of morning sickness:



The most common symptoms of morning sickness is nausea, ranging from mild, moderate to severe, attributed mainly to the increased production of hormones during pregnancy.  According to expert opinion women carrying twin babies, triplets or with more distinct rise in hormone tend to have severe morning sickness, often triggered by stress, scents, odours and food.



Nausea and vomiting go hand in hand during pregnancy.  Uncontrolled nausea may lead to vomiting, though not in all women.  Although vomiting is quite common in the initial stages of pregnancy severe vomiting may lead to dehydration requiring further medical attention.



Vomiting and nausea may lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, hormone levels and dehydration leading to fatigue.  A combination of these factors leads to light-headedness.  However, dehydration may induce possibilities of premature labour and uterine contractions. Therefore remaining hydrated during pregnancy is very essential.  Light-headedness may also be attributed to fluctuating blood pressure levels.  Increased blood volume and heart rate can cause dizziness leading to loss of consciousness in some women.


Aches and Pains

Other common symptoms of morning sickness include backache, headache and constipation. Changes in hormones result in Swollen and tender breasts. The expanding uterus and weight gain, add stress to the back muscles causing backaches. Increased hormones along with an increase in blood volume can cause headaches and constipation.


Physical Exhaustion

The other symptoms of pregnancy are drowsiness, exhaustion, food cravings, with a heightened sense of smell.  With the growing baby, the body starts being exhausted feeling drowsy and tired.  However, there are specific food cravings with an increased sense of smell due to an increased level of estrogen often triggering nausea and vomiting.

[Continue to Read Tips to Combat Morning Sickness]

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