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The Facts About Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

The Facts About Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

Nothing can dull the joy of finding out that you are pregnant faster than the onset of morning sickness. Unlike its name, morning sickness does not just happen in the morning. In fact, it happens at any time of the day, even when you are about to sleep. This has baffled doctors and many have been trying to figure what pregnancy morning sickness causes are.

What is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. This typically happens in the first few months, but it can happen anytime throughout pregnancy.

Morning sickness causes are still not really known but doctors think that some of the possible causes can include high levels of hormones, fluctuations in blood pressure, changes in carbohydrate metabolism, as well as enormous physical and chemical changes that pregnancy triggers in a woman’s body.


Morning sickness is a symptom commonly seen in pregnant women. Aside from nausea and occasional vomiting, a pregnant woman may experience loss of appetite and even depression or anxiety. The hormonal changes in their body are perpetuated to be the reason behind this.

Depression or anxiety may also come from morning sickness preventing women from working, socializing, and looking after their other children if any. The psychological stress coming from these situations is enough to also affect a pregnant woman’s physical state.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Pregnancy morning sickness that is severe is called hyperemesis gravidarum. It affects 1 in 1000 women. Women who experience this type of morning sickness will have repeated vomiting, dehydration, and weight loss. Sometimes, they need to be hospitalized and receive fluids intravenously.

When a pregnant woman suffers from hyperemesis gravidarum, there are possible complications that arise from it. These are:

  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Extreme depression and anxiety
  • Malnourishment of the fetus
  • Excessive strain on vital organs, including the liver, heart, kidneys, as well as the brain.

Pregnancy Morning Sickness: Causes

High levels of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)

Though more studies are needed, doctors think that a high level of HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin in the body causes the body’s chemistry to go awry for it is only when HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is at its highest that this happens.


Another possible reason is genetics. Women who have close family members such as their mother or sister who has had morning sickness during pregnancy are more prone to experiencing it as well.

Carrying more than one fetus

If a woman is pregnant with twins, triplets, or more, she may be more prone to this. Having more than one fetus inside the womb doubles the chemical changes the body goes through at the very least. This could potentially trigger morning sickness.

Motion Sickness

Women with motion sickness are more prone to morning sickness. This could be due to the already present imbalance that a person has. Coupled with the rise of pregnancy hormones, nausea and vomiting are readily triggered.

Migraine Headaches with Nausea

If a woman suffers from migraine headaches that are accompanied by nausea or vomiting, she is at higher risk of being afflicted with morning sickness. Aside from hormonal changes, strong light, varied scent, or even weather changes may trigger migraine headaches. These same stimuli may also trigger or aggravate morning sickness.


The only true treatment for pregnancy morning sickness is the passing of each trimester and ultimately, the delivery of the baby. However, there are simple things that a woman can do to make it more bearable and less uncomfortable.

Food that Baby Wants

For some reason, when a woman is pregnant, there are certain food or drinks that a woman craves or suddenly hates. One of the ways a woman can ease pregnancy morning sickness is by following what her body wants. Eat what you want to eat and stay away from what causes you to be irritated or uncomfortable, even if it is a food that you used to love. Forcing yourself to eat something that your body is rejecting could trigger another bout of nausea or vomiting.

Eat Often, Manage Portions

They say that you need to eat for two but you also need to watch what you eat so that the baby won’t become too big. You may eat small, frequent meals so as not to overstretch your stomach. Filling your stomach to the brim may cause you to be more nauseous. An empty stomach may cause hyperacidity or gassiness. This could result in bitter or acidic taste at the back of the throat, causing you to gag or feel nauseous.


Morning sickness can make you feel dehydrated because you tend to flush out liquids, leaving your body feeling high and dry. Since there’s two of you now and the baby is taking in the nutrients you are ingesting, you need to hydrate yourself more. Eating fruits like watermelon that are high in liquid content may also help. Sucking on hard candy or taking ginger capsules are said to help with the severity of nausea and vomiting.

When to Call a Doctor

Some women worry if constant nausea or vomiting can affect the baby inside. For the most part, the baby is perfectly safe, ensconced in amniotic fluid inside the womb. Moms-to-be should not worry as pregnancy morning sickness is harder on a woman than it ever will be for the baby. However, if you feel any of the following, then it’s time to consult with the doctor.

  • urine is dark-colored and urinating is less frequent (more than 6 hours interval between voiding)
  • have lost weight instead of gain
  • suffer from abdominal pain
  • blood is present when you pee
  • it hurts when you pee
  • if you can’t swallow or drink any type of food or drinks for more than a day
  • feel dizzy when you stand up
  • numbness in the hands, lips, or feet
  • a general feeling of weakness
  • dry lips, mouth, and sunken eyeballs

These are likely signs of dehydration. Your doctor can prescribe the right medication while taking into account your delicate situation.

Though there is no exact medical reason as to why morning sickness happens, it seems that every pregnant woman has suffered from it one way or another.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Morning sickness https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/morning-sickness/symptoms-causes/syc-20375254 Accessed 19 May 2020

Vomiting and morning sickness in pregnancy https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/morning-sickness-nausea/ Accessed 19 May 2020

Morning Sickness and Nausea During Pregnancy https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/morning-sickness/ Accessed 19 May 2020

Severe Morning Sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/hyperemesis-gravidarum.html Accessed 19 May 2020

Pregnancy – morning sickness https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-morning-sickness  Accessed 19 May 2020

Morning Sickness, Nausea, and Vomiting, https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/pregnancy/morning-sickness-nausea-and-vomiting-of-pregnancy, Accessed June 21, 2020

Ginger as a Treatment for Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy by Teraporn Vutyavanich, Theerajana Kraisarin and Rung-Aroon Ruangsri (1998-2001), https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/ginger-treatment-nausea-and-vomiting-pregnancy-teraporn-vutyavanich-theerajana-kraisarin-and, Accessed June 21, 2020

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Written by Kathy Kenny Ylaya Ngo Updated Jun 06
Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, M.D.