Congratulations! You just found out that you are pregnant, and you have many emotions going through you right now that range from elation to worry. And that is all normal. However, one of the things you are concerned about when it comes to pregnancy are the symptoms. Pregnancy symptoms are far from easy and some women experience more of it than others.
Pregnancy symptoms include fatigue, having to go do #1 often, breast tenderness, and the most bothersome one is pregnancy-related nausea. And, this is what makes pregnancy quite hard for a lot of women.
Pregnancy nausea is referred to as morning sickness. However, the term for that is not accurate because the sickness can happen at any time of the day. And the correct term is nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP).
We recently wrote about how to relieve Pelvic Girdle Pain in early pregnancy and it goes to show that actively taking care of oneself during pregnancy does go a long way. So, the good news is that there are hacks to help relieve difficult symptoms. However, before we get to that, let’s find out more about the cause for morning sickness.
What Causes Nausea During Pregnancy?
The actual cause for nausea during pregnancy is still somewhat mysterious. However, according to the American Pregnancy Association, the likelihood of increased hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone are causes for the sickness. Additionally, it is believed that women with sensitive stomachs, in general, are more prone to sickness during pregnancy. And it may be more common to happen in the morning due to low blood sugar levels.
According to the same site, it is said that stress and fatigue can be culprits as well to pregnancy-related nausea. Not every pregnant woman experiences nausea during pregnancy but that is less common. It has been said by the same source that up to 70 percent of pregnant women experience some sort of pregnancy-related sickness not just in the first trimester, but it can happen during the rest of the pregnancy.
Some of those women may only experience some nausea and do not vomit at all. And let’s now talk about when pregnancy-related nausea is expected to start.
When Does Pregnancy Nausea Begin?
When pregnancy-related nausea begins will depend on the woman. Some women experience right before getting the two pink lines which means they are already dealing with nausea even before they are technically late. And some pregnant women may not develop any type of sickness until they are closer to the second trimester which would be after 8 weeks of pregnancy. However, more often than not, according to Bounty, most pregnant women start having the sickness begin at around 6 weeks. That is generally about 2 weeks after the expected period has been missed.
However, for those who do experience some of the pregnancy-related sickness sooner than 6 weeks usually don’t end up with full-blown sickness. That means they are not necessarily going to have to be running to the washroom multiple times a day. In fact, they often times experience some unpleasant queasiness which happens to be triggered by certain odors a lot of the time. And another pregnancy symptom that is quite common is the strong sense of smell. This can be quite bothersome for women who are having a rough time with nausea.
However, as unpleasant as it may be, for women that are experiencing sickness should be reassured that the rising hormones are a sign that the pregnancy is progressing. Yet that also does not mean that those who don’t have any type of nausea during pregnancy are not going to end up delivering healthy babies. They are the ones who just lucked out! However, there are ways to cope with nausea which can help make it somewhat more manageable.
How to Deal with Constant Or Extreme Nausea When Pregnant?
The fortunate thing is that in the majority of cases when morning sickness is the most bothersome, there are simple ways to manage it. It may not disappear completely, but the following tips can help the pregnant mom that is suffering cope a lot better. The tips to utilize in order to cope with morning sickness that is constant are:
- Sticking to the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast).
- Eating small amounts such as 5 or 6 servings a day instead of the normal larger 3 servings.
- Staying away from foods that will only trigger nausea and worsen it.
- Keeping some crackers by the bed if the nausea is at its worst in the morning to munch on before getting out of bed (which happens often, and this could be the link between low blood sugar being a contributor to pregnancy-related sickness).
- Sipping on ginger ale, ginger tea, and sucking on ginger candies.
- Eating foods that have salt on it such as baked potato chips that are plain as salt can help ease the symptoms.
- Drinking less water during mealtimes, and only drinking water in between meals
- Staying hydrated as dehydration worsens the symptoms and utilize the tip mentioned above.
- Keeping rooms ventilated so the air is fresher.
- Making rest a priority as the sickness can be aggravated by a lack of rest.
However, if these tips do not help, then sometimes the pregnant woman needs to get some prescription medications if the morning sickness is more severe. And, it is also important to know if the vomiting happens more than 5 times a day no matter what type of method is used to cope, then it may be a case of hyperemesis gravidarum.
That is an extreme form of pregnancy sickness that requires medical intervention quickly which happens to no more than 2 percent of pregnant women. Dehydration, malnutrition, and severe electrolyte imbalances can easily happen which will increase serious risks for the mother and the developing baby.
However, when it comes to typical pregnancy-related nausea, it can be coped with and it will taper as the pregnancy progresses.
How Long Does Pregnancy Nausea Last?
The one thing that pregnant women who are suffering from pregnancy-related sickness want to know when nausea will end. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the sickness as it was mentioned previously begins on average around 6 weeks and hits its peak at 9 weeks which is when the hormones are peaking at its highest. And by the time the second trimester rolls around which is between 13 to 14 weeks, the sickness usually subsides. That is when the hormones are leveling out.
However, even if that is being the case, there will likely be moments of queasiness throughout the pregnancy because the hormones are still taking over even if the worst of it is over. And, during the third trimester, sickness can return but mostly because of the fact that the baby is so large at that point that it’s pushing the organs out of place. That is also why heartburn is the worst at that point, which is also experienced along with nausea in the first trimester due to the rise in hormonal levels.
However, in the case of hyperemesis gravidarum, unfortunately, extreme sickness usually lasts throughout the entire pregnancy. And very few remedies can help with that. The good news is when it comes to typical pregnancy sickness, there are plenty of home remedies that can be utilized to help with the symptoms which have not been mentioned as of yet. Let’s go over that now.
Are There Any Home Remedies for Pregnancy Nausea Relief?
There are many home remedies that can be utilized when it comes to managing nausea during pregnancy that has not yet been mentioned. Let’s go over some of these helpful remedies right now:
- Aromatherapy – Sometimes smelling orange, lemon, or mint is helpful when it comes to alleviating nausea. It is best to get an essential oil with those scents and dab a small amount of the oil onto a cotton ball to sniff it as it will help.
- Vicks vapor rub – Everyone should have vapor rub in their homes as it is a helpful remedy when it comes to helping to clear congestion when there are cases of colds or bronchitis. Many pregnant women dab a small amount of vapor rub under their noses in order to help alleviate symptoms. The bonus is that it masks offensive odors around as well.
- The timing of taking prenatal vitamins matters – It is best to take prenatal vitamins right before bed instead of taking it first thing in the morning. That can make nausea worse. And it is best to take the type without iron if that type is the culprit in worsening nausea. There are also different forms of prenatal vitamins that are easier to digest such as the gummy types as well.
- Take B6 with Unisom – This combination is quite helpful when it comes to treating pregnancy-related sickness. Unisom is safe to take as it is also known as Doxylamine, which is an antihistamine, and be sure to never exceed 200 mg of B6 a day. But taking 25mg of B6 about 3 times a day and Unisom just ones have been known to help. Taking both together should be done in the evening as it can cause sleepiness which Unisom is meant to do.
- Benadryl – This is another antihistamine that helps alleviate nausea during pregnancy. It is safe to a 25 mg tablet for only 4 times a day, but it can also cause sleepiness.
- Staying on the feet – It is best to be on the feet as often as possible to help with alleviating nausea which means it is good to take some extra walks as it helps settle the stomach.
At least one or several of these home remedies should be helpful when it comes to helping to reduce the bothersome symptoms in addition to utilizing the other ways mentioned above for coping. However, if none of these remedies are helping, and the sickness is worsening, then it is important to call the doctor as soon as possible.
Make sure to read our pregnancy life hacks post where we dig deep into other ways to make your life as a mom-to-be easier.