Doctor's Notes on Morning Sickness (Vomiting During Pregnancy)
Morning sickness is the lay term used to describe vomiting and nausea in the early stages of pregnancy. It is caused by hormonal changes in early pregnancy. The term is a misnomer in that the nausea and vomiting of early pregnancy can occur at any time of day, not just in the morning.
Not every woman experiences pregnancy symptoms in the same way, and the severity and intensity of morning sickness varies widely among women. Morning sickness usually begins during the 6th week of pregnancy and goes away after about 12 weeks of pregnancy in most women.
Other signs and symptoms associated with early pregnancy include:
- breast swelling or tenderness,
- enhanced sense of smell,
- sensitivity to smell,
- mood changes,
- headache, and
Food aversions or food cravings may accompany early pregnancy as well.
What Is the Treatment for Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is usually managed by measures such as eating small, light, frequent meals and changing mealtimes. Vitamin B6 and ginger have been shown to help with the symptoms of morning sickness, along with acupressure bands (Sea-bands).
Women with more severe nausea and vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum) may require treatment with intravenous fluids to maintain hydration and medications to control vomiting.
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.