Nausea is an unfortunate, yet common side effect associated with pregnancy. A number of factors, ranging from fluctuating hormones to stress, can contribute to nausea. While it is possible to experience nausea any time during your pregnancy, most women report experiencing this condition -- also known as morning sickness -- in the earlier stages of their pregnancy 1.
Most pregnancy-induced nausea begins at about the five-week mark of pregnancy, according to UpToDate 1. This could be due to increased hormones as your body adjusts to your pregnancy. These hormones not only trigger nausea, they also can make your sense of smell more pronounced, which may make you sensitive to the smells of certain foods. While you may not always experience vomiting along with your nausea, both stomach upset and vomiting can commonly characterize nausea during this pregnancy phase 1.
Most expecting mothers find their nausea symptoms tend to subside between weeks 12 and 14 as their bodies become more accustomed to changing pregnancy hormones, according to What to Expect 1. This can vary from woman to woman, however, as UpToDate marks the time nausea subsides as around week 18. Nausea tends to be at its worst if you are pregnant for the first time. Women tend to experience less nausea in their ensuing pregnancies.
It is possible to experience nausea at any stage during your pregnancy 1. If you experience vomiting in addition to nausea, drinking fluids regularly is important to help keep you from becoming dehydrated. You may need to drink a beverage that contains electrolytes, such as a sports drink, to replace lose minerals like salt, glucose and potassium. Many women will also switch to eating smaller meals throughout the day, which seems to help minimize nausea. Eating snacks like crackers and plain toast also may help settle your stomach. Always speak with your physician before taking anti-nausea medications while pregnant.
While an estimated 50 percent to 90 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, it is possible to experience a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, according to UpToDate 1. This condition is characterized by multiple vomiting episodes per day and weight loss. While morning sickness can be considered a sign of your baby’s healthy development, hyperemesis gravidarum is not and can require hospitalization. See your physician if you experience these severe symptoms at any point during your pregnancy.
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