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Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is nausea or vomiting that usually occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy. Despite its name, you may feel nauseated or vomit at any time of day.

It is not understood why some women develop morning sickness, but certain factors such as hormones are involved. Women with high levels of pregnancy hormones tend to develop this condition and have it with subsequent pregnancies.

More than half of pregnant women have morning sickness during the first trimester. It usually goes away by the second trimester.

When morning sickness is severe, it is called hyperemesis gravidarum.


Please do not take any medications without notifying our doctors, as some medications cross the placental barrier and may cause undue effects on the growing baby.

These steps may help:

  • Eat snacks that are high in protein, don’t have rich, fatty foods
  • Avoid foods if their taste, smell or appearance is not suitable to you
  • Have frequent small snacks instead of full meals; being hungry can make it worse
  • Eat a nourishing snack before you go to bed at night
  • Increase intake of fluids such as water, fruit juice, and clear soups, particularly if you are vomiting
  • Take it easy, especially in the mornings, as rushing about will make the nausea worse
  • Try and avoid time spent in kitchen, as the smell of food can make you nauseous
  • Try to avoid eating while you are active as movement often makes morning sickness worse
  • Try eating a biscuit or something light before you get out of bed in the morning
  • Seek medical help, before it can get worse

Moderate morning sickness may require:

  • Medication to reduce nausea and vomiting
  • Intravenous fluid treatment to relieve dehydration

Our doctors will explain the side effects and risks of any medication prescribed.

Severe hyperemesis gravidarum may require:

  • Hospitalization
  • Not eating or drinking anything, then slowly introducing food into your diet
  • Lab tests of blood and urine
  • Intravenous treatment to balance the electrolytes in your blood
  • Ultrasound examination of the pregnancy

US Women's Healthcare