Morning sickness: the basics

You’ve done it – you’re pregnant! In less than a year, you’ll have a gorgeous, brand new little human all of your own. If only you didn’t have to get through this awful nausea first!

Research indicates that up to 80 per cent of pregnant women get morning sickness in pregnancy. Caused by elevated oestrogen levels, it often starts around week six of pregnancy. It’s usually accompanied by exhaustion, a stronger sense of smell and a few other not-so-fun side effects of pregnancy.  

The good news? Morning sickness is a sign that you’re producing human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is made as the embryo develops. It can be seen as a sign that everything is going as it should be.

Morning sickness ... a very common pregnancy side effect.
Morning sickness ... a very common pregnancy side effect. 

Now for the bad news. Although it usually ends around 12 weeks into pregnancy, morning sickness occasionally lasts for longer; this varies from woman to woman, and even from one pregnancy to the next. The sickness can hit at any time of the day or night, and can cause nausea that leads to vomiting. Some women say it’s like a hangover that won’t go away. Around one per cent of pregnancies can cause hyperemesis gravidarum, which involves severe vomiting, weight loss and dehydration. If you're ever concerned about your pregnancy, or feel more sick than you think is normal, don't hesitate in seeing a doctor or your midwife - you might need urgent medical treatment.  

For those with normal morning sickness, however, there are things you can try to ease your morning sickness. You can start by eating and drinking properly, and getting enough rest. Our gallery shows a few more ways you can try to get on top of it too – and also reveals the thing that works 100 per cent of the time!

The good news? Morning sickness can be seen as a sign that everything is going as it should be

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