Is morning sickness the same thing as motion sickness? No, although it’s sometimes called that by people who aren’t familiar with pregnancy.
Morning sickness and motion sickness both have similar symptoms, but they affect your body in different ways—and only one of them typically involves vomiting! Learn more about morning sickness and its related conditions below, so you can know what to expect if you’re pregnant or if you know someone who is.
1) There are two types of morning sickness
Nausea of pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum. Nausea of pregnancy is a general term that doctors use to describe nausea in early pregnancy. It affects about two-thirds of all pregnant women. The most common symptom is intense nausea, which lasts all day long. Some women may also have vomiting and lack of appetite as well as rapid weight gain and mood swings.
Nausea of pregnancy usually begins at four weeks (about one month) after conception and usually subsides by 12 weeks. There are some things you can do to lessen morning sickness: Eat frequent small meals (especially protein). Sit with your head between your knees if you feel faint or dizzy. Relax!
2) The causes of morning sickness
For one thing, morning sickness usually starts in week 8 of pregnancy and typically lasts only until 14 weeks. The causes of morning sickness are still being studied, but there is some evidence that it has a genetic basis (the same hormones involved in nausea during early pregnancy may also play a role in women who tend to experience PMS.) Whatever its cause, morning sickness is an uncomfortable but relatively normal part of pregnancy.
To feel better and avoid becoming dehydrated, drink plenty of water and eat foods that are low in fat but high in salt and sugar (such as crackers or soda crackers). If your doctor permits it, opt for anti-nausea medications such as Zofran or Phenergan.
3) How long will it last?
The good news is that most women don’t suffer from morning sickness after their first trimester. This means you can ride out your nausea until around 12 weeks and then finally move on to eating and drinking whatever you want again.
If your morning sickness lasts longer than a few weeks, it could be a sign of gestational diabetes. Talk to your doctor about it; you may need to change up your diet or take other steps to prevent complications for both you and baby.
4) How can you help yourself?
While morning sickness can last a few days, it’s typically around 8 weeks of pregnancy. Pregnancy nausea is so common, in fact, that 40 to 80 percent of women experience it. According to WebMD, some women also report side effects similar to motion sickness and vertigo.
But there are treatments for morning sickness, including eating small meals frequently throughout the day and avoiding greasy or fried foods (and caffeine), which may trigger nausea. And doctors may prescribe medications like diclectin (which contains vitamin B6) or doxylamine succinate to help with severe nausea or vomiting.
5) Is there a remedy to nausea?
While it’s hard to pinpoint what causes morning sickness, some women say that eating before getting out of bed in the morning makes them feel better.
This is because hormones like ghrelin and leptin, which influence hunger, are more likely to be out of balance when we wake up. Eating helps regulate hormone levels and can make you feel better almost immediately.
If your nausea has lasted longer than two weeks, try eating small meals throughout each day rather than three large ones—it might help alleviate symptoms.