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When does morning sickness start?

A guide for parents-to-be when experiencing nausea in the first trimester of pregnancy. 
Morning sickness
Nausea with or without vomiting in pregnancy is commonly referred to as morning sickness. LumiNola / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

With the onset of pregnancy may come questions about staying healthy for both mom and baby. One of the first obstacles for a mom-to-be may be morning sickness.

Nausea with or without vomiting in pregnancy is commonly referred to as morning sickness.

Dr. Daniel F. Roshan, board certified obstetrician-gynecologist at Rosh Maternal and Fetal Medicine in New York City, tells this nausea can actually present at various times throughout the day and not just in the morning.

"About 90% of pregnant women can experience nausea during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester though most nausea is self limiting and symptoms completely resolve by the second trimester," Roshan tells

Roshan says that morning sickness symptoms include nausea, with or without, vomiting that can not be attributed to any cause other than the pregnancy. 

When does morning sickness typically start?

"Nausea associated with pregnancy typically starts very early in pregnancy around the fifth or sixth week and will peak around week eight or nine," Roshan says.

How can women experiencing morning sickness treat symptoms?

Nausea associated with pregnancy is typically caused by multiple factors and certain triggers can also exacerbate the symptoms.

"Identifying triggers individual to each woman is important and avoiding them when possible — (such as) eating upon waking to avoid nausea from empty stomach or avoiding exposure to certain smells or food triggers — can help minimize symptoms," Roshan says.

Roshan tells that when lifestyle and dietary modification are ineffective in treatment of nausea and or vomiting of pregnancy, supplemental ginger as well as pyridoxine or pyridoxine in combination with doxylamine is usually effective in symptom management. 

Other common remedies for morning sickness include:

  • Getting out of the bed slowly
  • Tea with lemon
  • Ginger
  • Dry food
  • Crackers
  • Ginger ale
  • Vitamin B6
  • Unisom
  • Melatonin

"Avoiding spicy foods, elevating the head of the bed, (and) avoiding tight clothing helps to prevent acid reflux and less nausea," Roshan says.

Roshan says that in certain cases of morning sickness, help from a maternal-fetal medicine specialist may be necessary.

"In refractory cases with severe hyperemesis and not responding with usual intervention, strong antacids and steroids have helped to treat hyperemesis," Roshan says, referencing cases where persistent and severe vomiting leads to weight loss and dehydration. "Please consult a MFM specialist."

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