All About Morning Sickness - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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All About Morning Sickness

The joys of pregnancy are many, but no woman is likely to put morning sickness at the top of her list. Morning sickness, or some degree of nausea and vomiting, affects as many as 90 percent of all pregnant women during the course of their pregnancy.

“In most cases, the symptoms are associated with a perfectly healthy baby,” says Carmen Terlizzi, MD, FACOG, Obstetrician/Gynecologist with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group in Wauwatosa. “Morning sickness is most likely caused by the body’s reaction to the pregnancy hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), which is produced at higher levels during the first trimester than at any other time during pregnancy.”

Morning Sickness Can Happen Anytime Day or Night

Morning sickness can start as early as six weeks into pregnancy and tends to peak around the ninth week, often disappearing completely by the fourth month. And the term “morning sickness” is just a title, it can hit you at any time of day or night.

“Every woman is different,” says Dr. Terlizzi, “and so is every pregnancy. The trick is to find what works for you.”

When to Call the Doctor

In about 1 percent of all cases, morning sickness can be so severe it can cause dehydration and imbalances to the body’s chemistry. This is referred to as Hyperemeis Gravidarum.

“When this happens, a woman may need to be hospitalized so that she can be treated with intravenous fluids and anti-nausea drugs,” says Dr. Terlizzi. “If a woman can’t keep anything down for 24 hours or is losing weight, a call or visit to a physician is warranted.”

All About Morning Sickness