When Morning Sickness Lasts Past the First Trimester

Pregnant woman sick near toilet
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Morning sickness is something that you expect when you are pregnant. Perhaps it surprises you in some way, it can happen in the morning, but perhaps not, perhaps you have it at night, or all day, or not at all. But, hey, you tell yourself, it’s only going to last the first trimester! So, you start counting down the days to the end of that period of time.

It’s a huge milestone, the second trimester.

After all, the second trimester is known to be the “good” trimester, the trimester where you feel good, look good, and don’t have to worry about how you feel, because it’s GREAT! The problem is that so many moms are shocked when they turn the page on the calendar and they hop up out of bed, only to be hit with the old familiar morning sickness.

You might be willing to give it a day or two, because, your body can’t read a calendar. Though a fair number of moms will find that morning sickness does not go away at the end of the first trimester.  This is not technically a problem, per se, but it is problematic if you are not feeling well and haven’t found a way to cope.

The biggest difference with the longer-term morning sickness, no matter what time of day it happens, is to find a way to cope that works well for you. You can’t grin and bear it for the whole 40 weeks, and in some cases, it does last the whole pregnancy.

You will need to find some ways to cope that work well for you.

The first thing you need to decide is what coping well with morning sickness would look like for you. It can be important to ask yourself if you have really gone through to figure out when it strikes, what the triggers, if any, are for you, and have you really explored all of your options.

While some women give tackling nausea and vomiting everything they’ve got from the get go, I also have moms in my practice who only pay it lip service, choosing to grin and bear it until the end of the first trimester, like it’s a badge of honor.

  1. Keep a log. What time of day do you feel what symptom? Things to track here include nausea, vomiting, feeling faint, fainting, excessive salivation, dry heaves, etc.


  2. Track your food. Write down what you’re eating and when. If there is something food related, this can really help when trying to piece together a puzzle.


  3. Triggers. Do you know of anything that triggers it? Strong smells? Certain places? Riding in the back seat of a car versus the front seat?


When you have a bit of data, start looking for patterns. If you can find any, start trying things to alter the pattern. Avoid walking past the one store that has really strong perfume smells on your way back from lunch. Eat more in the morning to avoid feeling that faint, sick feeling as you get up.

Avoid eating the chili that you crave, unless you’re willing to pay the consequences later. These small actions can often be very helpful.

Sometimes the right thing to do is to talk to your practitioner about medications. This is particularly true if you have already walked through the other steps meticulously, even if you’re not losing weight or suffer from hyperemesis. Sometimes quality of life has to change. If you’ve gone through all the other tricks, sometimes the big guns can help.

When will it end? That’s a good question. Sometimes you may notice that by week fifteenth of pregnancy, you’re better. Another group of moms will feel better around the twentieth week of pregnancy. It’s a bit different for everyone.

Returning morning sickness can also be an issue for some pregnant women. This is where you got better at some point but later in the pregnancy, some form of sickness returns. This is typically a bit different than what you experienced before, but possibly not. Some say that this is from simple gastrointestinal distress because  baby is bigger and you have less room for food.

Either way, feeling sick or actually being sick is not fun – particularly as your belly grows. Know that you are not alone!

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