More than one-half of all pregnant women will suffer morning sickness symptoms. Morning sickness symptoms can strike in the 4th or 5th week of gestation and last until the 16th week. Most pregnant women report morning sickness symptoms gradually worsening until peaking in the 9th week. The most common morning sickness symptoms are nausea, vomiting and light-headedness.
Nausea is problem during pregnancy for most women suffering morning sickness symptoms. According to WebMD, “Morning sickness can range from mild, occasional nausea to severe, continuous [and] disabling nausea.” There is no way to predict who will suffer from mild morning sickness symptoms and who will face more severe side effects of pregnancy though WebMD goes on to state, “Women carrying twins or more have more pronounced hormone increases and tend to have more severe morning sickness.”
Nausea can be triggered by a long list of things ranging from stress to fatigue, but scents, smells and foods tend to be the most common triggers. Triggers can appear out of nowhere causing morning sickness symptoms like nausea. For instance, a pregnant woman may crave French fries one day and the smell of French fries could cause nausea the next.
Vomiting is a morning sickness symptom that goes hand in hand with nausea. If nausea is not controlled it will lead to vomiting, which tends to be much more scary for a pregnant woman. The first thing to understand about morning sickness symptoms is that many women suffer from them. Vomiting is common during the first few weeks of pregnancy and is not typically a major concern for the attending obstetrician.
Vomiting causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalances which the body can typically regulate if the morning sickness symptoms are severe only part of the time. Pregnant women who suffer from severe, chronic vomiting may be diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum as part of their morning sickness symptoms and may require further medical attention and treatment to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Nausea and vomiting can lead to fluctuations in blood glucose (blood sugar) and hormone levels and dehydration can cause fatigue. When these effects are combined, the pregnant women may feel light-headed or dizzy. Hydration is the first priority as dehydration can lead to premature labor and contractions. If light-headedness is one of the morning sickness symptoms suffered, the expecting woman should sip water to rehydrate and rest.
Light-headedness may also be associated with fluctuations in blood pressure. Increased blood volume and heart rate can cause a “light in the head” feeling and lead to loss of consciousness in some women. Blood pressure is most likely to fluctuate around the 24th week of pregnancy which is at least eight weeks after morning sickness symptoms typically stop.