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Morning sickness - What will happen to me?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

It's normal to feel sick or be sick in early pregnancy.

Many women view these symptoms as signs that their pregnancy is probably healthy. Research shows they're right to think this. A review of more than 15,000 pregnant women found that those who had nausea and vomiting were less likely to have a miscarriage.[19]

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can make life miserable for a while, and it can also make life difficult.[20] More than one-third of pregnant women who feel nauseous have time off work.[2] And more than one-quarter of women spend less time doing work around the home.[2]

The good news is the feelings of nausea usually disappear after the first three months of pregnancy.[1] But sometimes they go on for longer. About 1 in 10 women still feel sick after 20 weeks.[1]

Severe nausea and vomiting

Most women have mild nausea and vomiting. But if you have more severe sickness, you may feel:

  • Helpless and isolated, because constant nausea and frequent vomiting limit what you can do[17]

  • Worried about your health and your baby's health. But remember that nausea and vomiting are unlikely to harm your health or your unborn baby.[21]

More serious problems

If you have the very severe nausea and vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum, you will probably spend some time in hospital. You may be admitted a few times.

If hyperemesis gravidarum is not treated, severe vomiting can lead to the following serious problems.[14][15]

These problems are very rare because most women who get hyperemesis gravidarum have treatment for it. A study of nearly 200 women with hyperemesis gravidarum found that they were no more likely to have an early labour or a small baby than those who did not have the condition. And they and their babies were no more likely to have health problems.[21]

Whether your nausea and vomiting is mild or serious, it won't go on forever. The sickness will stop, often quite suddenly.

Glossary

hyperemesis gravidarum

Hyperemesis gravidarum is very severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. About 1 in 100 pregnant women get this condition. If you have hyperemesis gravidarum, you are sick so much that your health and your baby's health may be in danger if you don't have treatment. Women with this condition may have to go into hospital.

kidney

Your kidneys are organs that filter your blood to make urine. You have two kidneys, on either side of your body. They are underneath your ribcage, near your back.

liver

Your liver is on the right side of your body, just below your ribcage. Your liver does several things in your body, including processing and storing nutrients from food, and breaking down chemicals, such as alcohol.

malformations

A malformation happens when a part of the body doesn't form normally, which makes it an abnormal shape.

miscarriage

A miscarriage is when something happens before the 28th week of pregnancy that means the fetus does not survive.

For more terms related to Morning sickness

Citations

For references related to Morning sickness click here.
Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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