During Pregnancy, How Long Before Morning Sickness Starts?

B. Miller

During pregnancy, morning sickness starts at a different time for every woman, and some women do not even get morning sickness. In general, however, morning sickness starts between the fourth and the sixth week of pregnancy; if a pregnant woman makes it past the sixth week without experiencing morning sickness, there is a good chance she will not feel the effects of it throughout the pregnancy. Morning sickness generally does not begin prior to the fourth week of pregnancy, but for many women it is the first sign from their bodies that they are pregnant.

Some women do not experience morning sickness.
Some women do not experience morning sickness.

Morning sickness starts most often in the first trimester, and generally ends between the twelfth and sixteenth week of pregnancy. In some cases, however, it lasts for the entire duration of the pregnancy. In addition, it is a misconception that "morning" sickness only occurs in the morning; though it is fairly common just after waking up, women experiencing this type of sickness throughout pregnancy often experience it all day or even during the night. Experts are divided as to whether morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy; some say it is, while others say it makes no difference.

Ginger can be effective at treating morning sickness.
Ginger can be effective at treating morning sickness.

In most cases, once morning sickness starts it does not affect the health of the mother or the unborn child. Only if the nausea and vomiting become so severe and persistent that the pregnant woman is not gaining weight does it become a problem. In that case, a doctor may be able to prescribe medication that can help with morning sickness. If the morning sickness is mild, however, some women find that they can prevent or minimize it by taking a B6 supplement, taking some ginger pills or drinking some ginger ale, eating small meals throughout the day to prevent blood sugar dips, or eating some plain crackers before getting out of bed in the morning. Getting regular exercise throughout the pregnancy may be able to alleviate morning sickness as well.

Any specific concerns about when morning sickness starts or ends should be directed to a doctor. This is especially true if morning sickness suddenly appears later in the pregnancy, for example. It is generally nothing to worry about, but it is still helpful to mention any specific changes in the body to one's doctor throughout the pregnancy. The cause of morning sickness is generally believed to be the significant hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.

For most women, morning sickness begins during the first four to six weeks of pregnancy, while a rare few may get morning sickness later in their pregnancies.
For most women, morning sickness begins during the first four to six weeks of pregnancy, while a rare few may get morning sickness later in their pregnancies.

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Discussion Comments


A friend of mine has two children and three miscarriages. She was horribly sick with every pregnancy, and early on. I don't think she was even a month along when she started getting sick with her first child.

Her sickness was so severe with her second child that she went into the hospital twice for fluids and monitoring. She was on Zofran the whole time for nausea with that pregnancy. She said one day she sat on the floor to read to her daughter, didn't feel like getting up, and lay there until her husband came home from work. That led to the first trip to the hospital, but she was so sick the whole time.


Morning sickness may not show up until about the eighth week. When my cousin was pregnant with her first child, she didn't even know she was pregnant (had always had irregular periods) until she was about 8 weeks along, and she started in with morning sickness. She took a home pregnancy test, and there it was -- positive!

Fortunately, her morning sickness was not very severe. She had it for maybe three weeks, and then was completely over it. Some people are very blessed in that way. Some women never get it at all. Those are the really lucky ones.

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