When Does Morning Sickness End?!

When Does Morning Sickness End?!

My second pregnancy was brutal in terms of morning sickness. Or should I say 24/7 sickness.

Why it’s called “morning sickness” makes no sense to me. In fact, I often felt the worst in the evenings and in the middle of the nights.

In the movies, the woman who runs to the bathroom to vomit once at the start of the day is not at all a realistic depiction of morning sickness. At least not in my case, or for many other women. But, who wants to watch a sad movie of a sick, grungy, depleted woman moping about all day and night for months on end? It would just be a really bad movie.

Help! When Does Morning Sickness End? 

Throughout my first trimester and a good chunk of my second, I struggled to get through the days. I felt like I was always just waiting for the day to pass, so that there was some hope that the next would be better. 

I googled “when does morning sickness end” at least a hundred times, hoping there was some concrete answer and definitive end in sight.

And some days, I would feel better and think, “Thank god, I’m finally turning a corner!”. But then wham, I’d be knocked back down the next day and could barely stand to be in my body.

My Morning Sickness Timeline

In my case (keep in mind everyone is different), morning sickness started at 6 weeks pregnant. 

It got progressively worse between 8 and 10 weeks, and then I had a few days of relief. Unfortunately, it came back with a vengeance at 11 weeks.

And from 11-17 weeks, it was off and on and ranged from slightly horrible to down right debilitating.

Thankfully it started to ease up at 17 weeks pregnant. I was functional most days, while just operating at lower speeds and with lots of breaks.

Finally, at 20 weeks pregnant, my morning sickness dissipated! I still did not feel fantastic by any means (a whole other set of symptoms kicked in once that bump started growing), but life felt more manageable. 

What Does Morning Sickness Feel Like?

Morning sickness symptoms are enough to drive a person mad! In my case, I experienced the following;

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • digestive issues (alternating diarrhea and constipation)
  • extreme exhaustion
  • body aches
  • brain fog
  • general feelings of misery
  • frequent need to pee

Even listing these symptoms, I do not know how to fully describe my experience of my morning sickness. It was truly unlike any other sickness I have ever felt.

The best I can do to sum it up, is say that it was like a combination of feeling car sick, having the flu on top of a hangover, and feeling like an alien had taken over my body.

I know it sounds dramatic, but it was!  

Emotional Effects of Morning Sickness 

I’m not trying to be a negative Nancy here and only focus on the bad, but let’s be real, morning sickness can really take over a life – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

For me, it was the prolonged nature of it that really ate at my emotional wellbeing. Constantly feeling horrible is just plain old demoralizing.

I also felt like I was failing as a parent with my 2 year old son, because I simply had no energy to play with him. And I felt incredibly guilty that my husband was picking up all my slack, even though he never did or said anything to make me feel that way. 

women feeling depressed due to morning sickness

So to anyone who hates being pregnant and is struggling with morning sickness, and perhaps feelings of guilt on top of it as well, you are not alone.

Pregnancy can be an incredibly difficult experience on all levels. 

And to anyone who just tells you to drink more water and eat better – just NO.

While those are certainly important elements to staying healthy and managing morning sickness, they are often not enough to battle raging hormones and whatever other evil forces are at work that make some women feel like death during early pregnancy.  

Is Morning Sickness Different for Everyone?

Every pregnancy can be very different. Not only different from woman to woman, but different from one pregnancy to the next for the same woman.

Some women experience zero morning sickness, while others experience it for 9 months. 

In my case, my first pregnancy was a breeze compared to my second. I had morning sickness and fatigue early on with my first, but nothing like what I experienced the second time around.

I also want to acknowledge that morning sickness is more than just vomiting. For some reason, people tend to think vomiting is the primary symptom of morning sickness. I did not vomit once during either of my pregnancies, but I assure you, I felt completely incapacitated and miserable. 

What Causes Morning Sickness?

The fact that morning sickness is often misunderstood is really no surprise, given that we literally have not figured out exactly what causes morning sickness. Despite the fact that so many women experience it and it is a fundamental process that perpetuates the human race, it remains a mystery. 

There are theories, but no one can say for sure what causes morning sickness for some women.

For example, Mayo Clinic explains that often times the severity of morning sickness is associated with higher HCG levels in pregnant women (a hormone your body makes when you are pregnant), but, not always.

There are also theories associating a healthy pregnancy with increased morning sickness. But again, this is not always the case. There are many women who have perfectly healthy pregnancies, and no morning sickness at all.

Resources to Help Women Struggling with Morning Sickness?

I imagine this lack of understanding is why there aren’t more resources and support for women experiencing morning sickness. It’s just accepted as something that women have to go through and deal with on their own, and nobody really understands it. 

For example, how many work places have policies in place to support pregnant women with morning sickness? And what kinds of resources are there for stay at home moms who have morning sickness and are trying to take care of other children?

There are of course plenty of articles and brochures you can find online about morning sickness remedies and those can be helpful, but when it comes down to it, resources in terms of direct help are pretty limited outside of your immediate family/inner circle and medical provider. And if you happen to be someone who doesn’t have much support at home or in your surrounding community, it can be hard!

  • I also like the Peanut app for mamas/mamas to be. You can write posts in groups and ask questions, share your pregnancy experiences and make friends!
I recommend joining a Peanut group for your baby’s due date. Then you can read posts from women or post yourself about issues relevant to your particular stage of pregnancy. 

I will say that for myself, there is no way I would have been able to take care of my 2 year old during the height of my morning sickness if my husband had not been playing a huge role. By some wild stroke of luck, the worst of my morning sickness fell almost exactly between the dates my husband was in between jobs and we were moving to a new state.

My husband became our toddler’s main play buddy and took care of essentially all his basic care needs (brushing teeth, preparing meals, etc). I’m sure many stay at home moms who experience prolonged morning sickness do not have another adult taking care of their children all day. 

And how they survive, I do not know. I also do not know how women who are working at paid jobs throughout their pregnancies manage. So kudos and hugs to all who are getting through the treacherous days of morning sickness.  

Morning Sickness WILL End

So for all the women who are experiencing debilitating morning sickness, all I can say is that you are not alone and that it will eventually pass (even if it’s not until the end of a pregnancy). When it’s happening, it feels like years have passed and that you can’t possibly stand one minute more of it. But there is an end in sight and hopefully the horror of those first few months of pregnancy will be forgotten one day!

And women who are struggling with morning sickness, however it presents itself, need support and empathy. So if in the throes of morning sickness and you need to vent or have a space to be heard, please leave a comment below!

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