Why Did My Morning Sickness Suddenly Stop
Why Did My Morning Sickness Suddenly Stop? It was 7 a.m., and I was sitting in the passenger seat of my car preparing to leave for work when I began feeling nauseous — really nauseated. My husband had just dropped me off at home from our overnight trip to New York City, and after a few minutes, I felt so ill that he offered to drive me into Manhattan. We made it as far as the toll booth on the George Washington Bridge before I vomited several times and then passed out.
When I came to, we were back in the car driving toward my office. By 10 a.m., I was fine again. Why did this happen? Was I pregnant with twins? What else can cause sudden, intense nausea? And how do you know when it’s gone?
Morning sickness affects about half of all women who are trying to conceive. It occurs during early pregnancy (the first trimester) because hormones secreted by the developing fetus are responsible for your body’s reaction. In fact, the severity of your morning sickness may depend upon where along the timeline of pregnancy you start experiencing it. For some women, morning sickness begins as soon as they find out they’re pregnant; others only begin experiencing it after their first missed period. Most women experience a brief bout of morning sickness, which usually lasts until around week 6. Afterward, most women feel much better, but some have lingering bouts of nausea throughout their pregnancies.
As with any medical condition, your doctor should be consulted whenever there are changes to your normal routine. Women also tend to be more concerned about morning sickness than men are, since it tends to interfere with their ability to work or function normally. If you think something might be wrong, see your obstetrician immediately.
There are many causes of morning sickness. Below we’ll talk through what you need to keep in mind if your morning sickness suddenly stops, whether you’ve been sick for days or weeks.
What happens to your body while you’re expecting?
Your body reacts to certain stimuli, like food, stress and medications, in ways that are specific to each individual. Your reactions are caused by neurotransmitters released by nerves and glands that interact with receptors in cells to trigger chemical responses such as secretion of stomach acid, blood pressure change and muscle contractions. Some of these chemicals occur naturally, whereas others are produced by your brain, uterus and placenta during pregnancy.
The same set of chemical reactions occurs when you eat spicy foods, exercise or smoke cigarettes, although the amounts are different. The type of morning sickness you experience depends on the particular combination of triggers.
If you’re pregnant, your body will react differently to various substances. For example, coffee stimulates your liver to produce caffeine, which may make you jittery and anxious. Alcohol inhibits the digestive process, causing bloating and flatulence. Certain medications, including aspirin, can cause stomach irritation.
Some people believe that morning sickness isn’t real sickness, but rather a discomfort due to hormonal fluctuations. While this may be true for some women, others suffer from very severe episodes of nausea.
How does morning sickness differ among women?
Many studies suggest that women respond to morning sickness in general, but there are factors that seem to affect the frequency and intensity of symptoms. Genetics plays an important role. Some research indicates that a family history of morning sickness, coupled with a personal history of migraines and motion sickness, helps predict susceptibility to nausea. Other studies show that women who carry low-weight babies are more likely to experience morning sickness. Researchers have yet to identify why exactly weight plays a part, but hormones may be involved. One theory suggests that fat distribution in the abdomen contributes to nausea in obese pregnant women.
Other researchers say that morning sickness varies according to racial background. They found that black women reported higher levels of nausea than white women, and Asian women experienced lower rates of nausea than white women. This seems to support the idea that genetics play a large role in determining how someone responds to morning sickness.
Women who smoke are more prone to morning sickness than non-smokers. Smoking increases the amount of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream, which irritates the lining of the small intestine. Carbon monoxide blocks oxygen intake, leading to cramps, diarrhea and gas. Smoked fish also contain toxins that can contribute to nausea and vomiting.
Is there anything you can do to relieve morning sickness?
You can take medication to help alleviate morning sickness. Over-the-counter antiemetics include ginger and peppermint oil capsules, ginger ale, bitters and herbal teas such as chamomile and green tea. Acupressure wristbands and acupuncture needles may also provide relief from nausea.
For severe cases, your doctor may prescribe prochlorperazine maleate, metoclopramide hydrochloride, domperidone hydrochloride or chlorpromazine hydrochloride. These drugs block dopamine D2 receptors in areas of the brain associated with nausea and vomiting. You shouldn’t use them long-term, however, because they may harm unborn children.
While it can’t necessarily stop you from getting pregnant, morning sickness makes sex less enjoyable for both partners. Sex positions that involve lying down together on opposite sides with pillows between them may ease feelings of fullness and promote comfort. Many couples choose to forego sexual activity altogether and opt instead for massage therapy, sensual baths or even cuddling.
To learn more about morning sickness, visit the links on the next page.
Although morning sickness typically goes away within three months after delivery, some women experience it longer. About one-third continue having bouts of nausea throughout their lives. If this bothers you, discuss it with your physician. He or she may refer you to a psychologist or nurse practitioner trained in treating postpartum mood disorders.
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