When does morning sickness start? Well, first off, “morning” sickness is a total misnomer.
Nausea and/or vomiting associated with this particular pregnancy symptom isn’t exclusive to daybreak; it can strike at any time, morning, noon, or night.
Some mamas-to-be view it as a rite of passage.
Others dread the thought of it.
And some lucky souls will barely register an upset stomach or change in diet.
However you see it or experience it, morning sickness prompts quite a few questions during the early stages of pregnancy.
For instance, when does morning sickness start and end? What does it feel like? When is it at its worst? And what can you do about it?
Scroll on for the answers.
In this article: 📝
- How early can morning sickness really start?
- When does morning sickness start with a girl?
- When does morning sickness start with a boy?
- When does morning sickness start with twins?
- How does morning sickness feel?
- When does morning sickness start and end?
- Is morning sickness dangerous?
- How to treat morning sickness
- Should you be worried if you don’t experience morning sickness?
How early can morning sickness really start?
Okay, so when does nausea start in pregnancy?
Generally speaking, morning sickness starts at about 6 weeks into pregnancy.
However, it’s not uncommon to experience it as early as week 4.
This is around about the time when your period would start, with a positive pregnancy test typically following at week 5 or 6.
Symptoms can start mild and progressively worsen, and sometimes nausea can be the first inkling that there’s a teeny-tiny bun in your oven.
Can morning sickness start at 1 week?
There’s no one answer to this question.
Some mamas might get morning sickness almost straight away – before they even know they’re expecting ‒ while others find morning sickness starts at about 6 weeks.
Or some experience nothing at all!
Morning sickness has been known to happen at 1 week, but it’s pretty rare to have pregnancy nausea start this early.
But get to 2 weeks pregnant, and your chances of morning sickness increase.
This is largely down to your hormones starting to fluctuate as your body prepares itself for the big changes headed your way.
Can morning sickness start before a positive test?
For a more accurate result, it’s recommended to take a home pregnancy test the day after your period is due.
Though some pregnancy tests can be taken as early as 10 days after conception, by the time you missed your period you’ll have higher hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels in your body.
So yes, it’s absolutely possible to experience morning sickness before you get that coveted BFP (big fat positive).
By this stage, though, you’ll probably already have some suspicions.
In fact, by the time most women are 3 weeks pregnant, morning sickness is one of the most noticeable early pregnancy symptoms.
And by the time you reach week 4 weeks, pregnancy nauseous is pretty much considered the norm.
When does morning sickness start with a girl?
You may have heard an old adage about the timing of morning sickness providing clues to the sex of your baby.
The story goes that if you’re expecting a beautiful baby girl, your morning sickness starts a little earlier, and it could be more frequent than if you were expecting a baby boy.
This is due to female pregnancies potentially producing higher levels of hCG, which can result in more morning sickness.
So if you have morning sickness at 2 to 3 weeks, there’s a chance it could be a very early indicator that you’re expecting a baby girl!
When does morning sickness start with a boy?
Again, according to the old wives’ tale, it’s not so much a question of when but how much.
The theory goes that minimal morning sickness is a sure sign you’re carrying a baby boy.
In truth, there is no conclusive study that hormone levels in women change based on the baby’s sex.
In fact, one study shows that morning sickness was higher in women with male fetuses than female.
As for when does morning sickness start with a boy, it could be as early as 2 weeks into your pregnancy – though this is usually a sign of high HCG levels.
And it may not even be hormonal changes that’s triggering your morning sickness – it could be digestive issues like IBS or even emotional stress from the TTC journey.
This early into your pregnancy it’s best to take it one week at a time.
All will be revealed before you know it.
When does morning sickness start with twins?
Just like a pregnancy with a baby girl, a twin (or multiple) pregnancy causes your body to produce higher amounts of hCG, which can mean that your morning sickness starts earlier than a single baby pregnancy.
But it’s still very early into your pregnancy, so you can’t really use when morning sickness starts as a definite indicator of baby’s sex or how many babies you’re expecting.
You’ll likely have to wait until your 8 or 12 week ultrasound to find out how many babies you’re carrying, and until your 20 week ultrasound to (accurately) find out their sex.
How does morning sickness feel?
Now that’s a question with many answers.
Most mamas-to-be describe the general queasiness which accompanies when morning sickness starts as similar to that of car sickness or seasickness.
Everything’s just a bit spinny and gross, and you don’t want to move or do anything.
However, the symptoms and severity of morning sickness can vary from one woman to the next, so your experience may not tick all of these boxes.
Still, be on the lookout for:
- Intense nausea, which leads to vomiting
- Dizziness, low energy, and tiredness
- Sore stomach or cramping
- Nausea that’s accompanied by hunger pangs
- Nausea that follows eating (you just can’t win)
- Strong aversions to foods, smells, or tastes — so strong, in fact, that it can make you sick
How quickly can morning sickness start?
Morning sickness can start in mere minutes – one minute, you’re feeling fine, the next, nausea strikes.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t predict it – a lot of morning sickness is triggered by certain foods, smells, and activities.
When does morning sickness start and end?
On average, morning sickness starts at about week 4 to 6 of pregnancy, and ends at about week 12.
But that’s not set in stone.
Every pregnancy is different, and some mamas-to-be experience one week of morning sickness, while others have a few months of pregnancy nausea.
There’s no one way about this whole pregnancy thing.
From the moment those motion sickness-like symptoms start, you’re basically riding a rollercoaster of bleugh.
But as you edge closer and closer to the end of the first trimester (week 12), morning sickness should peak and then subside.
You’ll usually feel better and brighter from week 16 onwards and, if you’re lucky, symptom-free from week 20.
But here comes the bad news.
Around 1 in 10 women will continue to ride the Space Mountain of morning sickness well into the second trimester.
And, although rare, some will develop something called hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness which can last throughout pregnancy and often requires medical attention.
Is morning sickness dangerous?
It’s not nice, it’s not fun, and it can send you running for the nearest toilet at the very mention of a hard-boiled egg – but from the moment morning sickness starts, it’s rarely harmful for you or baby.
In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest that morning sickness is a positive thing.
Turns out, that queasy feeling could point to your placenta producing the goods, releasing loads of super-duper pregnancy-boosting hormones to prep your body and baby for birth and beyond.
Where things do get a little scary is when nausea and vomiting become extreme and uncontrollable (aka hyperemesis gravidarum, mentioned earlier).
As we said, it’s rare, but if you’re unable to keep anything down, it could lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and weight loss.
That’s when you’ll need to speak to your doctor.
They’ll check you over and bring your vomiting under control to help you (and your baby) stay suitably nourished, hydrated, and healthy.
Treatment usually requires you to stay overnight in the hospital until they get the vomiting at bay.
How to treat morning sickness
So, we’ve established that, no matter how early morning sickness starts, it’s perfectly normal, but that doesn’t mean you need to suck it up and suffer through it.
Over the years, mamas have shared a variety of home remedies to keep the queasiness at bay.
The only problem is there’s no single sure-fire fix.
Given the nature of morning sickness, one mama’s heavenly reprieve is another’s hellish vomit-inducing nightmare.
In other words, the following ideas require some trial and error!
- Noting and avoiding the smells, tastes, and foods that trigger your morning sickness (obvs)
- Increasing the amount of rest you’re getting during the day
- Drinking ginger or peppermint tea to settle your stomach
- Diffusing your favorite essential oils or lighting a subtle scented candle (nothing too strong)
- Sipping plenty of fluid throughout the day to stay hydrated
- Eating small, frequent meals in place of traditional, larger meals (you may find your morning sickness is worse when your stomach is full or empty, so aim for the happy medium)
- Avoiding starchy, heavy, and greasy foods (keep it light!)
- Eating something plain as soon as you wake up, like toast or crackers
- Keeping cool with a fan or a cold drink (when you overheat, it can make nausea worse)
- Acupuncture, acupressure, or prenatal massage to ease any aches and pains
- Gentle exercise, like prenatal swimming, yoga, or pilates classes, or join a local walking group – a bit of movement and fresh air can work wonders
You could also try switching up your prenatal vitamins with an easy-to-drink solution like Herbaby by Mixhers.
Made with 100% natural, plant-based ingredients (vegan mamas rejoice!), this unique formula swaps folic acid for methylated folate – known for easing morning sickness.
It’s also a postnatal, so you can take it from early pregnancy nausea all the way to postpartum recovery.
Still stumped for things to try?
Ask the mamas on Peanut for some inspiration.
And if these remedies aren’t doing the trick, you may need a supplement or anti-sickness medication to keep things under control.
Should you be worried if you don’t experience morning sickness?
If the majority of women experience morning sickness at some point during pregnancy, it can be worrying if you find yourself in the minority wondering, “When does morning sickness start?” well into your third trimester.
Does it mean your body falling down on the job where hormones are concerned?
Are you missing out on an essential experience if you’re not yakking into a garbage can between meetings?
Nope, nope, and most certainly nope.
In fact, plenty of women have perfectly healthy pregnancies with little-to-no morning sickness. Result!
You might just be lucky that you’re not overly sensitive to hormonal changes.
Or maybe you have an ironclad stomach, making you less prone to nausea and vomiting.
Just remember that zero signs of morning sickness starting after week 6 doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods.
The queasiness can rear its head at any point during the second and third months of pregnancy, too.
Given that morning sickness affects roughly 70% to 80% of women during pregnancy, chances are you have friends and relatives who’ve endured it (not to mention the mamas on Peanut).
Everyone’s experience is different, but don’t be afraid to lean on your network for support, tips, and advice.
Whenever your morning sickness starts, it’s right for you.
Plus, if you choose to have another baby, you may find yourself wondering again: “when does morning sickness start?” and finding you’re in that 70%!
And the good news is, once you’re over the worst of it, you’re that little bit closer to meeting your baby.
We’ll drink (some peppermint tea) to that!