How Long Does Nausea Last in Pregnancy?

Nausea is very common in pregnancy – 90% of women report nausea, and >50% report vomiting. The important thing concerning nausea is to know when you have an unusually high level of nausea, and when to seek help.

Here’s what normal nausea looks like:

  • Nausea peaks at 5-8 weeks pregnant, with about 45% of women reporting vomiting; it declines steadily from then on. In weeks 13-16, about 25% report vomiting. By week 20, only about 8% of women continue vomiting.
  • Normal levels of vomiting aren’t as bad as you might expect – it’s concentrated in an average of 6 days over the whole pregnancy, occurs fewer than 3 times a day, and should NOT lead to dehydration or weight loss.

In other words, if you are vomiting everyday for weeks, this is atypical.

There’s a silver lining to morning sickness. Luckily, nausea is inversely correlated with miscarriages – in one study, 30% of women without nausea had a miscarriage, compared to 8% who did.

Pregnant women have had scares with anti-nausea medication before – thalidomide caused birth defects, and Bendectin (B6 + Unisom) was pulled off the market. However, Oster argues that the mother’s comfort is quite important, particularly if it affects her diet and well-being, and OTC anti-nausea medications are not shown to be bad.

Oster’s recommendations for nausea cures, in declining order of preference:

  1. Eat smaller meals
  2. Vitamin B6
  3. Vitamin B6 + Unisom
  4. Zofran
How Long Does Nausea Last in Pregnancy?

Allen Cheng

Allen Cheng is the founder of Shortform. He has a passion for non-fiction books (having read 200+ and counting) and is on a mission to make the world's best ideas more accessible to everyone. He reads broadly, covering a wide range of subjects including finance, management, health, and society.Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and attended medical training at the MD/PhD program at Harvard and MIT. Before Shortform, he co-founded PrepScholar, an online education company.

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