why is my 'morning sickness' increasing?
January 13, 2020 2:45 AM   Subscribe

Having survived the first trimester with not much nausea or discomfort at all, I was excited to see the promised awesome second trimester- which so far has been a lie. I'm left with an overwhelming feeling of "what gives?!"

So the nausea has ramped up from about week 12 (I'm week 15 now) and is more unpleasant. I'm not the vomity type, having thrown up less than 20 times in my lifetime, probably closer to 10. I haven't thrown up this pregnancy, though have been a little refluxy.

Health disclaimer: I'm in Australia under the care of a medical professional (GP) who reckons that it could just be standard end of T1 getting worse before it gets better. I have an appointment to see the midwife next week. I've got an anti-nausea prescription but it zonks me out so I don't like taking it. Going to try taking it before bed tonight to see if that helps. In short, I feel like I'm medically cared for.

My questions:
Is this normal? To not have much if any nausea followed by a ramp up of symptoms?
Is this indigestion? dehydration? Something else?
What can I do about it?
Should I call some kind of medical professional earlier than my next week appointment?
Also, relatedly, tips for managing being an adult and doing life things when I feel blah and just want to hang out on the couch?

Thanks Mefi- it's also just nice to vent about this stuff.
posted by freethefeet to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I also sometimes have itchy feet (soles mostly) and sometimes the palms of my hands- bit worried by googling that it could be a rare and scary condition- cholestasis. I know I know Dr Google isn't the best resource for calm diagnoses. Argh!

(sorry for threadsitting, will bow out now.)
posted by freethefeet at 3:02 AM on January 13, 2020

Anecdotally: totally normal to have fluctuations in symptoms. I'm 28 weeks right now, and I've had good weeks and bad weeks. (Also good days and bad days. Today is still TBD.)

While I'm sure other Mefites will chime in with useful comments, I'd suggest joining the Reddit bumper group tied to your due date month. This kind of question comes up a lot in the daily chat threads, and you can hear from folks who are experiencing the same thing and have gotten varied advice from their doctors, families, friends, and other resources. Many of them are closed groups so you'll actually need to join -- but that means fewer trolls, better moderation, etc. vs. open groups.
posted by cranberry_nut at 4:33 AM on January 13, 2020

Just chiming in to say that my Reddit jumper group was an invaluable resource (also a great place to vent if you need more of that), and perhaps my biggest takeaway was how much variety there is in the pregnancy experience. For example it doesn’t surprise me at all to hear that you’re having a resurgence in morning sickness, as I recall hearing that a lot from people. That said, never hesitate to call your doctor if you don’t want to wait for an appointment...mine always said they’d rather have me call (and potentially come in sooner) for something that may be nothing at all, than to sit on something that could be serious. (I found that pregnant ladies were treated very nicely this way, and something I miss most about it.)
posted by lovableiago at 5:19 AM on January 13, 2020

IAARN/IANYRN This is not medical advice.

I had the horribly itchy feet and palms of my hands. They drove me crazy - it was especially worse after showers. It helped to cool them down with some ice cubes and constrict blood vessels. Benadryl (or even just a half tablet) helps, but clear it with your GYN, of course.

As far as the nausea goes, have you tried ginger? Like the ginger lollipops? Any salty/sweet combination worked for me. In particular, it was potato chips and pink lemonade, small amounts at a time. I had horrible, horrible reflux (OMG, SO HORRIBLE), so I always was nibbling on something just to keep from having a empty stomach. The other trick is to eat something before even getting out of bed. I kept a small pack of crackers on my night stand and ate two or three before even sitting up. Talk to your GYN about whether you can take Pepcid. You should also be able to take Tums or Rolaids. They sometimes help and are a source of calcium, but again ask.

Considering it's summer where you are, be wary of dehydration. Try some pedialyte if you can't handle flavors, or drink some diluted sports drink a little at a time.

Believe it or not, nausea is actually a sign that your pregnancy is progressing well. It is the hCG levels increasing that are making you nauseous. Things should level off in the next week or so. Good luck and feel better!
posted by dancinglamb at 5:19 AM on January 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Anecdata, but my morning sickness didn't start until the second trimester. And then hoo boy. Only lasted about a month, though.
posted by Mchelly at 5:29 AM on January 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I had acid reflux in both my pregnancies that presented this way at first (mid 1st t and on). My esophageal sphincter is apparently really sensitive to progesterone. No burning or burping, just nausea. An H2 blocker took care of it until probably mid 3rd t. Ask your medical professional about it!
posted by Knicke at 6:48 AM on January 13, 2020

I also sometimes have itchy feet (soles mostly) and sometimes the palms of my hands- bit worried by googling that it could be a rare and scary condition- cholestasis.

Talk to your GP about the itchiness to put your mind at ease. It's probably just regular itchiness, which is common in pregnancy, but ICP can be diagnosed with a few tests.
posted by zamboni at 6:48 AM on January 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I had severe nausea until I went into labor. Chalk it up to a statistics-based lie. (And get ready for many more regarding the end of colic, night wakings, etc. ;) )
posted by metasarah at 6:54 AM on January 13, 2020

I was prescribed Zofran for nausea during my second pregnancy and it was a life saver.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:57 AM on January 13, 2020

Just another data point - I had nausea and vomiting right up until giving birth, and then it disappeared instantly. Also rhinitis for a good six months.
posted by Pax at 6:59 AM on January 13, 2020

Taking the anti-nausea med at night might help a lot - it did for me, I slept like a baby and woke up refreshed and not vomity.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:03 AM on January 13, 2020

I had nausea all the way through and vomited multiple times a day until 24 weeks. It changed from about 15 weeks but I wouldn't say it got worse.

I did have obstetric cholestasis - diagnosed with a simple blood test and treatable so do get tested. Another of the symptoms is feeling terrible.

Honestly I wasn't productive in pregnancy. I was at work (apart from 2 months where I was too sick) but utterly ineffective.
posted by kadia_a at 7:23 AM on January 13, 2020

With my first I was vomiting daily even with the max levels of unisom + B6 treatment until around month 5, I found it was very dependent on smell triggers in the environment and keeping my blood sugar from spiking (spiking via eating something high sugar would make me sick almost immediately). I can't remember it peaking I just know it was bad for several weeks and faded around months 4-5.

With my second I'm on the cusp of the 3rd trimester and finally off the unisom and B6 (although the unisom is great for sleep fyi so I'm considering getting another bottle and taking half a tab before bed), and vomited twice daily until about week 18? I seem sensitive to dairy this time around moreso than sugar and carbs, it's different for everyone what triggers the nausea. It was like 2.5-3 miserable but manageable months but I found it much harder this time. I also thought it would just gently taper down from a peak around 8-10 weeks but it continued to be really bad into the teen weeks for me and then started to taper months 4-5. My mom (who has 8 children) said it would take til about month 5 for me to feel myself again and I was so hoping she was wrong but she was right. I was most nauseous around dinnertime and snacking didn't seem to affect that and it just gradually faded from vomiting to wanting to vomit to feeling gross to feeling fairly ok. A lot of people swear by crackers and carbs, I found that but also fresh raw veggies helpful (like cut peppers, raw carrots). Smells also help a lot, vinegar, dill, mint all help me as well as hard candies in fruit flavors.

Now I'm week 27 and finally feeling pretty normal although now I have reflux and heartburn half the time. I continue to eat small meals 5-6 times a day (basically every 2-3 hours throughout my waking hours) which helps a bit. Now when I feel a bit off, given that my stomach and other organs are all squished up I figure it would be weird to have no sense of altered feeling in my guts generally.

My advice is to sleep as much as you can, when your body tells you it needs rest. You might have more energy in a few weeks. I find pacing myself even when I feel good is important or I pay for it the next day. I take naps on weekends as often as I can, and if I'm tired after work I lie down and have a cat nap before or after dinner (or both!). I use caffeine to get through the work day and am not as productive as I would like. I do less, less cooking, less cleaning, stretch out my to-do list across more days than I would like but reminding myself things will get done.

Magnesium (citrate or glycinate) has been a very helpful supplement for me from the 2nd trimester onwards and when I start to feel off it's because I've stopped taking it, I had nearly a week of tight muscles and headaches and generally feeling awful and it was a lack of B vitamins and magnesium, as soon as I took it with some light snacks and drank a bunch of water I felt like a new person within hours. We're told to drink so much water but I wasn't told to watch for my mineral/electrolyte balance and although I eat fairly well I clearly needed more help. That's something to experiment with, I find it makes a huge difference for me and as long as you follow the RDIs it is safe and even beneficial to make sure you're getting enough magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, and B vitamins.
posted by lafemma at 9:28 AM on January 13, 2020

When I hit the second trimester, I was suddenly hungry all the time - and if I got too hungry, I would get nauseous. I found that tiny bits of food every couple hours helped keep this at bay. 2-3 crackers were usually plenty.
posted by writermcwriterson at 9:51 AM on January 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Morning sickness ending after the first trimester is a lie, just as much as it only happening in the morning is a lie. For many people, it lasts until well into the third.

Having a little bit in your stomach all the time (I liked crackers, cheese, apple, almonds - whatever you can stomach is fine) will help. Some people drink ginger tea (sliced ginger in hot water). Check with your doctor, but you should also be able to take ginger gravol (the one that is made of ginger and nothing else). In theory this is because nausea can be related to gastric stasis - things stopping - and a little bit of food gets them moving again as you digest.
posted by unstrungharp at 1:44 PM on January 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I can't answer on the morning sickness but I remember my mother telling me that she was super itchy during her pregnancy with me. In fact, it's the only thing I remember her saying about it! I arrived just fine, a big healthy lump of a baby! Of course, address your concerns to midwife/doc etc, but I know what it's like to worry and think only the worst case scenario is true. So in my mother's case, it was really the case that she just had super itchy skin while pregnant with me. And all was fine. Good luck with all the rest!
posted by cornflakegirl at 5:02 PM on January 13, 2020

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