In the first few months of pregnancy, women often experience nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, a condition commonly called “morning sickness” largely because these symptoms occur more on awakening. However, a new study says this term is inaccurate as the symptom can occur at any time of the day.
The researchers argue that it may be best to refer to the condition as “nausea in pregnancy” seeing that a significant number of pregnant women also experience these symptoms at any time of the day.
The problem here is that while the symptoms of morning sickness have been largely established to occur mostly in the morning, no study has described the likelihood and risk of having the symptoms at other times of the day, until now.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data from diaries kept by 256 pregnant women. In those diaries, the women recorded their symptoms and the time of the day they experienced those symptoms. The researchers found that while vomiting was most common between 7 am and 1 pm, nausea was more likely to occur the whole day, not just in the morning.
The researchers say the problem with the term is that it suggests that experiencing nausea or vomiting in the evening is unusual, and may cause unnecessary panic. Attaching a time of day – morning – to the condition means women should only expect the symptoms in the mornings, and this may cause unnecessary confusion.